On June 19th, 2019, The New York Times published an article titled “18 Questions. 21 Democrats. Here’s What They Said.” The team of journalists asked 21 of the Democratic Presidential candidates 18 questions - some serious ("Do you think it's possible for the next President to stop climate change?") and some more personal ("What do you do to relax?") - in an attempt to familiarize voters with their temperaments as well as their campaign platforms. Amid a list of campaign-related questions, one stood out as being different. It asked the candidates what their comfort foods were (more eccentric answers include "veggies on the go", "small bowls of mints" and "I have no comfort food").
All this is to say that I sent out a Google Form asking the SUA faculty, who are arguably some of the most respected people in my life, to take some time out of their busy schedules and answer some somewhat ridiculous, extremely non-academic questions.
The very first question I asked was the one that inspired the survey itself:
“What is your comfort food?”
“What were you scared of as a child?”
Dr. Whitfield was afraid of his neighbor’s pool cleaning robot!
The Wicked Witch of the West particularly frightened Mr. Fleming.
Ms. Schroeder said that she was spooked by ghosts.
Mr. Porter’s bedroom door had a pattern in the wood that looked like a horned demon that was constantly watching him. He eventually hung a poster over it.
“What is your favorite ice cream flavor?”
“What is the most memorable thing that has happened during your time at SUA?”
Sister Eileen responded that helping establish Bulldog Buddies was important to her!
For Ms. Lea, her freshman year as an SUA student involved some mischief - notably moving all of the desks from her English classroom outside as a prank.
Ms. Mollaun said that Cincinnati Reds players filmed a commercial in the white building that used to be next to the East Wing when she was a student.
Ms. Elsbrock remembers how ridiculous it was when the Service Learning girls came back to school with a huge box of bananas!
Ms. Woodall recalled losing a class of freshmen during a fire drill (Quote: “that was bad!”).
Mr. Hittle noted that Josie Ruther, '22 rescuing her sophomore lit class from a wasp was definitely unforgettable.
Ms. Minnelli, on the other hand, has no fear in these situations - she said it’s really funny when her students are freaking out over a spider and she calmly squishes it!
“What’s your guilty pleasure movie?”
The Princess Diaries (Ms. Hines)
Harry Potter (Ms. Utecht)
Bring it On (Ms. Hinkel)
The Princess Bride (Ms. Kemper)
Anything by Nicholas Sparks (Ms. Adamson).
“If you had to dye your hair any color, what color would you choose?”
Ms. Caito would dye her hair blue!
Ms. Cahill had pink hair in high school and she said she would be willing to go pink
Mr. Fleming wrote, “Blue and gold (go Irish!)”.
Mr. Porter said he would dye it any color because he’s grateful to have hair.
Mr. Tonnis replied that he dyed his hair brown once with temporary dye for a Halloween costume in college. It freaked him out and he would never consider dying it again.
“What’s your least favorite teen trend?”
Popular answers included selfies, Crocs, and saying “sksksksk.”
Seven teachers gave vaping or Juuling as their answer.
“Who would play you in a movie of your life?”
Ms. Probst would play herself!
Mr. Moran would want Steve Carell to play him.
Ms. Nordmeyer thinks Aubrey Plaza would do a great job portraying her!
“What’s your go-to karaoke song?”
Ms. Utecht rocks out to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"!
Ms. Cahill prefers “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper.
“What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye is Mr. Simcoe’s song of choice!
“What’s your favorite dance move?”
Mr. Maliborski’s move of choice is the "stand around and look like I am enjoying dancing" dance move.
Dr. Whitfield simply said, “Why dance when you could be ice skating?”
Ms. Nordmeyer said that she used to be able to do the worm!
Ms. Ewart responded that anything choreographed by Dee Ann Bryll is her go-to. Spoken like a true theatre kid!
“What’s your Starbucks order?”
Ms. Kramer likes to cool down by drinking an iced tea with lemonade.
Mr. Strubbe doesn’t go to Starbucks at all, preferring instead the Lookout Joe’s Observatory blend.
And without further ado, my personal favorites:
Mr. Moran’s superpower of choice would be the power to telekinetically move students’ lanyards from their backpacks to around their necks.
If you were eager to hear Ms. Probst’s least favorite color, you may come away with more curiosity than before. The design teacher wrote, “No such thing, it’s all relative!”.
For a memorable moment at SUA, the answer that came to mind for Ms. Gilb was her students bringing in gifts for her son last year (shoutout to everyone in my Bell D Old and New Testaments class!)
And, sadly enough, my least favorite answer is Mr. Strubbe’s childhood fear - army ants. I didn’t expect to have a least favorite answer and there’s nothing wrong with this one, but I was intrigued and I watched a video. Like Icarus, arms outstretched towards a cold and unforgiving sun, my hubris has been my downfall. Army ants are terrifying. Fun fact: all the ants weigh as much as humanity. That’s so many ants! How are there that many ants???
I apologize to Mr. Strubbe. I doubted him and I will not make that mistake again. But I apologize especially to everyone reading this because I have lied to you. There were, in fact, not 20 questions asked of the faculty. Although 15 questions were included in this article (cut questions include “Who is your favorite Disney princess?” and “What was your favorite band when you were a teenager?”), one question, my personal favorite, was left out. My final query was “What’s something you’ve always wanted your students to know?” This question seems simple, but there’s a catch - this one was anonymous. I wish I could share the results, but I’ve already overstayed my welcome by about three pages. However! This information will be revealed in an epic conclusion, an article more ambitious than Avengers: Endgame, a grand continuation of the saga which will be available in a future issue of The Light!