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I wake up to my phone, begging for my attention. While sifting through 17 missed calls and 12 unread text messages, I figure the head editor was really expecting me to finish that article yesterday. I hear a honking horn from outside. One rushed morning ritual later, I’m sitting in the car next to my interviewing partner bojangles.
They said you had the envelope with the details of the person we’re interviewing.
Yeah, I never bothered opening it until now. Let me get to that.
I open it up, and see a picture that perfectly matches the person sitting next to me in the driver's seat.
Well, that explains the lack of a plane ticket.
Can we continue this conversation over some breakfast?
We drive to the nearest café and make a formal start to make it look like this was a well-prepared and serious interview. I don’t expect this to succeed.
Hi bojangles, thanks for letting me interview you! If you could start us off by telling everyone a little bit about yourself, the man hiding behind the illustrious nickname?
Well, the tables have turned (even though I've only interviewed with you twice)! I guess the best place to start is that I'm pretty much a "normal Pokémaster."
I'm a 17-year old freshman in college in the wonderful city of New York. So other hobbies include Magic and strategy games. Getting away from nerdy things, I fence recreationally and love hanging out with all my great friends and doing all the crazy stuff that goes along with that.
A common misconception is that my name, "bojangles," is a spin-off of the fried chicken place in the southern areas of America. I never have and never will live in the south, and I've definitely never been to Bojangles the restaurant. It was just a goofy name my friends and I made up back years ago.
So basically your average Pokémaster...I miss the days where I was a unique talent recognized by Professor Oak. Do you still frequently play Pokemon in some shape or form?
Funny you should ask. When I took my leave of absence, it was right around the time BW was coming out. Therefore I never established much of a foothold in the new metagame. I've just picked up BW Ubers again and I'm testing random teams and styles, so don't laugh at me if you see me and crush me on the ladders.
However, I've always fancied myself very good at analyzing the metagames rather than necessarily playing them, and this was definitely true during my prime in 4th Gen Ubers. I'm making a comeback though!
A comeback by Pokémaster bojangles... I look forward to it. So if analyzing the metagame is your thing, what do you generally do around Smogon? What are your "jobs", so to speak?
Well, I would divide my jobs into twofold: Ubers and Grammar.
I prepare for a long story by taking a large bite off my sandwich.
My first moderator position was in Stark Ubers, because the newly established subforum was in danger of being washed out by all the mediocre posters that had descended upon the scene. Theorymon, Jibaku, and I were pretty running the tier from #ubers on IRC before that subforum opened up anyway, so I was sort of the natural choice as those two already modded there.
Concurrently, I was establishing myself as one of the more prolific grammar checkers in C&C at the time, and Jimbo offered me a position here at The Smog as head grammar checker. I was flattered and jumped aboard the team. The C&C moderator position was sort of a culmination of the two. Because I like analyzing the metagame and have what I consider to be an excellent grasp of the English language, being a moderator seemed to fit. Later, along with whistle, I established the Grammar-Prose group, so I was technically the king of all grammar on the site at one point.
King of all that is grammatical, how mighty. Does that excellent grasp of the English language come from anywhere in particular, or do you just have an affinity for it?
I like to think of myself as pretty intelligent, and while that definitely helps, a fair amount can be traced back to this one class I took called Techniques of Writing. It really helped me with the more subtle nuances of grammar. I sort of make it my business to use this to appear educated and bright. People also take my suggestions so that's cool too.
Was this class part of your current college direction? What do you actually do there, and what do you hope to come out of it in the future?
Haha, actually this class was in the early days of High School.
Good thing I asked...
I'm currently just a lowly first-year at Columbia University, but my sights are set on neuroscience and maybe medical school, but who knows. I also like theoretical physics and economics, but unfortunately with the job market the way it is, I might be pushed in a certain direction. I do take a course cryptically named "University Writing," though, so I guess my skills are being put to use.
What did you want to become when you were a kid?
I've always been fascinated by science and math, so my interests have always been in those areas. Moving past the time in my life whenever every kid wanted to be a firefighter or some variation on that, I actually thought my calling would be architecture. Granted this was when I was like 10, so take that with a grain of salt.
Nah, that was actually exactly what I was asking for, heh.
As I took more biology courses, it seemed most interesting to me, so that's where I'm at now.
So about those "other hobbies" like Magic and fencing, how much time do you spend on those? Are you competitive about them, or are they "just hobbies"? Perhaps a mix of both?
I was actually the fencing captain for my High School team, but don't let that confuse you; I was pretty average and appointed mainly because a lot of people liked me. I picked up Magic again recently and have gotten to be quite good at it, but not in a very competitive sense. I'm not going to tournaments or anything, but I think some of the Magic players on Smogon are coming to fear some of my decks.
I see. I'm going to wrap this one up with the most significant question of them all...What is your favourite Pokemon?
Hmm. I'll give a two part answer on this one. Competitively, my favorite Pokémon was either Rayquaza or Kyogre. Rayquaza can just do so many fun things that he's a serious consideration for any team. Kyogre is great too because he's so powerful that there's a serious "oh Jesus" moment whenever he switches in on full health.
Otherwise though, Cyndaquil is clearly the best Pokémon. I mean seriously, he's just so adorable!
I agree, Cyndaquil is a top tier Pokemon. I'm not sure why you even mentioned the other two...
Alright, that's all I had to ask. Thanks for having the time for this on such a short notice!
No problem! Happy to be on the list of Smogoners worthy to be interviewed.
After finishing, I give the waitress a generous tip. We agree to attempt to get the breakfast bill refunded by the Smog budget, and head on home. One of us to write the article, and the other possibly to check the grammar.
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