Apparently these are questions that could be asked of anyone but geared toward a potential romantic partner. I already got me one of them, so let’s just pretend I’m taking another survey, ‘cause we all know I don’t have enough surveys on the blog, right?
I took out the “Sex” category, though. ‘Cause who cares.
Questions About Likes, Interests, and Passions
How do you like to pass the time?
I spend a lot of my time walking (“walking” will be a frequent answer to a lot of these questions, I suspect). I also like to blog, write, draw, and listen to music (which is time I spend thinking or fantasizing).
What are some of your hobbies?
Walking, drawing, reading, blogging, writing, pretending to be hilarious.
What genre of books do you like to read?
Does “classics” count as a genre? Refer to my “200 Books” list. Those are the types of books I read, because I haven’t read a thing that isn’t on that list since, like, 7th grade.
What are some of your favorite books?
Please see this blog post!
What are some of your favorite TV shows?
Please see this blog post!
What are some of your favorite movies?
Please see this blog post!
What’s the last movie you saw in theaters?
I think it was Captain Marvel.
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
UHHHHHH that cruise to Alaska with my mom and dad when I was just out of high school was fun. I’ve done that same cruise like five times, but that one was memorable because it was one of the few times where we went on vacation as a family.
Where do you want to go next on vacation?
Moscow. Just. Moscow. I’m pissed that I won’t be able to go down there this year. It’d also be nice to do our planned retirement trip with my mom, either to the redwoods and a Mets game in San Francisco OR a Mets game in Washington, DC plus the Baseball Hall of Fame.
What do you normally do on the weekend?
Well, normally I go on a nice, long walk around the city with my husband, but due to COVID, our access to stopping points (bathrooms, drinking fountains, malls, restaurants) is severely restricted, so we haven’t really done any super exciting walks this year. It’s disappointing. I really love our weekend walks.
Would you say you’re more of an introvert or extrovert?
Introvert, definitely. People are draining. Alone time is magic.
What’s your Myers-Briggs personality type?
I’m an INTJ!
What’s your Enneagram number?
Do you like to work out?
I love working out. It’s one of the few times I feel relatively happy anymore.
How do you feel about cooking?
Meh. Fancy shmancy recipes do nothing for me because I can’t taste like 50% of things, so cooking doesn’t really appeal to me, either.
What’s your favorite meal: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner I guess? I have food at like 4 AM, so whatever the hell that qualifies as.
What type of music do you listen to?
Do I like it? I’ll listen to it. My Decade of Music project showed me that my musical tastes span many genres.
What’s your all-time favorite song?
All-time? That’s hard. I really love Sleepyhead still, but I also really like Running Away. So I’m not sure.
Who’s the first artist or band you saw live?
Nate and I saw OK Go a few years ago.
Who’s the most recent artist or band you saw live?
OK Go. That’s the only band I’ve ever seen live.
What’s the first play or musical you ever saw?
Uh…I’m not sure, actually. I’m sure I was taken to some sort of Shakespeare or something when I was younger.
What’s the most recent play or musical you saw?
Again, not sure, haha. For a “professionally” performed play, it might have been all the way back in 2006 when I saw “Death of a Salesman” performed at the U of I.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?
I do not listen to podcasts, no.
What would be your “at bat” song?
“Reaching for Higher Ground” by TNGHT (specifically, 0:48)
Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t have any regular talents.
Do you play any sports?
Nope. I played t-ball when I was like seven, but that’s the only organized sport I ever played.
Do you play any musical instruments?
Yes! Clarinet, flute, oboe, sax, drums, tuba…others I can’t remember right now. Haha, it’s been a while since I’ve actually played.
Do you have any pet peeves?
Many. Most of them revolve around people being discourteous walkers and not paying attention to their surroundings. Seriously, how hard is it to notice that you and your group of moron friends are standing in the middle of the pathway, blocking it for everyone else?
What’s your favorite season and why?
Summer. Summer, summer, summer. I love the sun and the long, long days. The good thing about Calgary is that the summers don’t get too hot, but they get warm enough so that I don’t feel frozen all the time (like I do every other time of the year).
If your house was on fire and you could only bring out three things, what would they be?
Assuming my husband and the animals are already safe, I would select 1) my hard drive/USB (I keep both of them in the same baggie, so I’m counting the whole thing as one unit); 2) my laptop; 3) Uh…not sure.
Who are some of your favorite celebrities?
I don’t know if I really have any. I’ve always liked Tom Hanks, though.
If you could have a beer/coffee with anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be?
Gottfried Leibniz. No question. There’s not even a close second. I don’t care that we don’t speak the same language. Just let me bask in his presence.
If you could time travel to any period throughout history, what you pick?
Late 1600s (say, around 1680 or so). Again, Leibniz.
How do you take your coffee?
I don’t drink coffee.
Are you allergic to anything?
Some pollen. Pineapple. An asthma medicine. The sun (okay, it’s not a technical allergy; it’s a sensitivity to UV light that causes a wonky immune response).
Are you a morning person or an evening person?
Definitely an evening person, though I’m such an extreme evening person that I’m most awake at like 4 AM, so…morning person?
What’s your favorite holiday?
Probably Christmas, just because it usually means I’m with my mom.
How you typically celebrate your favorite holiday?
I guess sometimes I’m in the airport alone, haha, but usually at least part of the day is spent hanging out with my mom and opening a few presents.
How do you feel about social media?
Eh. I’m getting pretty sick of people on Facebook. Like, really? All you can post are memes? I have nothing against memes, but ugh, it’s the same things over and over again.
What’s your favorite animal?
Cats. I love cats. Cats and I get each other.
What’s your favorite food?
Broccoli is great. So is cheese.
What’s your go-to alcohol drink?
I don’t do alcohol.
Questions About Childhood and Teenage Years
What were you like as a kid growing up?
Weird. I was a weird kid. Once I lost that little bit of popularity after 1st grade, people really didn’t like me all that much. Not that I really cared. I was in my own little world, haha.
Did you enjoy school? Why or why not?
I was pretty indifferent to it until about 8th grade. Then I hated it.
How did you spend your summers growing up?
Screwing around, haha. I am an only child, and when I was a kid/teenager, this translated into being super obnoxious with either a tape recorder (pretending I was a radio show host) or a camcorder (making movies, songs, etc.).
What was your favorite subject in high school?
Band was always a favorite. I also took drama in 12th grade; that was a super fun class.
Who did you look up to as a child?
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be some sort of artist or writer. Until I realized I had zero talent.
When did you have your first relationship? With whom?
I didn’t have my first relationship until I was technically an adult.
Who was your first childhood crush?
Hahaha. Lead. Lead was my crush for a HUGE proportion of my childhood/adolescence. It was actually really sad.
Where do you think your parents did a good job raising you?
I do, yes.
Where do you think parents missed the mark when raising you?
My parents did a good job. I’m a terrible person despite that.
What did you love as a kid that you hate now?
I used to really like going over to friends’ houses and hanging out. I don’t really do that anymore, and whenever I have to, there’s a lot of dread.
What did you dislike as a child that you now enjoy?
I wasn’t really an outdoorsy kid, I don’t think. I love being outside and walking now.
What was your relationship like with your partners growing up?
My partners? Like…friends? I didn’t have a romantic relationship until I was 19, so let’s just consider friends.
Did you have a relationship with your grandparents growing up?
Ha. HA. Yeah, let’s not get into that, huh?
Were you close to your brothers or sisters growing up?
Are you still friends with your friends from childhood?
Any unique struggles you had to face as a teen? What were they?
My grandma was incredibly emotionally abusive to my mom and me. And we lived with her for quite a long time. That’s not something a lot of people get to deal with, I don’t think. Grandmas are supposed to be kind.
Did you hide anything or lie to your parents while growing up?
I was pretty much constantly sad and frustrated, but I tried not to show that too often. I probably didn’t do very well.
What did you call your mom and dad growing up?
Just “mom” and “dad,” mostly. I called my dad “D” when I was younger, though, and he called me “C.”
Did you ever get in trouble as a kid?
Just mild trouble. I never did anything horrible, I don’t think.
Except for robbing that bank when I was seven; long story.
What’s the dumbest thing you ever did as a kid?
Once, when I was in elementary school, my friend Kelly came over to my dad’s house and we, for whatever reason, decided to write really mean letters to him. I wrote that he was a bad dad, I didn’t love him, etc., thinking it was a funny joke to play on him. Then we gave him the letters and he, obviously, got really upset. I have no idea what ever motivated us to do that. It was stupid and really cruel, and I still feel bad for doing it. I love my dad.
What do you wish you could go back and tell the kid version of yourself?
You think you’re going to be happier when you get older. You won’t be. So just give up on thinking that, as it will save a lot of pointless daydreaming.
What was your style like as a teenager?
I had my obligatory “ALL BLACK ALL THE TIME” year, but for the majority of my teenage-hood, I wore a lot of color. Like now. Like always.
What books changed the way you thought about the world?
I can’t think of any particular book or books that I read as a kid/teen that changed the way I thought about the world, but reading in general really changed how I viewed the world from a “how would I write about this?” perspective. I’ve always liked both writing and reading, and I think from a youngish age I read books with the idea of using them to try to improve my own writing. That’s in part why I started my “200 Books” list way back in 7th grade.
Who was your favorite teacher?
In elementary school, it was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Wimer (I think that’s how her last name is spelled?). In junior high, it was my earth science teacher. Mr. LaFortune. In high school, my band teacher, Mr. Garrett.
What’s a fad from your childhood you would totally bring back?
I was going to say Pokemon, but I guess that’s kind of been brought back with Pokemon Go!, eh? What about the trading cards? Those aren’t as big now, I don’t think. OOOH, what about internet chatrooms? I guess that was more 2000s than 90s, but I was still technically a kid/teen in the early 2000s, so that totally counts.
What’s a fad from your childhood we should absolutely never bring back?
Furbies were absolute hell children. Let’s not.
What are your earliest happy memories?
Living in Troy with my mom was a happy time, I think. That was when I was in 1st/2nd grade. I got to hang out with her a lot. We had the cats and Mindy. I had a treehouse. I hung out with GE a lot. We would drive into Moscow to shop at Tidyman’s. We had an old Macintosh computer and I’d play Cosmic Osmo and Quake. I had that freaking tape recorder that I would not put down. It was fun.
What did your childhood bedroom look like?
I had SO MANY BEDROOMS, dude. We moved around a lot.
Were you more of an “indoor” or “outdoor” kid?
Questions About Family
How do you define “family?”
Pretty traditionally. People I’m related to directly or related to through marriage.
Who are you currently closest with in your family?
My mom. It’s always been my mom.
(If they have children) What do you like to do with your kids?
No kids. There will never be kids.
Do you take family vacations?
Nope. The only times we ever really went anywhere as a family (my mom, my dad, and me) were when we went to Washington, DC and when we went on that Alaska cruise.
What’s the fondest memory you have of your family?
How often do you see your family?
Currently? Never, ‘cause of this stupid virus. But I saw my mom last December and my dad came up for a brief visit last summer. I try to see my mom at least twice a year, but I see my dad a lot less frequently because he’s all the way down in Boise now.
How do you like to spend time with your family?
I think one of my favorite things we used to do was go to Mongolian BBQ on Thursday nights with my mom and dad. That was really the one time we all got to hang out and was something I always looked forward to. I miss that a lot.
How much time do you spend with your family?
Again, currently, not much at all. I love to go visit my mom in the summer and over Christmas break when I can, though.
How has your relationship with your family evolved over time?
Not too much. I’m still really close with my mom. I’m about as close to my dad as I ever have been, which is not super close but we get along.
Which TV family most resembles your own?
Ha, I have no idea. We’re decently chill – at least in the immediate family. But we’re also kinda weird, so…the Belcher’s from Bob’s Burgers?
Who in your family would you describe as a “character”?
Uncle Blake, haha.
What’s the biggest holiday in your family?
It used to be Christmas. We don’t spend any holidays together anymore.
How do you celebrate that holiday?
Christmas was GREAT. We’d spend Christmas Eve at my mom’s house with the cats/dogs and would open presents from her side of the family. Then we’d spend Christmas at my dad’s house (and drag all the cats over there, haha), open all the presents from his side of the family, and watch “A Christmas Story” all day long because it was on all Christmas day on TBS. Super fun.
What are you favorite family recipes?
“Broccoli Bake,” “German Chocolate Cake,” “Layer Cookies,” and “Scones” from my master recipe list. These are the ones I learned from my family.
Do you wish you had more siblings? If so, why?
I used to want siblings. I used to want siblings to the point where I made a life-size “sister” out of paper (she had a “functioning” digestive system and everything). But now I’m fine without siblings.
Do you have any nicknames for family members?
I call my dad “Bobert” for whatever the hell reason; I have no idea where that originated (apart from the fact that his name is Robert but he goes by Bob).
What’s the best piece of advice a family member has ever given you?
I have no idea.
Would you say you’re more like your mom or dad? Why?
I’m very much like my mom in a lot of ways. We have the same sense of humor and morals and stuff like that. But there are a few characteristics of mine that are very much like my dad.
Does your family have reunions?
How do you show your family you love them?
I call my mom almost every day. I love to go down to Moscow and visit her and just spend time with her.
How do they show you that they love you?
See above, only reverse it.
What’s something your family would be surprised to learn about you?
How angry of a person I am (and have pretty much always been). I mean, my mom may not be too surprised ‘cause I’ve tried to explain it to her, but I think still she’d be at least a little shocked at just how angry I am all the time.
How much would it matter if your family didn’t approve of your romantic partner?
I can’t see ANYONE not approving of my husband. He is an amazing human being. But back when I was dating a certain someone, I’m pretty sure my mom was wanting to say to me (or did say to me) “hey this guy is pretty toxic” to which I would have replied “lol I know but I want to prove everyone wrong and date him anyway” and well we all know how bad THOSE kinds of decisions are.
How much would it matter if your family didn’t approve of your job?
Meh. I think my mom would be cool with almost any job I had as long as I enjoyed it. I don’t know if my dad really cares.
Questions About Career and Future Goals
Are you happy with where you are in your career?
Sure. I’d like to be a bit further (tenure would be nice!), but considering where I am and the fact that I got here without getting a PhD (and especially given why I didn’t go for a PhD; you can find the reason in my blogs if you search far enough back)? I’ll take it.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I absolutely love helping students understand and feel confident with math and statistics. Especially those students who get really anxious with the subjects. I understand where those students are coming from and I feel like I can empathize with them in a way that makes them less afraid of the material. It makes me so happy to see students genuinely understand and even enjoy stats and calculus.
What do you dislike the most about your job?
Sometimes university politics play a bigger role than I think they should, but that’s probably true of any uni job.
If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?
I’d like to teach a wider variety of classes, but I suspect that’s something that could change with time. Heck, I never thought I’d be teaching intro calc, but I am, and I love it.
If you could have any job, what would it be? Why?
The one I have. Because I love teaching math and stats.
Where do you want to be 5 years from now?
In the same job, but with tenure!
Where do you want to be 15 years from now?
Where do you want to be 30 years from now?
See above (or retired, either is fine).
How would your 12-year-old self react to what you do now?
They’d be pretty shocked. I would have never thought I’d have the guts to speak in front of large crowds/classes, let alone teach while doing so. Also, I don’t think I was super excited about math in 6th/7th grade.
What’s the best career decision you’ve ever made?
Choosing U of C over Carleton University. I had a lot of trouble picking between the two in the summer of 2014, but I think I made the right choice. Who knows how things would have turned out at Carleton.
What’s the worst career decision you’ve ever made?
I don’t know if going to grad school actually counts as a career decision, but every time I’ve gone to grad school (there have been three times now, how sad), it’s been to try to get to a “career” at some point, so I’mma count it. SO, the worst decision was to go to University of Western Ontario to try to get an MA in philosophy. I was at a very bad point in my life when I made that move and I KNEW it was a bad decision, but I did it anyway. I only lasted there for a few weeks before I had to put my mom through the torture of helping me move all my stuff BACK ACROSS NORTH AMERICA AGAIN and then spending like three months unemployed and living in my dad’s basement before things started to, slowly, get better. Rough times.
How will you know when you’ve “made it?”
“Made it” as in “made it in my career of choice” or “made it” as in “accomplished my life goals?” For the career version, a high degree of job security and permanence would do it for me. This is what I’ve been working for over the past four years and the security is finally starting to increase. For the life goals version, I’ll never “make it,” so that’s that.
Have you ever had imposter syndrome?
I still do, yo. There’s no way I feel like I deserve to be in a tenure-track position.
What haven’t you achieved yet in life that you would like to?
A lot. A lot. I don’t want to go into it ‘cause I don’t feel like being even sadder than I already am tonight.
Is this where you thought you’d be in your life at your age?
Hahahaha. No. If you would have told 18-year-old me that I’d be a math/stats instructor at the University of Calgary who was working toward tenure and who absolutely loved teaching math/stats, I would have assumed you were talking to the wrong person.
Are you “real friends” with your “work friends?”
I don’t have any friends.
Do you go out for happy hour with your colleagues after work?
What does your family think of your career?
Hopefully they’re proud. I know my dad is disappointed that I didn’t ever get a PhD, but I’m teaching just like he is, so that’s got to count for something, right?
If you could do it all over again, would you pursue the same career? Why or why not?
I’d be worried about actively pursuing this career, since a lot of it came about fairly passively
What are you working towards with your career?
Right now? Tenure. Tenure is the “ultimate goal” at the moment, though of course the goal will change once (if) I get to that point.
At what age do you think you’ll want to retire?
I don’t think I’ll live that long.
What was your first job?
Wendy’s! It was actually a pretty nice gig for a part-time summer job.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I really haven’t had any bad jobs. I guess the “worst” was that cleaning job at UI, but that was mainly because it was SO DISORGANIZED and we spent like 40% of our time sitting in the van.
Any terrible boss stories?
Nope. I’ve had good bosses!
Questions About Religion and Spirituality
Where you raised religious?
Sorta. My mom isn’t religious but my dad is Catholic. I went to a Catholic elementary school. This was allowed by my mom only because they had an awesome music program, haha.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Do you consider yourself spiritual?
Do you believe in astrology?
I think it’s fun and I like to try to guess peoples’ star signs, but I don’t read my horoscope and try to live based on what it says.
What do you find most appealing about religion?
It’s probably pretty comforting. Having some sort of higher power (at least for most religions) in control of things, at least to an extent, is a comforting idea.
What do you find least appealing about religion?
How cult-ish it can get. And how hypocritical religious people can get.
What do you like most about going to church, temple, etc.?
I haven’t been to church since like 7th grade or so. The only thing I liked about it was getting the host and wine, because I thought that was fascinating.
Do you believe in a higher power?
Just the universe.
What do you think is the most fundamental aspect(s) of your religion?
What do you want others to know about your religion?
What do you think is the most unique aspect of your religion?
Do you perform any spiritual or religious rituals? If so, which ones and why?
Do you pray?
Do you believe in magic?
Not really, no.
Do you believe in ghosts?
In a way, yes.
Do you believe religion conflicts with science?
I don’t know if “conflicts” is the right word. I think religion definitely has the ability to lead people away from scientific results, discoveries, and reasoning, but there have been a lot of very good scientists who have been religious (and probably a decent amount of science-opposed people who have not been religious).
Questions About Politics
Do you enjoy discussing politics?
Not particularly, no.
Do you vote?
Do you consider yourself a political person?
Nah. I prefer to stay out of it as much as possible, though I will do my duty and vote.
Do you follow politics closely?
Not really. See above.
Which best describes your political beliefs: liberal/left, centrist, conservative/right, or something else?
I’m definitely socially liberal, but maybe more moderate fiscally.
Do you share the same political leanings as your family members?
My mom, yes. I think my dad’s a lot more conservative than I am.
Where do you get your political news?
Mostly CNN right now, though I watch CTV and they have a fair coverage of US politics, especially right now.
Questions About Death
Are you afraid of death?
Nope. I find the idea of dying exciting, actually. It’s something that can’t be avoided. It’s going to happen sooner or later no matter what. That’s…that’s really cool.
What about death scares you the most?
Nothing, really. I guess the only thing that *worries* me about death is anyone who’s left alive who is sad that I died. But that wouldn’t be very many people, so whatev.
What do you believe happens when you die?
My atoms disperse into the universe and I become part of many, many different things.
Do you believe humans have a soul?
I don’t believe in souls.
Do you think often about death?
I do, actually.
What was your first experience with death?
Probably my grandpa dying when I was in 8th grade. He had a fairly rare cancer that basically killed him within a week of us realizing that there was an issue.
If it were possible, would you want to know when and how you die?
Sure. Who cares.
If you could choose how you would die, what would it be?
I’d like to die saving someone else’s life. Like, saving someone from a car wreck or pushing someone out of the way of bus or something. I’d like my death to have some sort of meaning to it, and that’s the best meaning I could think to have.
What do you think of cryogenics?
I’m assuming this question is actually referring to cryopreservation? If so, I’m cool with it for organs and tissues and stuff, but not whole humans. Does it even work for whole humans?
Questions About Handling Difficult Situations
How do you handle stress?
How often do you find yourself stressed out?
What stresses you out the most?
A lot of things, haha. Being rushed (like not having enough time to do something or not being able to get somewhere on time easily) is a big one. I also don’t like being in big groups of people. Or situations that are too loud.
How do you engage in self-care?
I crank up the music and enter a daydream/fantasy. I have like six that I generally pick from.
How often do you engage in self-care?
In the above form of self-care? A lot, haha.
How do you like being supported when feeling overwhelmed?
I either like to be left completely alone or be allowed to rant all to hell. Depends on if I’m more sad or more angry.
How do you support your friends, family members, and partners when they’re feeling overwhelmed?
I’m not very good at that, unfortunately. But I’ll listen in case they want to talk.
What are you thoughts on seeing a therapist?
It’s not for me.
(If in therapy) what do you like most about being in therapy?
Therapy does not work for me. Trust me, I’ve tried.
What do you dislike about being in therapy?
Not in therapy.