Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Interview With JLK

JLK is being a pain in the ass to Teh Internetz lately. See, I just finished a huge chunk of the research I am presenting at a conference next month and until my research partner comes back to town, I don't have a whole heck of a lot to do. 

Therefore, I have jumped into the whole meme thing and have probably annoyed several fellow bloggers by tagging them with timewasters.

I promise, I'll stop. 

What follows is the 5 Questions meme, where someone interviews you with 5 questions they've come up with just for you. These questions came from Ambivalent Academic

I will not tag anyone with this meme, in keeping my promise to stop bugging y'all. If you would like to be interviewed, let me know in the comments. 

And seeing as my boredom is bordering on all-consuming, if any of you would like to send me 5 of your own questions for me to answer, feel free. I actually kinda dig the idea of this meme. :)

Okay, now on to AA's questions:

1 - When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

First I wanted to be a fashion designer, and that lasted until I figured out that I suck at creating new things. I'm much better at taking other stuff and just making it better. Then I wanted to be an architect until I found out how much more it entailed beyond drawing floorplans. Then I wanted to be a marine biologist until I learned that I'd have to study fish too, not just dolphins and killer whales. Finally, at age 12, I discovered the field of psychology via a 1960's copyright textbook from my dad's short stint in college. Since then I have never wanted to do anything else and only the sub-fields have changed.       

2 - If you were a circus performer, what would your talent be?

I would be the chick who trains and performs with the lions and tigers. I looooove big cats and would give just about anything in the world to have a tiger cub. Shit, even just HOLD one. That would be awesome. 

3 - Suppose the field of psychology didn't exist -- what would you be/do instead?

If psychology didn't exist and I wasn't married, I would want to be a travel writer. The idea of getting paid to go all over the world and write about it is amazing and irresistable to me. If psychology didn't exist but I was still married, I would be a literature professor. I love, love, love reading and discussing books, and undergrads say some seriously dumb shit about literature that could keep me laughing for hours on end after every class.  

4 - Why are we here?

Hmmm. Well, we're really just animals. I don't think there is a "why" for us being here. I think we're here because of some fortunate accident in science. An "unfortunate" accident only because we've been doomed to forever contemplate the meaning of our existence, a problem that causes us to feel isolated from each other and from the world around us. (See Terror Management Theory and Existential Psychology)

5 - If you could have one thing, any thing, and thus forfeit your right to ask other people/the universe for anything else (ever), what would that one thing be?

Unwavering financial security for the rest of my life, regardless of circumstances. Not to be rich, mind you, because that doesn't actually increase happiness. But to be able to take a vacation whenever it's needed, to not worry about slashing my salary to the grad student level, to not worry about being able to afford to have children and eventually pay for them to go to college, etc., etc. 


Ambivalent Academic said...

Great answers! I would totally be the lion tamer too!

Ambivalent Academic said...

I hope you don't think I was being cheeky about the "why are we here?" question. As you point out, it's pretty natural for most people as individuals to consider this. Being surrounded by life scientists, the answer that most of them give would be the same as mine. Pretty predictable. But I am very curious about how one's training/education/chosen professional can color their response to this question.

I like your answer "we're just animals..." and "I don't think there is a 'why' for us being here", spoken like a true scientist.

The part about unfortunate accidents in science (I would have said "nature" in this context, but I think we mean the same thing) and the honing in on how we as people are always contemplating this and the existential angst that comes with wouldn't expect to hear that from a biologist, and it puts a different emphasis on what is seen to be central and important about life, or human life specifically.

That's why it's so interesting to get an answer to this from people in different fields. Thanks for indulging me with that one.

JLK said...

No, I didn't think you were being cheeky. Though I was tempted to give a smart-ass answer just because it would be funny. (But then I couldn't think of a good one.)

What WOULD be your answer, AA?

DuWayne Brayton said...

Being an exhibitionist of sorts, I am available for interviews.....

JLK said...

Awesome, DuWayne!

I'll likely get my questions to you tonight. :)

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