We are so thankful to all the amazing nerds that make our Great Books community wonderful. Thus, for American Thanksgiving, we are offering a special BONUS Nerd of the Month to thank all our nerds! Meet Rosy, community activist, veteran Stanford Program Assistant, sunscreen’s biggest fan, and November’s bonus Nerd of the Month!
Name: Rosy Capron
Current life status: I graduated from Wesleyan University in 2014 and am currently working at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. Recently, I committed to spending more of my time outside of work reading. I picked up some nasty habits in college, namely that of jumping to criticisms and comparisons, rather than just immersing myself in a narrative. So I’m learning to read, and I’ve started tutoring youngins at the Boys and Girls Club.
Relationship to Great Books: Stanford PA in 2014 and Lead PA in 2015!
Nerdiest attribute: I suppose it’s my tendency to relate what I’m seeing and doing to concepts in social theory. How do open source and the “sharing economy” each affect the ownership of the means of production? What would John Stuart Mill have to say about affordable housing policy? Applying knowledge to the world is basically the purpose of an education, but I’ll cite this as a “nerdy attribute,” since it makes for either fun or dreadful conversation, depending on the company.
Favorite book: The Martian Chronicles and The Bluest Eye have stuck with me for years, and I wished that The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay would never end.
Currently reading: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
Favorite word: Spooky.
Least favorite: French words and phrases used in English. My clunky Midwestern mouth can’t handle it.
Which nerd in history would you most like to have a late brunch with?: A late brunch with the author and activist Jane Jacobs, preceded by coffee with the (in)famous urban planner Robert Moses. The political drama that unfurled between them was fascinating, but I’d really just want to hear some life lessons. Jacobs was an autodidact, community organizer, and mother. Moses was a visionary, relentless in his pursuit of power. They might have a lot to say about success and social change.
Which author would you want to write your story?: Someone who’s popular but not too well respected, like Dan Brown. The book would be widely read but never accepted into the Great Books canon, to be ravaged by the critical eyes of our young scholars. It could also be turned into a film where I’m portrayed by someone famous and handsome like Helen Mirren or Shia LaBeouf. Maybe I’d have a cameo as a cashier.
Hardcover or paperback?: Paperback! Tucks into a purse more easily.
What’s the best point of view for narration?: Of course Piers Gelly asked this question. Omniscient narration makes it easy to appreciate difficult characters whose personality flaws might otherwise obscure their motives. But reading isn’t always supposed to be easy! First-person narration challenges us to crawl into other people’s heads. Haruki Murakami makes me uncomfortable because his characters are so cold and emotionally stunted and I want to run far, far away from them, not reside in their brains.