Last year around this time I wrote a post answering the questions to the 2011 YouTube survey, and the next edition of it just came out. And because it lends itself easily to lazy blogging, I figured I might as well do it. So here. Learn yourself some.
1)Why are you called that?
My parents knew my name had to start with an "S" because my sister's name started with "R" like my dad, and my mom, whose name starts with "S" needed a child with an alliterative name as well. I was nearly called "Samantha" but my dad's brother's name is "Sam," and he thought that was too close. I remember being little and hearing that story and feeling disappointed, because Samantha is the name of the turn-of-the-century American Girl. I thought it would have been awesome to share her name.
I don't know a lot about my last name, except it's Welsh, people commonly mistake it for the name of a mythical creature, and the crest for it is the ugliest thing you've ever seen in your life. I just tried to find it online, but the ones that show up in Google are so much nicer than the ones my family had printed on sweatshirts my sister and I wore out in public when we were little.
2)Tell us about your favorite schoolteacher
I had quite a few really good teachers, so picking just one is difficult. I'd probably go with my Sophomore AP US History teacher, who I also student aided for during my Senior year. Considering I took her class six years ago, I don't remember a lot of details from the course, but I do recall really enjoying it, even though the expectations and standards were higher than I had been used to.
What really stood out to me was this teacher's obvious concern for her students' success. I remember one day my Senior year, I was helping her organize checks students had turned in for AP tests (she was also the head of the entire AP program). I was noticing how some of my classmates' families had made out checks for 200 to 300 dollars because they were taking a handful, maybe more, AP tests. I wasn't feeling too great about myself, because my family had been going through some fiscal hard times and couldn't have easily afforded those exams even if I had the mental capacity to get through those classes (spoiler alert: I didn't). She was telling me how flawed the system was, in charging students and families so much for wanting to achieve higher levels of ability. And she said something along the lines of, "And then there's students like you, who maybe can't afford it but absolutely should have the opportunity to take them. I mean, I would pay YOU to take these tests."
That just meant the world to me.
3)What's the strangest food you've ever eaten?
My dad tried to get me to take a bite of his Buffalo Burger when we were traveling through South Dakota. It was a very weird experience, because we had just seen some bison as we were driving through the area, and had stopped to admire them. It was a case of, "Here's this beautiful, adorable, nearly extinct animal. Isn't it great? HERE, EAT IT NOW." No, thanks. I'll pass.
I tend to not eat strange foods, but my standards for food quality are not as high as other people's. This was especially apparent in London, when I was in charge of buying my own groceries. To save money, I would buy the cheapest products, which usually came in cans. Canned rice pudding and macaroni and cheese were my favorites, and both completely grossed out my friends. But I stand by my decisions. My average weekly grocery bill was 8 pounds, which is like 12-3 dollars. I consider that a win.
4)Tell us about your first gig
I went to my first real concert when I was in high school, when I went with some friends to see Hawk Nelson, a still fairly obscure Christian Rock band in some random auditorium of a small college in Minneapolis. Or Saint Paul. They're both the same, it doesn't even matter. Everyone wore the tour shirt that was included with the price of admission, which is still one of my favorite shirts. For some reason, the picture on the back of it is a monster's face, which really freaked out a few of my friends, so I took vengeful joy in wearing it when I sat in front of them in German class. Nothing quite like those unblinking eyes staring into your soul when you're trying to conjugate verbs. The first opening act of the gig played the Hannah Montana theme song and I shared a *moment* with a guitarist from Run Kid Run (the other opening act) when I waved to him in the lobby afterward and he waved back- with a look of utter confusion on his face. It was awesome.
5)What is your favorite place in the world?
The obvious (and, frankly, vague) answer to this is "London." The city has great sandwiches on every corner, well-dressed guys, fascinating history, accents, and so many flags. That's literally all I want from life.
I mean, I also have friends there. But they're totally secondary to food and flags.