We have been writing (alleged) humor for Psi Chi since 1994. In all that time, we have never really introduced ourselves to our readers (both of you). So we think it's time to share some of our background. We have decided to do this in interview format, by answering a series of probing questions.
Where did you grow up?
MH: I split my time between New York and Florida. My parents sent me to New York in the winters (when they were in Florida), and then they sent me to Florida for the summers.
JP: In my kitchen, last Wednesday around noon; fortunately, it wore off quickly. I was born in a log cabin that my parents built on the top of the Transamerica Building in San Francisco.
What are your most vivid childhood memories?
JP: I remember taking the elevator to school every morning. And we were poor. I shared a room with my 12 siblings, including four sisters and five brothers.
MH: I often think back to those wonderful family get-togethers in the Vince Lombardi rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Was psychology always your goal?
JP: No. As a kid, I showed lots of musical potential. I could play all of the woodwind instruments, mostly by hitting them with sticks. I also aspired to be an actor. In high school (dear old "Always High") I won critical acclaim as "Bullet #2" in Annie Get Your Gun. But, it was only a shoot-on role, and then I realized that as a teacher I could read from my notes and wouldn't have to memorize any lines.
MH: I came to psychology late in life, as a condition of parole. I spent many years as a middle school audiovisual specialist. When they invented color film strips, though, I realized that the technology was advancing faster than my ability to keep up.
Who was the greatest influence on your career?
MH: The guy who got my spot in dental school.
JP: Little Hans and Little Albert
Who would play you in a movie on your life?
JP: Al Pacino
MH: Joe Palladino
Where did you go to graduate school?
JP: The Texas Institute of Psychological Sciences at Youngsville, or TIPSY. In fact, I won an award as the student who most exemplified the TIPSY spirit.
MH: I received my degree from Famous AMOS--the Famous Acme Mail Order School.
What do you like most about teaching?
MH: I like the awards I've won; I've paneled my basement with them. I won the 1996 Sominex Foundation Award. The competition was fierce: Each contestant had to teach in a classroom filled with 85 trained judges, all of whom suffered from insomnia. I was able to get the highest sleep rate ever, and actually put three judges in a coma from which it took several days to recover. It was pretty easy; all I did was talk about my own research.
JP: I enjoy taking long walks across campus, talking with students about the vital issues of the day, like physician-assisted intramural sports, alimentary dishonesty, and the neurochemical bases of absentee balloting in local primary elections. I take these long walks when my statistics courses are supposed to be meeting. This accounts for my high teaching ratings.
What four words do other people use to describe you?
JP: Impulsive, hyperactive, distractible, and what was the question?
MH: Norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine, and tequila.
What would you say is a highlight of your career?
MH: My career itself. I did a longitudinal study for my dissertation, so by the time I got my degree I was old enough to become the first person ever to start my career as Professor Emeritus. I held that position at the Northern South Dakota State University and Grille-West Campus for many years, until I was able to work my way down to Assistant Instructor.
JP: I'm very proud of my research. I have 141 publications in scholarly journals, including 89 letters to the editor and 53 errata entries based on my first three articles. I was the Indiana State IPVE Champion in 1995. I still hold the record for the lowest IPVE (influence-per-vita-entry) ratio for psychology.
What are your favorite movies?
MH: The Disney version of Citizen Kane (starring Goofy), Caddyshack, Highlights of the 1978 APA Convention, and Outtakes of the 1978 APA Convention. Oh, I'm sorry--the last two were the same.
JP: The Godfather, a warm, family-type film that is so sentimental (I especially love the scenes focused on food), and Caddyshack, although I found the plot rather difficult to follow.
Behind your back, what are people saying about you?
MH: "Hey, turn around!"
JP: "He is never serious."
What would you ask to have written on your tombstone?
JP: "Please send some cannolis!"
MH: "Joe, I guess you'll have to do the first draft of the next column."
If money were no object what would you like to do for your profession?
JP: Buy a sense of humor for those without one, but that would take a lot of money!
MH: Retrain as a flight attendant. I've been practicing for years by keeping my seat back and tray table in the upright and locked position.
What phrase or statement do you tend to overuse?
MH: "I know the answer . . ."
JP: "Dan, can we have an extension on the deadline for the column?"
If you were alone on a desert island, what two books would you like to have with you?
JP: The APA Publication Manual and TV Guide.
MH: If there is no bathroom tissue available, anything written by Michener, and the L.L. Bean catalog.
What are your immediate plans?
MH: I'm working on a nonfiction version of my resume. And I want to see Caddyshack again.
JP: Just this last year I completed two books. This coming year I hope to color one or two more.