We were chatting a few weeks ago about this article in the New York Times (“To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” Jan. 9, 2015) that one of us had read about a surefire way to make someone fall in love with you. The article explained that “mutual vulnerability fosters closeness,” so by asking each other this series of 36 questions, you could create an environment that would make both partners vulnerable with each other. We didn’t exactly buy the argument, but we thought that the questions themselves were fascinating. So, we decided to ask some of our friends and several strangers some variety of these questions. Their responses are below:
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Quinn Pitcher ’15: I would have to say Frank Gehry, the architect.
Danny Seidita ’16: Picking a hot girl would be stupid, because that doesn’t mean you’ll actually have a good or interesting dinner. But also picking a really interesting person isn’t a guarantee of them telling you anything interesting. I guess a friend I haven’t seen in a long time.
Dan Kurnick ’15: Jon Stewart. I think he’s super funny and that’s kind of been his claim to fame, but I think one thing you could get a sense of from his show is that he has a lot of complex and interesting opinions on a lot of things. A lot of his time is spent cracking jokes about people he disagrees with, and I think it would be interesting to probe his own thoughts about certain things without having them be in reaction to other people.
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Seidita: Yeah, but only if I was really good at something. Nothing’s worse than when someone is famous and they suck at what they do.
Christian Hoyos ’17: Yes, for singer-songwriter-type things.
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Rashid: Who am I calling? I rehearse when I’m calling someone who helps me out with money and finance stuff. For a girl that I want to get with, sometimes when I make that decision to call, I already know what I’m going to say so I don’t even need to rehearse.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Sarah Stone ’18: Waking up, going for a long run, eating Lickety Split and other good food, taking a long nap, hanging out with friends and not having any homework to do.
Hoyos: A great round of golf in Florida and then fly down to Colombia for some good salsa dancing.
5. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Pitcher: A crime of passion. I feel as though it’s only natural that I find myself in a lover’s spat, and that I die in a tragic accident planned by my wife and her lover in order to be together. Or something similar. I dunno, it just seems like a pretty good way to go.
6. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
Ben Rosenblum ’16: Family.
Jack Bissell ’16: My family.
7. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Kelly Kung ’16: I’ve always wanted to drive a convertible across the Berkshires in the fall and I haven’t done it yet because I just got my license and I don’t have a convertible, but I guess I can rent one.
Kurnick: Being able to go and do some sort of charity work in a way that doesn’t feel like the difference lasts only as long as I’m doing it, or that it’s on such a small scale that it doesn’t feel meaningful or like I haven’t made a systemic change. The reason I haven’t done that is because as much as we can make a difference as individuals in our position now, being able to really get out into the world and making connections and then trying to do something like that would make a bigger difference. I feel like the bigger changes you make you don’t get to see the results of and some people aren’t really okay with that.
8. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Seidita: Still alive? I don’t know. Still alive, and in a pretty good position to have other significant accomplishments.
Kurnick: When I was a junior last year, I went to the Dominican Republic over spring break and while I was there I contracted dengue fever. People in the Health Center thought I was going to collapse, everyone was pretty freaked out and I ended up missing a lot of school. People didn’t assume I was going to finish the semester, but I didn’t really see that as an option, so with a lot of leeway and help from professors I managed to finish all my work. It took me a long time and I was working pretty late into the year, but without getting the best grades of my life I still made it through.
Peter McDonald ’16: I guess my greatest accomplishment was breaking four minutes in my 4IM, because before last year it’s something that I never really considered possible for me. I think what matters more in my life, though, is my relationships, but it’s hard to put those as accomplishments since they’re never really done, ya dig?
9. What do you value most in a friendship?
Julianna Kostas ’18: In a friendship, I think loyalty is the most important quality. The best of friends are always going to support your decisions and your accomplishments and failures. When life keeps throwing you curveballs, they’re always going to be by your side.
Web Farabow ’18: I value friends who are good travel companions, people who can remain pleasant and agreeable for extended periods of time.
10. What is your most treasured memory?
Kostas: My most treasured memory is of a perfect summer night, sitting in a family friend’s basement with my dad’s entire men’s softball team singing along to a Dave Matthews Band song that one of his teammates was playing on the guitar.
Farabow: My most treasured memories are summer days at the beach, where my brothers and I would go fishing and crabbing to get food for our parents to cook us for dinner.
11. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
Clyde Engle ’15: Honestly? I’d probably cry for a few days, but then I’d suck it up. I’d stay to graduate, stop worrying about work and then I’d quit my job. I’d hit the road for Hollywood to act and host a talk show. I’d also spend lots of time with family and friends, hopefully find love, and visit the pyramids in Egypt. I wouldn’t waste a second.
Kung: If I were going to die next year, I would leave school and spend all my money. I would go snorkeling, skiing, sandboarding, hiking and start a weird business.
12. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
Seidita: Absolutely not answering that. I feel like I’m in that scene in Mean Girls when they’re all trying to confess to each other.
13. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
Stone: …. really good back massages. And maybe they would scratch my scalp …
14. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
Celeste Pepitone-Nahas ’17: I don’t know. I haven’t cried very much lately. Probably when I got to Goodrich and they had already taken the coffee away.
15. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Hannah Levin ’16: Sexual assault isn’t funny. It’s affected the lives of so many people in our community – you never know the experiences of the people in the room, and jokes have to respect that.
16. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
Alice Rossignol ’15: Pictures. Definitely the pictures. Most of that stuff isn’t digitized and especially with my brand of childhood and moving around all the time, we didn’t have a set home. So pictures and each other are more or less what piece that thread together and make sure there’s still somewhat of an anchor, however much it may be mobile.
Sofia Benares ’16: To be honest, probably my laptop.
Rohan Bhatt ’15: Probably my laptop. That has everything on it. Photos, phone backup, all my documents. And it’s expensive.