Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Kids at this school are fascinated by the English Department. There are three of us that occupy a dungeon of an office; all of our names begin with P; and each is sarcastic and mean in his own way. So the school newspaper staff sent us a questionnaire, just to figure out the "three P's in a pod."

I must be getting sappy in my old age, because these are my answers: (The editor thanked me for my responses, saying they had "mass appeal." Let's see.)

What do you think of the other two P’s and how do you feel about being part of this “clique”?
The book discussions at Powles’ place are great, but the poetry readings at Prakash’s are often more memorable. At least that’s what I’ve heard. I haven’t been invited yet.

What has been your most embarrassing moment [here] thus far?
Maybe this is a lame answer, but I don’t get embarrassed often, so I don’t know. I realize I say and do plenty of stupid things, but at the end of the day, those are the things that make life interesting and fun.

What is your favorite quote?
After I finished my undergrad, I decided to bum around the country for a few months. Mostly I hung out on a friend’s couch. Then, one day at a Chinese restaurant, the message in my fortune cookie was: “Your secret of success won’t work unless you do.” That quote rocked my world. The very next day I got a job at a gas station.

What is one thing you can never do?
Math beyond the four basic functions. At least I don’t want to. Or see the need to.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Coffee. Black.

What would you do with a USD 1000000 if you absolutely had to spend it within a week? (safe deposits, CDs etc. do not count)
I’d buy two things: a big house in the hills of northern California and a big boat. I’d spend a few years sailing to as many countries as possible. Then, I’d open up some sort of small business or charity in that big house, maybe a bed and breakfast or a school of some sort for disadvantaged youth.

What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was young, everyone walked around saying, “I wanna be like Mike.” They meant Michael Jordan. I also said, “I wanna be like Mike,” but I meant Mike Royko, the hilarious opinion columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

What’s the best thing about [this school], according to you?
The talent show made me realize why I like this place: There are lots of talented students here. Then again, even those that aren’t all that great are willing to take a chance, to have fun, to possibly embarrass themselves in front of a large audience. In other schools where I’ve worked, teenagers are too self-conscious to get on stage like that.

If today were to be your last day on earth, what is one thing you would do?
After the obligatory phone calls to loved ones, I’d figure out a way to sell all my worldly possessions and cash in my stocks and bonds and savings accounts, and then I’d donate all my money to some cause or NGO. I don’t have a ton of money, but maybe it would be enough to make some positive change in the world.

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