What brought you to Shimer?
Before I came to Shimer I was a full time chef and restaurant consultant. I hated that. A combination of things brought me here. All of my friends were Shimer alums. I enjoyed talking to them, and I liked reading. I wanted to go to an academically rigorous school. I’m a person who probably would have climbed Everest, if I could have tolerated the cold.
What's your major?
I am concentrating in the social sciences or in natural sciences. I plan to write books about my scientific theories. I will probably have to drudge through academia so I have the time and money to do that. Mostly I plan to be happy. I don’t really make plans anymore.'
Thus far what have your favorite and least favorite texts at Shimer been?
So far Durkheim’s Suicide. It’s complicated. I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, but I’m enchanted by his method. I love complicated questions, like why do humans do this thing, and then answering it with math. Least favorite is much more difficult. I approach most of the works at Shimer for what they can tell me, even if I radically disagree with what the person is saying. I learn much more from radically opposing opinion. Hobbes and Rousseau tie for the ones I thought were most stupid.
How about favorite and least favorite courses?
Another really difficult question. Well, my least favorite was Hum 2. I’ve been really lucky. I’ve loved all the social sciences and natural sciences I’ve taken. Hum 2 has been the only humanities class I’ve taken and I couldn’t stand that.
What would you say are the pros and cons of Shimer outside the classroom?
Shimer outside of the classroom: pros would definitely be that there is always someone interesting to talk to. The con would be that interesting person can be irritating. It’s a very tight social community, and having grown up in a small agricultural community that can aggravating. Everybody knows everybody’s business, but you always help your neighbors.