1. Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer.
I don’t need to justify my existence–I wasn’t responsible for it. But since I’m here, I hope that by the time I’m gone I’ve written a few things and loved a few people well.
2. Your claim to fame (what makes you special?):
Oh man — no idea. I do have a good sense of humor, I think.
3. What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience?
Listening to Borges, nearly blind, read in Low Library as several pigeons circled high above him.
4. What’s the craziest student excuse/extension story you’ve heard?
A student who regularly missed class to hop trains told me that the reason she wasn’t in class was that she had a severe disability: irritable bowel syndrome.
5. Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? *in the spirit of discretion, you can instead answer: “Would you rather give up tenure or cheese?*
Ha! Cheese. And, regarding the below discretionary option, tenure is no substitute for oral sex, nor vice versa.
6. Back in my day…
We were practically slackers compared to students today. Seriously. It was great. I spent a huge amount of time riding downtown with friends in Checker cabs and coming back in time to watch Pee Wee Herman on television the next morning.
7. Three things you learned at Columbia:
How to read.
How to write.
How to talk.
8. What’s your advice to students/academics/the human race in general?
Enjoy the ride.
Stacey D’Erasmo via www.arts.columbia.edu