Thursday, December 18, 2008

interview meme

I have been actually interviewed twice in my life. I like the idea of being interviewed, so when No Celery Please posted an interview meme, offering to ask questions of anyone who requests it in comments, I had to beg to be interviewed. Here are No Celery's questions and my replies:

Question #1:
Who was the first philospher you read that made you think... "hmmm, this is great! I want to do this for a living!"?

There are two, in two separate events, so I'm gonna pick the one that started me thinking I would enjoy teaching philosophy for a living. That'd be Karl Marx. I was turned on by the section of the 1844 manuscripts on alienated labor, where Marx defines human life in terms of working to produce the world we live in, and the main problem of labor under capitalism being that that work is taken away, divided up, and its worldliness corrupted. I still enjoy that bit of Marx's stuff.

Question #2:
You are having a dinner party at which you are going to present a 12 course meal. Money and FDA food import laws are not a restriction... what are you making?

Okay, this is really very complicated. I spent close to 10 hours figuring out the courses of my last big feed, and that was only 10 courses. The courses have to fit, they have to be at least somewhat seasonal, and they have to allow for a lot of improv. I'm grading finals. So I'll mention some things I'd definitely want to do as thematic elements to build the whole dinner around.

Caviar amuse, for sure, probably in some kind of creme fraiche sort of application, with chives.

Foie gras, which is now basically illegal to possess or consume in California. I had thought a beef Wellington entrée would fit the bill. But foie gras in some other context would also work.

Without doubt, a truffled potato dish, most likely a gratin with potatoes and truffles, seasoned and flavored delicately enough to bring out the truffles in their full glory.

I am fairly certain some kind of vegetable orgy would be one of the dishes. And a croquette of some sort.

Question #3:
If you could suddenly and effortlessly acquire one skill you currently do not have... what would it be?

I'll go with my first thought here: singing.

Question #4:
If you could be offered a position at any university in the world (tenured, of course) - where would you go? Or would you go?

Either San Francisco State University or CSU Long Beach. I want to remain a member of my union, and I want to remain in California.

Question #5:
What one ingredient can you absolutely not live without in your ktichen (OK, not literally - but, ya know).

Aside from mundane things everybody is likely to have? (Salt, pepper, etc.?) Nutmeg. Whole nutmeg, and my little nutmeg grater.

So, the drill, gentle readers, all 3 of you, is to request to be interviewed in the comments. Then I ask you the questions, and the tables will turn! Hah!


Bobo the Wandering Pallbearer said...

I would ask, but I loathe to think what kind of questions you might ask me. (In addition to which, I sincerely doubt there's anything about me you don't already know.)

laura said...


Doc Nagel said...

What?! Wouldn't I ask the benignest, nicest questions?