UBC Insiders On Air podcast and the companion blog by Maayan Kreitzman and Neal Yonson offer campus news through critical reporting. Last week I was asked onto the podcast to talk about the Tim Horton’s line up camera at the Okanagan campus, some of the newly released biz about the search for a new President, and some other serious stuff. In return, Maayan and Neal agreed to answer some less hard-hitting questions for HCUBC. Read on to learn more about what serious reporters do in their spare time, which one of these hosts is seeking the Jew of their dreams, and how they got to where they are today!
Photo by Will McDonald
How did you get involved in UBC Insiders?
Maayan: I ran the blog for a couple years as an undergrad at UBC in 2007-8. I was recruited by the founders of UBC Insiders, Gina Eom and Tim Louman Gardiner, after a failed run for a position on the Science Undergraduate Society. They saw my campaign blog and liked it. When I came back to UBC for a PhD I connected with Neal, who had taken over the site years before (but whom I’d never met as an undergrad).
Neal: I have been a UBC Insiders reader since it launched in 2007. I got involved with the AMS in 2008 which resulted in writing a few guest posts for the blog. By 2009, I was writing and editing for the site regularly. In 2015 Maayan asked if I wanted to start a radio show and we were in the studio recording just a few weeks later.
What’s the best part of CiTR?
M: The virtually free studio space and feeling superficially connected to cool indie music folks. Sure, they barely say hi to me, but we breathe the same air!
N: The station provides free access to great studio space and equipment that would otherwise be completely out of reach to community programmers like us. It’s a great resource for anyone who wants to do sound recording of any kind – radio, podcasts and I know that music albums have been recorded there, too.
Any weird/exciting/funny stories that have come out of the show?
M: We broke the story about the leaked Gupta documents – I guess that was the most exciting.
N: Not too many from the radio show but plenty from doing the blog for so many years. But I don’t think I’m ready to tell the best ones publicly yet. A recent fun experience would be UBC’s VP External calling me a conspiracy theorist for thinking that the university’s Board of Governors regularly makes decisions at undocumented meetings. A few days later, the university released a statement making it clear that the Board holds undocumented meetings all the time, and that they form a substantial component of their decision-making process, and that it couldn’t be more normal.
What is/was your degree? Why that degree?
M: PhD in Resource Management & Environmental Studies. It’s quite cushy and connects academic pursuits with what I think is important in the world right now.
N: I graduated from UBC in 2014 with a PhD in Chemistry. That was also what I studied as an undergrad at the University of Toronto. I originally wanted to go to pharmacy school but when my application wasn’t accepted I had to choose another major. I like that while many aspects of chemistry are very regimented, it also allows room for creativity and unpredictability – if you start with a simple molecule you can turn it into a million different things depending on what reagents and techniques you choose.
Favourite/least favourite thing about UBC?
M: Being at UBC and in Vancouver is just a bit too comfortable for me, but it’s also really nice.
N: Favourite thing about UBC is the scenery, of course. It really is a beautiful campus. Least favourite thing about UBC is the Board of Governors secretary.
M: Single, seeking Jew of dreams.
N: Married, but I still try to take my wife on dates because she’s awesome.
Life goals (short or long term)?
M: short – finishing the sweater I’m knitting. long – nominal public radio/podcasting involvement.
N: Now that I’m no longer a student and theoretically an adult, I only have boring grown-up goals like finding a new job, settling down, and starting a family.
What music are you listening to right now?
M: Up! by Shania Twain. Honestly, she just gets better with age.
N: Literally right now: Basia Bulat – Infamous. Generally though, it’s mostly podcasts and audiobooks.
Do you have any secret/nonsecret talents?
M: Unskilled but charming guitar playing, resourceful snack-making.
N: Probably not? I’m a dabbler – I like to try lots of different things, get to a reasonable level of proficiency, then move onto something new – so I can’t think of any one particular thing I’m especially good at.
Follow the UBC Insiders on social media @ubcinsiders and check out Maayan’s account, too @maayanster