A year ago, my family and I moved home to New Zealand after 15 years in the United States. We'd left New Zealand with suitcases, but returned with a 40-foot shipping container.
A year later we are just getting to the bottom of the last of the boxes, where I discovered a 2001 copy of Pulp -- a glossy New Zealand "fashion and lifestyle" magazine -- with me in it. I'd forgotten that I had been profiled for their "cleverf!*ker" [sic] column, a regular feature about people with unusual jobs in exotic locations. At the time, I was a cosmologist living in Manhattan, so I ticked both boxes.
Looking at my answers, I see uncertainty about the future. Not surprising -- I was a post-doc, about to tackle the notorious academic job market. I gave some flippant advice, "Start by getting a PhD". Well, it's good advice, since you can't get a post-doc without being a doc first, but you don't start with a PhD. I would do a better job of that question today. And I think I dealt gamely with the questions there to establish the magazine's own bona fides and to absolve it of the sin of seriousness ("chocolate or strawberries?").
From where I sit now though, the best part of the article is the sidebar. They asked me to explain briefly what I do for a living:
Still working on this. Luckily it has only gotten more interesting. They also asked me where I saw myself in 2010:
And here I am.
[Click to see the article]