- Tell us a memorable story of yourself when you were a kid. It can be funny, surprising, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
When I was ten, I decided that I had reached the level of emotional maturity necessary to own a cell phone. My parents were not very supportive of my endeavors. I think their exact words were “What? Amy, go play outside” (Amy is one of my sisters’ names). I took this as constructive criticism and stepped up my game. One afternoon I sent both of my parents emails from my newly created AOL account asking them to meet me in the living room for a very important meeting. I borrowed (stole) my mom’s laptop and pulled up a PowerPoint I’d been working on detailing the reasons I needed my own phone. Don’t worry, I made them super parentally compelling, like, “I take really good care of my hamster,” and, “My friend Katie has one!!!” They were somewhat amused that I knew what PowerPoint was, but no dice. I was told we were tabling the issue until my thirteenth birthday. I don’t know, they think it’s really funny.
- Tell us about your brief stint as an English teacher of small Barcelonan children during your high school years.
The summer after my junior year of high school, my best friend Andrea and I got to spend a month in Barcelona with a friend of her mom’s for free. All we had to do was fly ourselves there and dedicate 3 hours per day to teaching the family’s (adorable and perfect) children English. Yeah, like what? Are you kidding? Spanish is my favorite thing to pretend I’m really good at. Did I mention they had a pool on their roof? I can’t make these things up. We took Spanish classes at a local college every morning and taught in the afternoons, with evenings free to explore the city. The kids were incredible—Jan, Mar and Pau were learning English as their third language (Catalan first, Spanish second) at ages 12, 10 and 6. Their family became like my own, and a part of me will always feel at home there.
- If you could choose any study abroad destination, where would it be? Why would you choose that location?
I would love to go back to Spain. Maybe Madrid or Seville, to get exposed to truly Spanish Spanish. Plus being in Europe is great because you can travel so easily.
- What was your favorite story when you were a kid? What did you like so much about it?
I loved the Nutshell Library books by Maurice Sendak. It’s this little box set, smaller than a deck of cards, with four books: Chicken Soup with Rice, One Was Johnny, Alligators All Around and Pierre. I think what I liked most about them was that they were sort of a family tradition; my parents read them to all of my siblings and me when we were growing up, and we can still recite the words to each one.
- What is your favorite meal to cook for someone else?
My dad’s famous homemade meatballs that we make for my mom to give her the night off. We mix together all the ingredients to form one basketball-sized meat blob. Then everyone present has to take turns throwing the giant meatball off the porch to my dad, who is standing on the driveway a story below. He throws it back up to one of us, and so on. One time we skipped the meatball toss because it was raining, and they didn’t taste the same.
- What is the most ridiculous thing you have spent more than $10 on?
I adopted a humpback whale from a program I found on the Internet. You can track its migration patterns!!
- Favorite fast food that makes you want to cry in the shower after eating. (E.g., Nachos BellGrande, Sausage Egg McMuffin, Cinnabon, etc.)
White Castle mozzarella sticks. So wrong, but so right.
- What band/artist do you love but would be hesitant to tell anyone because of the weird looks they would give you?
The Eagles. I went to their concert in March and was the only person there under 45. Glenn Frey’s voice is angelic.