Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Five Interview Questions

A few of the nearby Bloggers I know have asked me to respond to a few questions that appeared on Hugh's blog just shy of a week ago. Here goes:

1. You formerly lived in Chicago, what is your favorite restaurant in Chicago? What is your favorite landmark or place to visit in Chicago?

Hey, isn't this two questions? First off: I adore Chicago. It's hard for me to pick one "favorite" anything in this town because there is such a variety there. Second: I haven't lived there in about 13 years, so I may not be up-to-date in dining & attractions list.

Restaurant: well, let's call it a food category - CHICAGO STUFFED PIZZA. The kind with two layers of DOUGH [an aside: I actually made this for four friends of mine (2 couples) in a monthly routine of cooking "interesting" culinary fare for each other. Two of my married male friends asked for my hand in marriage when I carefully placed Dough Layer #2 on top]. In high school, the place to go was Carmen's. Nowadays, I prefer Lou Malnati's.

Landmark or place to visit: again, hard to pick one favorite spot. I am an architecture buff, particularly the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Plenty of his work still exists in the north & western suburbs. I love driving up Lake Shore Drive at night...just one of my favorite things. I have good memories of horse-drawn carriage rides on North Michigan Avenue during the winter holidays, along with seeing the animated windows at Marshall Field's & Carson Pirie Scott on State Street. But this doesn't even touch on the gazilion out-of-the-way neighborhoods with little theaters, cool restaurants, etc. that one gets to know when you either live there or know people who live there.

Hoo boy: long response.

2. Where were your born, and where did you grow up? Do you like or dislike this place? Do you return to visit?

I was born at Passavant Hospital, now Northwestern Memorial, in Chicago. I grew up in a North Shore suburb, and I have many happy childhood memories in our old drafty 1920s colonial house in what felt like a friendly small town. Unfortunately, the small-town-feel left in the mid 1980s when the place became snooty, in my opinion. I didn't fit into that scene very well, but fortunately I could ignore it when I went to the public township high school of 4,000 students. I felt like I could be myself in high school, probably because it was so big; there was no "popular" crowd there because everyone could find a niche. I do return to visit quite often as some of my family still lives in the area.

3. What are your 5 favorite rock bands?

ROCK bands? I never remember the names of rock bands, though I can hum along with a bunch of tunes. Recent CD purchases include Nickel Creek and Alicia Keys. I like the Indigo Girls (I saw them last fall in concert for the 3rd time), James Taylor, Bruce Hornsby (good pianist!), and of course the Beatles. I'm not good with questions like this. Onward, then.

4. You are a musician and classical music fan , what are your 5 favorite classical music pieces?

Easy question for me. Brahms piano quntet in F-minor; many of the later Mozart symphonies; Rachmaninoff Preludes (piano) from Op. 32; Chopin's Scherzo no 2, I think, in B-flat minor; and Debussy's "Jardins sous la pluie" (Gardens in the Rain) from "Estampes," which is one of the few college audition pieces I learned that I can still play pretty well. I like most anything written by Debussy, actually.

5. How and why did you get involved in writing a blog?

A colleague of mine an idea that a group of us could create blogs and dialogue about our doctoral student experiences. I considered doing this anyhow because I needed an outlet for my writing. I enjoy writing a great deal, but I was experiencing some angst when doing class papers. I wanted the practice, accountablility, external motivation, etc. to write something every few days and keep my chops up. It was extremely helpful when preparing for qualifying exams. Also, I like to tinker with technical things, so when I need a break I mess around with the small-level blog details like the template settings and what-not. It's a perfect combination for me of writing out thoughts and playing with a technical tool.

Wow - did you really read this entire response?? Thanks!

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