Underwear outdoors – Basement Medicine
Jae Basiliere is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at NVU-Johnson. Their job is to help professors develop their teaching skills and work to improve student support for students. When they can find free time, they often work on campus diversity initiatives.
If you were pizza, what kind of pizza would you be and why?
I’d be a bacon, pineapple, and green pepper pizza. I like to think I’m like 30 percent classic, 30 percent things most people would like about pizza, and 30 percent kind of controversy and divisive.
Is a PopTart a Calzone?
No I think I would die on the hill as calzones are by definition tasty.
What is the thing that excites you the most?
Make the world a less harsh place than it is now. I feel like that’s what really underlies all of the choices I make in my professional and personal life.
What’s the worst thing someone has ever said about you?
The hardest thing I’ve ever been told to my face is when I was writing my thesis, one of my mentors made a comment, 45 pages in a chapter, that I got so well wrote, that it almost masked the fact that I was not making an argument. It remains the most vicious compliment I have ever received.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I am, as a rule, quite open about my guilty pleasures and somehow also resistant to the idea of guilty pleasures. I think my most secret guilty pleasure is being a huge fan of professional football. I recognize all the very complicated social and cultural things around the NFL and football as a cultural icon, but I also really enjoy watching football.
If you were a superhero, would you wear your underpants indoors or out?
Absolutely outside. Yeah, you gotta do something to call attention to your superpower. If you only wear your underwear normally, how will people know you are special?
What three things would you bring to a desert island?
I would bring a hammock, a knife and a fire starter. People who bring SpaghettiOs and a TV won’t make it through the week.
Have you ever had a celebrity crush as a teenager and if so, who?
I feel like I had a hundred, but the most notable for me, and the most ridiculous, was when I wasn’t quite a teenager. I was probably a teenager, but I was obsessed with Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Devon Sawa, and then much later in my life I understood that they were coded as female to me, so they felt like boys for which I might have a crush on. I also went through a very embarrassing and prolonged Hansen phase as a teenager for a similar reason.
What is your most precious possession?
My most precious possession is a plush white snow leopard named Spots that I have had since I was five years old.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
The only thing I can’t live without is absolutely coffee.
What is your ideal Sunday?
So, my ideal Sunday, I sleep. I drink coffee and look at the mountains. If it’s fall, I watch football in the afternoon. Then I spend my evening playing board games and go to bed a bit early because I’m old and lame.
Who is your big pet peeve?
Oh darn. I have a list. I think the one that makes me stand out the most is the people cracking ice cubes. Strangely, dogs crunching ice cream? Adorable. People cracking ice make me want to scratch my eyes.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When I was in my masters program, one of my counselors told me that the day she stopped being a little nervous on the first day of class was the day she was going to stop teaching. Because, for her, that would mean that she was no longer invested in it. Guess it wasn’t presented as advice, but I removed it as advice. And this is something that I use.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The worst advice I’ve ever been given, I think, is to hold on in a job where I was really unhappy.
What would you like to write on your gravestone?
I would like a limerick on my gravestone. I’m not sure yet exactly what that would say, but I do know that it would probably be quite inappropriate. But, yeah, I just want a dirty limerick written on my gravestone.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve learned in your studies?
Full disclosure. My PhD is in Diversity Studies and I am majoring in Human Sexuality. So I learned a lot of very strange things. But I think one of the strangest things is that there is a really expansive genre of French silent porn movies from the late 18th century, early 1800s, and early 1900s taking place in Catholic schools. It’s like hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of videos in the archive. It’s just very specific, very specialized.
What is a new habit or skill that you have learned in the past year in quarantine that you are happy with?
I have, strangely enough, found a better work / life balance during my 40s. It’s something I’m most proud of because it’s not something I’ve had in the past, and it’s something that I would like to keep pushing forward.
Is there a lingering quarantine habit you’ve taken that you wish it never happened? Well, I wish I had never learned how awesome the sweatpants work was. Now it’s gone, and it can’t come back. I only liked to look presentable from the shoulders
If you’re having a bad day, what’s the first thing you do when you get home?
Scratching my dog is always a good thing.
What brought you to Johnson?
I was looking for a career change, and I had always assumed that when working in higher education, people often couldn’t choose where to work and where to live. So, I was trying to make this career change, and I was also trying to come back here because it’s my home. When I saw this job posting in the kind of field I wanted to go to, in Johnson, VT, I knew it, so I just jumped into this app to make it work and it worked.
What do you think is the thing everyone should do if they could?
Fail catastrophically and publicly. It’s a good learning experience. I think it’s important to learn that it’s not the end of life like many of us think it is.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The practical part of me wants to choose something that could support life indefinitely, but it’s too boring. I think it would be corn on the cob. I like it very much and would be sad if I could never eat it again.
If you could change one thing in the way the world works, what would you change?
I would make a basic amount of humanity a prerequisite for being in charge. I don’t need everyone in charge to agree with me ideologically, but I need everyone in charge to be human and have human compassion.
If you were in a band, what would you call the band and what genre would you play?
If I had a band, I would definitely have an angry feminist punk band, and I think we’d have a pretty cheesy name that sounds deeper than it is. A name like Les Invisibles.
If you could sit down with five people from the story, all at the same time, who would you choose?
So the five people in the story, I’m sad to say, are all academics, and I chose them both because I think their ideas are interesting, and because I think it would be fun to put them in the same space and watch them fight. So the people I would choose would be Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, whose ideas are terrible but interesting, and… Oh my God. I had a whole list and forgot them. Okay, the list is gone, and I might not be able to finish it.
It’s OK. We have two, and that’s all good.