1. Leave me a comment saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I’ll email you five questions of my choosing.
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. They will answer these questions. If they don’t, you can legally hunt them down and destroy them by the method of your choosing.
1. In terms of career-path stuff, if you could do or try anything other than what you’re doing now, what would it be?
Golf professional. To spend my days on a golf course teaching and playing and to wake up everyday knowing that this was my lot in life would be gratifying to an almost criminal degree. And let’s be specific here…not a professional-tour golfer, necessarily (though that would also not suck in the least), but rather the person that finds himself/herself at a country club somewhere like Lake Tahoe or Pebble Beach or whatever. I mean, seriously. Give me a frikkin’ break.
2. What’s your favorite thing about yourself? What’s your least favorite thing about yourself? (Two questions, I know, I cheated, but the questions go together like chocolate and peanut butter that hasn’t been tainted with salmonella.)
Favorites: I enjoy my own company. I appreciate who I’ve become and the effort it’s taken to get there. I know my demons and have made peace with them. We see each other every morning in the mirror, then have coffee. It’s quite civil now, really. Least favorite: Though not nearly as pronounced as it once was, I’m still extremely hard on myself.
3. Who gave you the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten, and what was it?
The very rare occasions upon which new cadets are talked to like normal sentient human beings occur during our initial meetings with representatives of the Honor Court. Personal honor is a very outdated concept. The word ‘honor’ strikes many as archaic and possibly the romantic relic of a bygone era. In some places, however, it is the sun around which people’s lives revolve. VMI is such a place and the reason we were told to have a seat and relax while this Honor Court representative talked to us was because it was understood that what he was telling us was the beginning and the end of what mattered in our being there, staying there, and finishing. It’s driven into you from day one that the world can give you awards and accolades, can turn you into a god, but it can also just as quickly and easily take it all away. The only thing the world can’t take from you is your personal honor. You have to give it up freely. And once given, it’s gone forever. Let the world say what it will; always maintain your integrity. Expulsion was the price paid for such lapses in judgment at the school, which was the impetus for the effort to make us understand. I think they had older cadets tell us this rather than members of the faculty or administration in the off chance that some of us might think, ‘Oh, pashaaaaw, it’s just some grizzled veteran getting all profound and misty about his alma mater’s grip upon a romantic notion.’ Well.
I may not be overly grizzled, but, yes. Indeed.
4. Speaking of advice, if you could go back in time and tell your teenage self anything, what would it be?
Stick up for yourself. Administering beatings can sometimes do both the beater and the beatee equal good, so feel free to help all involved become better people. Also, lighten the fuck up.
5. You can go anywhere in the world you haven’t already been. Where do you go and why?
If I can’t go to Scotland or Ireland (already been to both), I’ll go to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia where the music, the weather, and the hospitality are similar, though the food is apparently better by mighty leaps and bounds. Good food is important and the Canadian hospitality is pretty great, too. And I’m all aboot good food and good music, eh.
Sir @ January 26, 2009