Today I received a pleasant surprise from Marteen Lane on her blog and through Twitter. She had recently started following my blog, and was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Award. She runs a blog called Live Laugh Love, which details her exploits as a flourisher. A clever usage of the word I must add and I am a sucker for clever syntax and word usage. I greatly appreciate the nomination and I am more eager to give some new bloggers increased exposure. The Liebster Award has had many incarnations, but its main purpose has always been to incorporate smaller blogs into the blogosphere more effectively. i religiously keep up with my daily blog reading so I can’t wait to nominate some folks!
Here are the rules for convenience purposes:
1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
2. Answer the questions given by the nominator.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers, who have less than 200 followers on twitter and link them.
4. Create 11 new questions for the nominees to answer.
5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs.
Questions from Marteen:
1. Why did you start blogging?
I’ve done quite a bit of writing in college with a good amount of success. I never got recognition in high school for my writing while receiving mediocre grades. At the end of my first semester of college I got accepted into the writing center where I have worked for the past 3 years. College exponentially increased my writing and reasoning skills, as well as my ability to talk about the writing process. I started blogging because I want to maintain my dedication to writing beyond college. I really don’t know if my career will involve writing and I have spent so much time improving my writing skills that it would be a shame to let that slowly disintegrate. I know from teaching writing that writing frequently while pushing the boundaries of what I am able to write about is an extremely effective way to grow as a writer. Starting a blog was also a way for me to break away from the rigidity of academia and establish my own writing adventures where I can freely express thoughts that interest me.
2. What song stops you in your tracks and why?
This is a tough question for me to answer because I listen to a wide variety of music and a great many songs have personal meanings to me. However, one song that really embodies who I am is Behind Blue Eyes by The Who; my favorite line being “No one bites back as hard on their anger. None of my pain and woe can show through.” Ironically, I had listened to this song for about 10 years without it having any significant meaning to me. At the time I thought it was a decent song, but there were many other songs I listened to more frequently. The song gained additional meaning in my late teens. My father put me under tremendous stress trying to dictate my actions and turn me into an “academic machine” as I like to call it. Basically, telling me repeatedly that I wasn’t studying hard enough, that I was a slacker, that I wouldn’t get anywhere in life if I didn’t try harder. One day I was listening to this song and something just came over me. I realized I wasn’t a slacker; I shouldn’t be constantly pulling myself into depression because I can’t meet the expectations someone else sets for me. I realized that I make my own expectations. At the same time I felt so much suppressed anger for the first time in my life because I so desperately wanted to lash out to free myself from such control. That’s why the lines “No one bites back as hard on their anger. None of my pain and woe can show through”, holds significant meaning to me. For the sake of my family and my future I had to shut my trap and become the man behind blue eyes. Whenever I listen to this song I feel overwhelmed by the color blue and I remember the struggles of claiming my own identity.
3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
I’m at that stage in my life where this is a realistic decision to make instead of a hypothetical one since I am graduating college in a couple weeks. I have done a fair bit of traveling around the world and there are still many additional places I would like to visit. However, when I come home I want that place to be the most familiar place in the world. Hence, I’m not going to choose any exotic location to live; excuse me for being grounded by a logical mind. Northeastern United States is where I really feel at home, but I absolutely abhor snow. I love Washington DC, so I think I could live there. It’s not as noisy and crowded as NYC where I was raised as a small child. The public transportation in DC is great, the food options are stellar, but most importantly it fits the career I want to pursue. I plan on working in the field of government contracting from the consulting standpoint. So basically government agencies hire firms to outsource certain tasks for the sake of efficiency. However, the government has a tendency to create inefficient contracts so a third party can create contracts that are optimal for both the private firm and the government. Additionally I love the vast array of museums DC has to offer. I could keep going, but DC is pretty much where I want to live and yes that is including the option to live anywhere in the world. I’m a pretty simple man. I’m no stranger to traveling, but many exotic locations are not places I would want to live year round.
4. Dog or cat?
Cat for sure. Dogs somewhat frighten me because they are more extroverted in nature. Cats are more laid back and fit my pace. I plan on adopting a cat when I graduate. If he isn’t named already I would like to name him Sir Wallace, but unfortunately most cats in shelters already have names. I’m quite keen on getting a male because people are more likely to send them to shelters because they can be harder to handle compared to females. I can relate to feeling like the outcast so I plan on taking a shelter cat home and giving it the most nurturing environment I can provide. There are so many animals stuck in shelters that get put down due to overpopulation compared to the demand for pets. I want to do my part to ease that problem even if it is a very small contribution.
5. You’re hosting a dinner party and you’re only allowed to invite three people (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
I would invite Friedrich Hayek, Pierre de Fermat, and Amar’e Stoudemire (where did he come from). Alright, let me explain so you’re not left scratching your head. Hayek was a famous economist who wrote about the dangers of allowing socialism to take hold of England as well as the rest of Europe. He had great distaste for slogan phrases as well as ambiguous political promises that were used as ploys for power. Ironically many of Hayek’s works have great levels of ambiguity due to their complexity and he spent most of his life debating and defending his ideas. Although, often times his answers were inconsistent. From all the time I have spent asking my economics advisor about the meaning of some of Hayek’s words, it would be an honor to ask them in person.
Pierre de Fermat is responsible for Fermat’s last theorem. It states “no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation an + bn = cn for any integer value of n greater than two.” The initial conjecture was made by Fermat in 1637, but wasn’t proven until 1994 by Andrew Wiles. Fermat famously scribbled in a margin of his text that he had a proof for his stated conjecture, but he never provided that proof. Even though it is highly probable that Fermat did not have the answer (way too complicated for his time) it would be awesome to ask him what he thought the answer was.
Amar’e Stoudemire is a basketball player in the NBA. He sparked my love for basketball in terms of both playing and watching. His grit and determination on the offensive end of the floor coupled with his well balanced set of skills grabbed my attention. He’s older now, typically playing reserve roles. He has gone through eye surgery and knee surgeries, which took their toll. He’s still a good player, but he used to be a great one. I would really like to sit down with him and tell him how watching him play created my love for basketball. I think he would appreciate that because sometimes athletes can be treated like objects while competing, but I still watch him nowadays even though he isn’t the Amar’e of old.
6. What would be your all time favorite book?
Hands down The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. My father read sections of it to me repeatedly when I was a toddler through kindergarten. That experience sparked my imagination as well as my passion for reading. It is a fond memory of mine and that book is very special to me.
7. Who was your first crush?
A girl named Jessica who I wrote about in this post: My One And Only Experience With Having A Crush. She was a year older than me and we went to high school together. Awkwardly enough she was kind of like my boss since she was the editor in chief for the school newspaper and I was a sports writer. I basically had the urge to seek out a partner for the first time in my life and I pointed all that pent up energy in her direction. Needless to say she was very insecure, which resulted in her getting really depressed and not talking to me for the rest of the year. It was a pretty horrible experience that still haunts me a bit to this day.
8. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Can’t get enough chocolate. I will eat desserts that have pure chocolate without sugar. Obviously sugared chocolates are great too. I have yet to find a form of chocolate that I don’t like. In elementary school I read this book about a boy who liked chocolate so much his mother put it on his toast to bring to school. My mother joked that that was me.
9. What was the last thing you bought?
Dinner from an on-campus diner. Thinking burns calories too man. Gotta solve them math problems.
10. What is your desert island must have?
Probably an endless supply of water if that’s possible. Ain’t nobody got time for salt water purification when all you got is some raggedy clothes and a couple of sticks. I get dehydrated super easy. So if I don’t get a steady supply of water I’m dunzo.
11. What was the last film you watched?
Technically It Follows, which was a poor decision on my part since I get scared very easily. I made it through the previews, which scared me to the depths of hell, and then when the movie finally started I couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe a minute in I left the theater and let my friends keep watching without me. That incident sparked my short story Something Over My Shoulder. As I was walking home I saw a man getting beaten on the front steps of a house. My heightened state of fear just took over and I was so worried about getting away that I forgot to call the cops.
Enough about me, on to the nominations!
11. Muslim Gurl
1. What is one inanimate object you own that has significant meaning to you?
2. If you could superficially marry anyone in the world for a day, who would it be and why?
3. What 3 things would you need to face the zombie apocalypse?
4. What is your favorite part about blogging and why did you choose WordPress?
5. Do you have a fond memory that can instantly make you laugh? What is it?
6. If you had to eat the same thing for every meal, what would that meal consist of?
7. Do you watch Youtube and if so who/what do you watch?
8. Describe the type of person that just grinds your gears.
9. Are there any injustices in the world that deeply disturb you or call you to action?
10. What superpower would you choose to have?
11. Who was the last person you said “hello” (or whatever other greeting) to?
This was a lot of fun. Thanks for the nomination Marteen!