One of the best things about doing this job is interviewing our ASH students. Glimpsing into the person, behind the wrapping of student and major sometimes reveals unexpected things! I got to know Alex and Jason little bit during our last Student Spotlight. They are two engineering majors from Georgia Tech, best friends, and all around great people. On first meeting they appear studious, quiet, low-key, and earnest. But, ah ha! Our not-so serious queries expose their not-so-serious sides! But don’t get me wrong. Alex and Jason are thoughtful, kind, and exceptional young people who are headed for success.
Do you want to live to be 100?
Alex: I want to live to be 150 and set the record for the oldest person. And I’d be older than a sea turtle.
Jason: I want to live to be at least 107, and then I would have lived in 3 different centuries.
What are you doing when you feel most alive?
Jason: Hiking along ridges with steep drop offs. I’m actually afraid of heights, but I can’t resist these kinds of hikes.
Alex: Jumping off something. I did the rock jump at Waimea Bay. I felt so alive, but at the same time I thought I might die. Oh, and Christmas also make me feel alive!
Editor’s note: Jason adds, “Alex gets really giggly at Christmas time.”
What is one thing that makes you different?
Alex: My extreme passion for Christmas. And Dogs. I love Christmas time and Santas, and I can’t wait to get a puppy. I want all puppies, but I really want a Golden Retriever.
(Jason adds, “Everywhere we go Alex will point out the dogs.”) Alex continues: And I have the most eclectic play list for workouts: everything from classical sonatas to rap, country, show tunes, and on and on.
Jason: I’m probably the only guy to graduate from Georgia Tech who has taken a hula class. By the way, my hula class end-of-semester performance is December 6 at 4 pm.
If you were stranded on a lonely beach, what are the five things that you would want to have with you?
I have to decide whether I want to be practical or fun. Ok, here’s my list: A fully prepared plane on a runway ready to leave whenever necessary, a sand castle kit like kids get before going to the beach, a snorkel set, sun block, and an endless supply of pb&js.
Jason: fishing hooks, a snorkel set, a hammock, a water pump that desalinates the water. And a kite.
Which pop music stars fascinate you?
Alex: Hmm. Maybe that singer who wore the meat dress. Lady Gaga! Her creativity is certainly fascinating. I don’t listen to a ton of pop music… Oh no, I’m getting old!
Jason: I wish I listened to pop music. I seem to like female artists.
Editor’s note: Alex adds, “We’ve decided he has the music taste of a mid-20s woman.”
If you were to get a permanent tattoo done, what would it be?
Alex: A shark on my ankle or foot. And if someone ever saved my life, they could tattoo anything they wanted anywhere.
Jason: Something artsy or Pacific Northwest tribal on my thigh.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Jason: July, August, September, October, November. The first letters spell out JASON.
Alex: Let’s go with “A Lifetime of Adventure on the Pale Blue Dot.” I hope to explore as much as possible of our tiny planet in my lifetime, but it blows my mind to think that despite all there is to see on earth, we’re just a dot compared to the whole universe. Astronomy is a little interest of mine that keeps everything in perspective – and makes it all the more amazing!
If you could have lunch with any three people (real or fictitious/from any time period/dead or alive), which three people would you choose and why?
Alex: Morgan Freeman, Bill Nye, and Einstein. I choose these three because they could explain everything, put into a TV show format, and voice it over with the voice of God.
Jason: Dr. Seuss, the subject of one of my high school book reports. I told my teacher I was going to do a report on Theodore Geisel, the real name of Dr. Seuss, and he said, “Ok, fine.” And then when I did the presentation and he found out it was really Dr. Seuss, he was not very happy! I’d also invite Alton Brown, the “Good Eats” chef who talks about the science of cooking. For the third person, I pick Julius Caesar because it would be cool to meet him.
With what technology would you write a love letter?
Alex: A quill pen
If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
Jason: If I want to be practical I’d choose an unlimited storage of gold bars. If I want to be fun, I’d choose frozen yogurt, marshmallows, or some other tasty treat.
Alex: Shave ice with mochi ice cream!
Tell us something you love doing.
Jason: Cooking and back packing.
Alex: Anything to do with exploring nature. I’m fascinated with natural life. I even like confined nature like zoos and aquariums.
Jason adds, “We’ve seen the zoos and aquariums of every city we’ve visited together.”
Share one truth and one lie about your personality and let us guess which is what.
Alex: I’m terrified of bugs and snakes – if it’s cute, it’s fine; if it’s creepy, NOPE. I’m incredibly impatient and hate waiting.
Jason: I’m very talkative. I think I’m hilarious, and all my jokes are on point.
What have you enjoyed doing in Hawai‘i so far?
Alex: Scuba diving and snorkeling. I joined a scuba club in town. I’ve also enjoyed hiking, sailing, walking and exploring, and trying new foods.
Jason: I’ve enjoyed snorkeling with sea turtles, getting my scuba certification, hiking, especially to waterfalls, and star gazing at the North Shore.
Alex: Oh yes, the star gazing was great. I saw the Milky Way for the first time.
What advice would you give to a new ASH student?
Alex: Visit other islands. Don’t be afraid to take the bus; it may take a while sometimes, but use the time to study, and then spend the money you saved renting a car on things like mochi and shave ice!
Jason: Make a list of things to do and start the first weekend you’re here. The time goes fast!