10 Questions with a Transylvanian: Dr. George Kaufman

1. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Definitely FreeCell. I got addicted back in college and let’s just say I play it more often that I’d like to admit.

2. If you could create a new Transy mascot, what would it be?

Don’t get me wrong — I like the Pioneers and wish we would use it visibly more often — but if I were to create a new mascot, I’d choose the Thoroughbreds. Sure, there’s a tie to the horse racing that defines our part of the country, but … there are also connotations of speed, agility, spirit and power, which are all good for sports teams. Their shades of brown and black would go well with crimson. Oh, and I was born in the year of the horse, so I’m biased. Still, the lack of perfect alliteration with Transylvania bugs me.

3. What was the last song you listened to on your iPod or the last CD you put in your car’s stereo system?

“Movement in Still Life” by BT.

4. What’s the first thing you’ll do when you retire?

I tell people that I love my job enough to never retire, but I’m not that naïve. I’ll probably spend a good amount of time traveling to who knows where to visit my grandkids. I also would love to head back to the Amalfi coast of Italy — one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been — to learn from the masters how to make genuine, homemade limoncello.

5. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

The Road Runner — meep, meep!

6. In high school, were you a jock, an artsy kid, a prep, a band geek or part of some other clique?

That depends on the sports season. In the fall and winter, I was totally a preppy geeky nerd — the kind who was in charge of the chess club and could quote from “The Simpsons” or “Star Trek.” I played soccer, but I was terrible at it. In the spring, I was a nerdy jock. It was pretty fun being the fastest kid on the track team of my miniscule school, but boy did I get a wake-up call when I ran in college.

7. What is the craziest dream you have ever had?

Do you remember the statues of dogs that came to life in “Ghostbusters”? Yeah, those scared the living daylights out of me as a kid. So in my dream, they chased me up to my attic. … The strange thing was that it wasn’t the attic of my house, nor any place I’d ever been, yet I knew that attic well because I’d dreamt the exact same dream several times before.

8. What celebrity would you choose to play in a movie about your life, and what would be the most fitting title?

It would have to be Daniel Radcliff. I get people calling me Harry Potter all the time, so I might as well embrace it, right? Title? Yeah, I don’t think I’ve lived enough life to have a title yet.

9. What is your favorite Crayola color?

Torch Red. I think they renamed it or don’t make it anymore, though, because it’s not in my kids’ crayon box.

10. Answer this question: Why did the chicken cross the road? (“To get to the other side” is not an acceptable answer.)

It didn’t. The chicken was always on both sides of the road at the same time. Your looking put it on the other side of the road.


11. If you discovered a star, what would you name it?

Jammis. (Spelled from my kids’ initials. … It’s also “jam” or “iam,” Latin for “already,” and “mis,” Spanish for “mine,” … as in my kids are already mine.)

12. What piece of clothing or accessory defines your wardrobe?

My belt. I just don’t feel comfortable unless I’m wearing one, unless I’m exercising or in a pool.

13. Other than your current job, what other profession would you like to pursue?

I watched a lot of “Star Trek” as a kid, so a small part of me would love to be an astronaut, but really, who wouldn’t? I also wanted to be a paleontologist and later an archaeologist as a kid, and not a small part of me still longs to be Indiana Jones some days.

14. If you were trapped on a desert island for three weeks, what are the three things you would pick to keep with you?

Rum, rope and a sea turtle. … Oh wait, no, that’s Jack Sparrow. Umm, … is my wife a “thing”?


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