If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Oh, honey, where do I start?
Last year, I would have said "Stop Nationalism." Nationalism is a love and pride for your country just because it is your country and you identify with it -- the French invented it during the French Revolution and everyone adopted after that to protect themselves from Napoleon. It's the cause of WWI, WWII, and many of the problems in the world today and the foundation of the inaffectivness of the UN. But I don't think stopping nationalism would do that anymore. Because if you just stop nationalism, there is no knee-jerk reaction to protect your country, but there is no foundation of understanding either.
So, the world can keep nationalism. Instead, I would require everyone to carry a basic knowledge of every culture that they will come in contact with in their lifetimes -- so that they don't judge it on what they hear, and they don't have a chance to stereotype, but rather can interact with people with -- if not a respect -- an understanding of the person's point of view and frame of action. That way, if you see a woman wearing a hijab, you'd know that it originated as a way to protect women in a desert environment against roving men, not a form of oppression. There are reasons for cultures, and if I could change one thing about the world, it would be that people could see that, and not just take them at face value.
What makes a person respectable?
If they keep their promises and comittments. You can be a perfectly nice person and I can enjoy your company, but if you stand me up, don't fulfill a promise, or just generally fork with me, I cannot respect you. For example: I had a friend who was great to hang out with, impulsive as I am not. Then, she started promising things that she did not follow through with: Oh, we'll go see the Matrix together. Then did we? No. She went with her best guy friend. That is not worthy of respect. As an addendum to this, if you help with the community, if you work with young girls to help them develop science skills, if you show a boy that they are capable of more than violence, but are still a little absent minded, you are still respectable.
Okay, to make that clear, because obviously I have a tendency to ramble, if you are dependable, that is respectable. But if you are also generous, and able to take care of yourself as well as others, that is respectable.
What do you look for in a friend?
Intelligent, cynical, observant, analytical, compassionate, and driven.
They have to be intelligent because I think conversation gets dull rather quickly if you start talking about the nuances of the characters in, say, Harry Potter and how their characters are put together and all they can say is, "I really like dragons." Okay, that's unfair. They'd probably talk about how cool thestrals were, and I would be trying to talk about the symbolism of them, and because we were having a conversation on two different levels, it just wouldn't work out.
My friends have to be cynical, because they cannot accept the world for what it is. They have to want more, they have to want something better. This goes with their compassion and drive. My friends need to want to right the wrongs that they see in the world that causes them to be cynical. That's why they have compassion and drive.
Observant and analytical go together with intelligent. My friends need an awareness of the world. If I bring up an interesting article or book that I read, they have to be able to challenge me with their own experience. And they should be reading and seeing things in the world that they want to share with others.
I guess I should mention that my friends are all going into public policy and are trying to be active on campus now. I would love if I could have more friends like them.
What are your hobbies?
Reading scifi and fantasy books for pleasure. Reading fanfic [Hikaru no Go, ST: Enterprise, Young Wizards, Tamora Pierce, Star Wars, and Harry Potter if something good is recommended to me]. Writing fanfic [Star Wars right now, but I have written HP fanfic in the past.] Continuing my education is a big one. I love to read the news, and books that won't appear on the official reading list at school, but will be referred to, like Rules for Radicals and the 9/11 Commission Report. I love Slam Poetry, poetry, spoken word, written prose...
Model UN, because I like politicking, most of the time. But I find that I'm not Charismatic to schmooze a giant room full of people, but with the right country, they'll all listen to me in a room of 10-30. My friends and I started a "secret" society, which is actually more like an open secret. We call it Midnight Society after "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" which used to come on Nick when we were kids... we all sit around and talk about things, because you'd be surprised but college is surprisingly vapid of intellectual ideas.
Have or would you give time and money to a charity?
I have always given my time to charity. Well, I guess charity isn't *quite* the right word. I'm a Girl Scout. I am *still* a Girl Scout. I think it's important to give to your community, important to give what you get in the world. If you have a mentor who helped you find your way in school, try to help someone else.
In fact, I'm going to be President of our Campus Girl Scout organization on campus next year. I think we need a nebulous goal, so none of the members can say we ever reached it, something like, "To be role models for girls." And if that doesn't work out, I'm going to start an organization on campus to allow ethnic and cultural groups to help educate about what they feel people should know about themselves. See my first answer to see what I'm talking about.
What is the one thing you would most like to accomplish?
It is my ambition to someday write a novel that will be regarded as a work of literature and will be world changing in some way. If it would not be a novel, I'd like to write a screenplay, or direct a novel. I want a legacy, but not one that is simply my name in the history books. I want a legacy that evokes a feeling for generations to come, something to make them think, not just a fact to memorize about the administration for the president elected in 2040. [Which is something else I'd like to accomplish, but is not the *one* thing I'd like to accomplish.]
Who is your role model?
Right now, Morgan Spurlock. [For reference: IMDb and 30 Days]
He tells such a compassionate story, making people's points of view and personalities clear, as well as seeing a misconception and going to the root of a problem and allowing such situations to resolve themselves. If I were a documentarian, that's the kind of movie that I would like to make. But even then, that's the kind of story I want to tell. The power of storytelling is immense, and he's a good role model.
What trait most annoys you about other people?
Irrationality. Definitely irrationality.
For example, my friends and I took two cars to go to the mall b/c we picked someone up and we wouldn't have fit in one car. Then the person we were picking up got a ride with someone else, and when I suggested leaving their car in a parking lot so that we could take one car, they insisted on driving back to my house to leave the car, when the place we wanted to go was in the opposite direction. It was four miles out of the way and I was miffed we were wasting gas. We couldn't go in my house, because my dog was sleeping, and so it really was pointless to go there. They just didn't see why I felt we should leave their car in a well lit lot on a main road... grr.
What do you want to do for a living?
I want to work in a nonprofit. I'm getting a degree in International Relations and Social Relations, and so I want my job to have a multicultural focus, but I want to be education based as well. So, the idea in the first answer about having a basic cultural education? I want to make that happen. I will make that happen. First, I will do Teach for America, and then I will work with education nonprofits, and then I will start my own. Why? Because I want to change the world, education is my pet annoyance/love, and I like being in charge -- but not being blamed for anything that goes wrong.
If your friend was attacked (by a person, animal, or (in the magic world) beast), what would you do?
My friend stole an acquaintance's french fries in high school, and I grabbed his hands to aid and abet her. The boy we were stealing fries from slammed his head backward into my friend, causing my friend's nose to bleed. I started screaming at him. "What were you THINKING!?" "Someone grabbed my hands, I reacted." "SOMEONE GRABBED YOUR HANDS IN FRONT OF YOU, AND YOU HIT THE PERSON BEHIND YOU! YOU SHOULD HAVE HIT ME!" "What were you thinking?" "Don't do it again."
Needless to say, I get righteously angry. And I lash out against whatever hurts my friend. Why? Because I hope they would do the same for me -- the anger, I suppose comes out of loyalty and a need to protect my own.
Would you ever use an Unforgivable Curse for any reason?
No. I should hope that my temper would never be such that I need such crude methods to prove my point or get my way. There are better ways to get what one wants -- words, for instance. Or clever manipulation and negotiation.
What do you think are your top five abilities or qualities?
Writing is definitely one of my top abilities. I have a well refined voice that is distinctly my own and I'm not afraid to use it no matter what I am writing. I love being able to explain myself on a piece of paper, and organizing my thoughts to forcefully prove my point, though I've learned you have to admit your own shortcomings as long as you really want someone to listen.
Leading. I am a good leader. Whatever started as bossiness in my childhood has developed into an ability to hear people's ideas and help forge them into a new whole. This comes in handy during school projects. However, I don't like taking credit -- mostly because if something goes wrong, I don't want the blame to fall on me.
I generally do not regret anything. I think through my options too seriously to regret what I do. Impulse is not something that comes naturally to me, I like to think through all the consequences and options to come up with what would be best for me, my future, and my goals. I think this makes me a happier person than someone who second guesses themselves.
Perseverance/Dependability. If someone is expecting me to do something, if someone is depending on me, I will be there come hell or high water and if hell or high water comes and the combination prevents me from being there, I get incredibly upset. It's important to me to be dependable and follow things through, even if I dislike something. Starting things, however, is a different story.
Analysis is a strength of mine. I love taking what I read, hear, and observe and applying it to what I know to generate new knowledge. When there are discussions in class, it's pretty obvious that I'm making connections that others are not because I talk and argue circles around those who don't do the readings and some who just read instead of learn.
What do you think are your top five weaknesses or worst qualities?
The ability to keep my cool when I'm tired or upset. When I'm tired I lash out at people, when I'm upset I try to hide it but I often end up crying as soon as I'm alone and think that no one likes me. I always feel so guilty and irrational when that happens... and I think it sometimes makes me hard to live with as a friend. [The converse of this is that I'm extremely in control of emergency situations.]
Fear/ hesitation is one of my worst qualities. I far too often have an idea, an impulse, a frame of mind that could very well become a brilliant idea, something that would make me unique or fulfill one of my desires... and I talk myself out of it. I start thinking about how hard it would be, how much work, what mess I could make, and I don't even bother to try.
I don't do it as much as I used to, but I compare myself to other people. It used to be in academic situations comparison was everything, but now it's mostly in social situations. So-and-so is a better host than me, so-and-so is invited first and is remembered when we're going down to dinner... but it's a really hard habit to kick. It goes with keeping my cool up above here.
Do I really have to do this? I don't like dwelling on my bad traits, because it really makes me feel like a failure, and I really try not to be. This also makes me sound like I have no self-esteem. Bah.
Fine. Holier-than-thou-ness. Even my best friends sometimes call me pretentious. But they seem to love me anyway and cut me back down to size.
Procrastinating. Usually with phone calls. And paying my credit card bill. I usually remember I meant to call my mother at 1 am on a school night... and then I forget to do it the next night too.
Define in your own words the following key traits:
Courage: Doing something knowing the consequences and disregarding them.
Loyalty: Respecting someone and defending them and supporting them, until loss of trust separates you.
Intelligence: Knowing that you do not know everything, but endeavor to know as much as possible.
Ambition: Creating a goal and going after it -- and forever furthering your goal.
Age: 19 in August.
What house do you think DOESN'T fit you? I don't want to cloud anyone's judgment. I'm interested to see what people say.
Where did you find out about us? My roommate recommended you. Her username is cherrysk8fan and she is a Ravenclaw.