McRae Interview

Are there any good YouTube channels for learning physics? Sometimes there are great channels, but it is rare; I love minutephysics (Music written by a former HHS student) and Veritasium.

What is the value of learning physics? It teaches you how to think.

What is a physics fun fact people can use in their everyday life? Never stay outside during a lightning storm.

Favorite physics pun? A dog and a cat are stuck on a steep roof. Why does the dog slide off first?  It’s got bark, but no mu…

What topic in physics most confuses you? Electrostatics.

What are your words to live by? Be kind to others and listen.

What type of dangerous science experiment is Mr. Gunnell likely to be caught doing? Rollerblading with a fire extinguisher. 

What is a fun fact about yourself? I am terrible at karaoke.

Cats or Canadians? Canadians. 

What non-science teacher would you want to teach your class? A math or art teacher.

What class would you want to teach if you weren’t teaching science? Philosophy.

Where did you grow up? Montreal, Canada; Geneva, Switzerland; Havana, Cuba; Vienna, Austria.

Favorite song? American Tune by Simon and Garfunkel (It’s achingly beautiful).

Do you play any instruments? Yes, the guitar.

What is something most people don’t know about you? I used to be an opera singer (which makes my bad karaoke skills quite ironic).

How have you applied physics in real life? Physics is the ultimate problem solving tool; I’ve built many things thanks to physics (Like my cabin in Canada).

Favorite hobbies? Woodworking.

What is your student pet peeve? “I’m so confused.”

Best advice for seniors? You have more time than you think.

What is your biggest regret? The times I didn’t listen.

If you retired right now, what would you do? A lot more woodworking.

What is your favorite TV show? Station Eleven (Right now); The Sopranos or Curb Your Enthusiasm (All time).

What is your favorite movie? Lawrence of Arabia.

Are my little ponies effective for teaching physics? Little ponies are great for carrying small burdens 

Do you like the International Baccalaureate (IB) program? Yes, for 2 reasons. Firstly because it tries to incorporate philosophy and secondly because it tries to foster collaboration across disciplines.

If you could defy one law of physics, what would it be? Gravity.

If you are pursuing a PhD, what is the title of your thesis? I would not be a great PhD candidate; I don’t have the kind of focus. It is not how my brain works.

What’s the theme song of your life? Help! by The Beatles.

What is your guilty pleasure? Ice cream; Although why should one feel guilty for eating ice cream?

Any secret talents? Communicating with animals; I love to observe them in the wild.

What is an item on your bucket list? Visiting all the national parks during the off-season.

What is your highest bowling score? I am not a sports person.

What is your biggest quark? The top one.

Are we living in a simulation? No, and if we are, who cares?

Do you have any tattoos? Yes.

What is your go-to Starbucks order? I appreciate Starbucks for bringing about the first generation of non-crap coffee, but I get my coffee beans from a roaster in Brooklyn (Parlor Coffee) and make my own coffee.

What question do you wish we asked you? 

Q: When were you most scared? 

A: When I was ambushed by guerilla fighters in Guatemala who were using powerful slingshots as weapons.