Interview with A. Boxer*.
1. You are given the chance to visit one city for three days, all expenses paid. Where would you go? What would you do?
This is a tough one because there are a lot of cities I'd like to visit, but if all expenses are paid, I'm going to a more distant one (sorry Vancouver, BC). I've always wanted to visit Europe, although even that gets tough to decide between all the cool cities there, but, you've got to start somewhere, right? Maybe I could get lucky and somehow parlay the all expenses paid gig into multiple trips, but for starters I'd choose Athens, Greece. I became interested in Greek mythology in second grade, and took a class on that to satisfy my g.e. credits for arts and letters when working on my bachelor's degree. I think it'd be really cool to go around the city and tour the ancient ruins, just to see some of the places that I've learned so much about. Plus, the climate there is supposed to be awesome, right?
2. After receiving your PhD, you are offered a high paying job for a Company that is all about profit (and not much else) or a teaching position at a prestigious University. What would you pick? Why?
Assuming that the discrepancy in salaries is not too high (probably a bad assumption since industry always pays better than academia), I'd go with the position at a university. This is something I've thought about, and I'm not sure I'd be completely satisfied if I was doing someone else's research. There's always some degree of doing what somebody with money wants you to do, but I'd prefer to have a bigger say in what questions I'm answering, what data are generated and what happens with the results. That said, I'm also not entirely sure I'm cut out for the high stress, publish-or-perish atmosphere of a prestigious university. I'm not a very good writer, and have yet to secure any significant amount of funding for my research (the biggest "grant" I've received was $1000). What I'm trying to say is that I'd take the university job, but whether I'd get tenure might be a completely different story.
3. Name the best "Break Up" song.
There are a lot of good "break up songs" out there, so I'm just going to go with the first one that popped into my head: My Girlfriend's Best Friend by The Sun (click to download). The lyrics are harsh, which is always helpful when you're trying to hate someone.
You're looking tired
Like you tried to kill yourself again
You'll probably be strung out tonight
And my heart is broken
So I'm no good in bed
Have to find yourself another friend
I don't want to so I
Think that I'd be better off askin'
And I wanted me to [unintelligible]
At the part of attraction
You're not my girlfriend you're just
Some fuckin' distraction
That I never wanted to go bad
To me this is crazy
The whole wide world is at it again
Showing me how it feels good to bleed
And you think it's nonsense
That I made it up in my head
You're probably right but you're goin' instead
Roll it over in your head
Hit you twice and now you're dead
I won't ever rot again
I think I might go to bed
I just don't think it's your time yeah
Dear boy dear boy
I've been balled down by some
of the best
I'm just psycho with a little [unintelligible]
In my side
In my time
4. You're in front of the judges on American Idol, what song would you sing?
I'd never be in front of the judges on American Idol because a) American Idol sucks, b) I'm too old to be the next manufactured pop star/one hit wonder, and c) I have absolutely no musical ability. If you put a gun to my mom's head and told me you'd pull the trigger unless I made it to Hollywood, I'd contemplate letting her die. (Just kidding Mom, I love you!) Since American Idol try-outs are all about people regurgitating popular songs, a lot of what I like wouldn't be well known enough for people to recognize it. Since making it to Hollywood on that show also seems to be all about having a good voice, it'd have to be a well known song where you could showcase that. I'd probably sing Tiny Dancer.
5. Describe the perfect first date.
I hate first dates. So my real answer is that the perfect first date is a second date. However, since you can't exactly skip over the first date, I'll say that a nice dinner and good conversation would suffice. A kiss at the end of the evening would also be nice, but I'm never brave enough to go for it.
*Lame pun, I know.