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Nerd of the Month: October 2015

Written by Great Books on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nerd of the Month: October 2015

Meet Mercedes, Amherst College tour guide, music enthusiast, fairy-winged Program Assistant, and our Nerd of the Month for October!

Name: Mercedes MacAlpine

Relationship to Great Books: I was a Program Assistant at Amherst College for the first time this past summer!

Where are you going to school?:  I’m currently a senior at Amherst College—time flies! My favorite classes right now are art history and black studies; I love looking at work and allowing all the background and analysis to create a larger picture, and I love how black studies fuses all sorts of disciplines to make sense of identities and society.

What are you doing right now?: Aside from cheerleading (which I love!) I’m really involved in committees and councils which is my way of giving back and helping make the community I’m a part of a better place. I’m currently planning a pep rally for my school’s Homecoming that I’m really excited about; it’s a lot of work, but it’s looking like a good time.

Nerdy fun fact : Every year I marathon the Lord of the Rings trilogy and read through an anthology I have, tracing the multiple journeys on maps of Middle Earth, translating some phrases here and there, and surmising why Peter Jackson’s vision differs from J.R.R. Tolkein’s.


Nerdiest attribute: I would have to say that I write essays, critical ones, for the fun of it, as well as doing research. I’ve analyzed all sorts of things from parties to lyrics in a Drake song.

Favorite book: It changes all the time; right now it’s The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

Currently reading: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Which nerd in history would you most like to have a late brunch with?: I would love to hang out with Alexander Hamilton; he just seems like such a brilliant mind.

Which author would you want to write your story?: I want to say Toni Morrison, but I don’t think I’m profound enough to have merited that honor…yet.

Who would win in a fight? Dumbledore’s Army vs. the Avengers: The Avengers. Magic is great, but it’s so much easier to have superpowers. Without a wand you’re really up a creek with no paddle.

Do you prefer hardcover books or paperback, and why?: Paperback! The wear and tear is less catastrophic, besides, it’s easier to tuck away for a long trip.

What question would you like to ask the next Nerd of the Month?: What ending to a novel would you re-write if you could?

Category : Nerd of the Month

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