Q: What word or phrase do you overuse?
A: I get a lot of flack for using the word ‘primo,’ which is a way to say ‘awesome.’
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
A: When people drag their feet when they walk.
Q: What’s your secret talent?
A: I can throw a deck of cards across a room without a box or rubber band, and have them stay together. You bend down the corners and the sides, so it takes all the air out of the deck. So if you throw it [at the right angle], you can throw it [across] long distances. It’s a great party trick.
Q: Name a holiday movie you watch every year.
A: I can’t say I watch holiday movies every year …. I like It’s a Wonderful Life.
Q: What’s one place in Montreal you think everyone should visit?
A: Cheskie’s Bakery is up at Bernard and Parc. They have these amazing sprinkle cookies. It’s up farther than a lot of McGill students would ever venture, especially when it gets cold, but it’s definitely worth the walk.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: Someone said ‘don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.’ Which is a nice thing that I definitely don’t live by as often as I should.
Q: What’s your dream job?
A: Professor of American History. That might change, but that’s where I’m pointing myself for the future.
Q: I’ve been told you’ve written papers and travelled to give talks about Bruce Springsteen. How did that come about?
A: I really like Bruce Springsteen. Something was bothering me about one of his songs, this narrative dysfunction in some of his lyrics. My dad’s an academic, so probably [those genes] drove me to write an essay, which I eventually sent out to a few authors who I thought would be interested in the subject to get their feedback. One of them invited me to a conference to speak last October, and I did. He kind of introduced me to this whole world of academics who also like Bruce Springsteen, and relate their academia to Springsteen’s work specifically, and its context in twentieth century America and its literary meaning. It’s a really awesome community, and it’s something that more than anything I feel comfortable writing about and I enjoy writing about. Obviously, when you can go to a concert and that counts as fieldwork, that’s really cool.
Q: What’s your favourite Bruce Springsteen song?
A: That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child.
Q: You’re the President and captain of the Quidditch team. what are the best and worst parts?
A: There’s no better feeling than when you’re losing by a couple of points, and then you snatch a snitch to win the game. The worst part: our placement in Montreal isn’t ideal. There’s a Quidditch hub in the Boston area, and in New York. There’s an emerging scene in Ottawa, but [we’re] just far enough away that it’s a bit of an inconvenience to get there. So as President, I’ve had to deal with the logistics of getting buses to get to specific tournaments. It’s not fun work, but someone has to do it, and after three years on the team, I was in the best position to do it.
Q: You’ve also been a floor fellow for a few years. Can you talk about how that experience has been?
A: I’ve been a floor fellow for two years, and I’m now the assistant director at New Rez. I’ve been at New Rez all three years. I had a great experience in rez my first year [at Carrefour Sherbrooke], and really like the community and opportunities of living in residence. I really relish the responsibility to successfully guide 50 first-years through what certainly can be a difficult experience. The hope is [that], at some point, I’m able to make it stop being [difficult], and make a successful [experience] that leads to four years of happiness [at McGill].
Q: What are the best and worst parts of the job?
A: The worst part is [when people get sick]. I’ve gotten used to it. The best parts overshadow the worst parts though. And that’s the opportunity to guide these students through their first year experiences, and put them on a road of academic success and extracurricular involvement. That’s what I think McGill has to offer; obviously, there’s always time for fun and there always should be. That’s definitely what first year is. And there’s no better feeling in the world than when you solve a roommate conflict.