Leve1Up
30 Berkeley, United States
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Leve1Up
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My self-summary
If you want your life to be a never-ending Malcolm Gladwell talk, I might be the guy for you. I am told I am a great story-teller, although I am basically a cross between Herman Melville and Neal Stephenson: wordy, didactic, surprisingly of informative, frequently straying from the subject to set up a questionable payoff, and often funny if you aren't hopelessly lost. Seriously, it's great.

I've been so many things that it's just best to see me as a big ball of potential energy that could be into anything. Trail-running, biking, rollerblading, ultimate frisbee, competitive and cooperative board games, trading card games, programming, calligraphy, bread-making, andvolunteering with pre-schoolers are a few things I've been into over the past few years.
What I’m doing with my life
I'm getting a Ph.D. in economics. I am never going to be a master financier, but I do know a bit about how to measure the effectiveness of interventions to help the global poor. And I'm trying to become an expert in inferring organizational priorities based on what projects they accept and what they decline.

Oh, and in a stunning lapse of time management, I started a part-time business trading magic cards online.
I’m really good at
Puzzles
Listening
Story-telling
Cuddling
The first things people usually notice about me
It changes over time. Once-upon-a-time it was my epic beard. Then my quirky rollerblades. Then my dapper hat. I think I started adopting these things to give people shortcuts to define me. But honestly, when I ask people who've known me for a while, they say it's my intensity.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
At University of Chicago, we take classics seriously, so I've got to stick up for Heradotus, Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, and all the Greeks. And I really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, Dracula, and A River Runs Through It. I can be induced to read non-fiction, but it takes a little prodding. I read sci-fi and fantasy all the time. I love Asimov, Heinlein, Verne, and Wells. I greatly enjoyed Dune, Left Hand of Darkness, and The Sparrow. Right now, I'm working through The Song of Ice and Fire series, because apparently I have too much time on my hands.

Once upon a time, I would say Unforgiven was my favorite movie. I love Westerns because they have such a sense of Americanness, partly real and partly fabricated. Unforgiven said everything there is to say about the genre. But lately I've been really into The Prince of Egypt. Great soundtrack, great storytelling, and more spiritually fulfilling than most Christian propaganda.

My tastes tend to align pretty closely with rotten tomatoes, although I'm pretty generous toward bold, or striking, or quirky movies. I'm pretty suggestible though, so make a recommendation and expect me to give you the benefit of the doubt. I'm not into horror, although maybe psychological thrillers can please me. (The original Night of the Living Dead, for example, is pretty moving.)

As for television, I actually wrote one of my college admissions essays about the Simpsons and King of the Hill. More recently, I've been watching 30 Rock, the Office, The Big Bang Theory, and catching up on Deep Space Nine on netflix.

I love Dancehall and Bluegrass. Would that there were some fusion of the two!

Food: Indian, Mexican, Italian. I eat a lot of sweets, but I'm trying to build better habits. Lately, I've been into cooking hearty soups.
The six things I could never do without
The right answer?

oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus.

The informative answer?

I drink more tea than I drink water. In fact, if there were some new amoeba found in the reservoir, and an emergency order were declared forcing us to boil all water, I wouldn't notice. Rooibos is my mainstay, because it has a mild, inoffensive flavor and no caffeine, but I like all kinds of teas.

I need cocoa to keep myself motivated. There is not much structure in my life, so the way I keep myself from wasting a day is to set goals and reward myself with cocoa for keeping them. (I find that giving myself room to fail and room to exceed my expectations is helpful, so I give myself points throughout the day, and at the end of the day I roll dice to determine the cutoff for receiving cocoa.)

I crave fantasy and science fiction. Sometimes, I want it to be good, to have some literary merit, and some days, I just want it to be plentiful. I can drink it like water or I can drink it like wine, just so long as I don't go thirsty.

My rollerblades take me everywhere. I'm not amazingly agile, but I find them so convenient, and a lot of fun. (Actually, they were much more convenient on the flatlands of Chicago than on the Berkeley hills, but they sort of define me now.)

I love my roommates, and not just my current batch. Every good story I tell begins with "a former roommate of mine..." I think that I like to spend a long time getting to know people, slowly building relationships and moving in together really helps that.

I don't know where I'd be without Jesus. I don't have the words.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
Economics, justice, and calling.
On a typical Friday night I am
At Veritas, the graduate student Christian fellowship. I think I never outgrew my undergrad habit of going to Intervarsity on Friday nights. Until recently, I was responsible for arranging these meetings, so "typical Friday night" meant "every Friday night," but now I can sneak away if something else comes up.

More generically, on a free night, I like to hang out with friends. Six is a good number. Movie, music, dinner, games, or anything of the like is great.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I was once dumped for a saxophone. In context, it was the right thing to do.
You should message me if
You want to pursue something low-key to start.
You want to meet me and my community.
You like games, running, or tea.
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