Proust Questionnaire-Ishimine Goins

Ishimine Goins just completed her M.A. in English, focusing on film studies, queer theory, and African-American literature, film, and culture.

>What is your idea of perfect happiness?

In a world where perfect and happiness exists (air quotes), I would picture myself traveling the world, documenting lives and telling stories through film about people and topics that I consider to be hidden gems of society. Being a filmmaker/photographer who can illuminate unrepresented voices, identities, sexualities, bodies, etc., and make a change in society while doing so—that is my idea of perfect happiness.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is running out of time. Not necessarily the concept of dying or aging, but the idea of time. Running out of time before I accomplish everything I set out do.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A combination of over-thinking and the need to perfect everything.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


Which living person do you most admire?

Although this answer fluctuates frequently, currently I would have to say, Lena Waithe. She is a Black queer creator who I admire based on her tenacity and personal journey within the world of entertainment. She is a reflection of me in so many ways, and she has opened many doors to enable my existence as a Black queer storyteller and future director.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I have an expensive passion: photography/ filmmaking isn’t cheap. It hurts my heart/pockets to be passionate about something so financially crippling.

What is your current state of mind?

Two days ago I graduated from Western Illinois University with a Master degree in English. In my mind, I currently would like to be employed with a six-figure salary.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Due to the height of my mother and father, I honestly wish I were taller. Although 5’8 is relatively tall for a “woman” by society’s standards, two more inches wouldn’t hurt me.

Which living person do you most despise?


What or who is the greatest love of your life?

All forms of art, but Music was definitely my first love.

When and where were you happiest?

My childhood was the happiest time of my life. I was born in 1986, so I grew up during a time when children played outside and enjoyed the outdoors until the sun went down and before the street lights were on. Life without technology was the happiest time for me.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I wish I could master the piano. I actually plan on taking lessons this summer. Being a filmmaker, obtaining music legally and inexpensively is extremely difficult. Therefore, I would use this talent to create the score for my films because I know exactly how I want each moment to feel and sound.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Going back to college after spending twelve years in the military and recently obtaining my Master’s degree is something I consider to be my greatest achievement thus far.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I would honestly like to come back as myself. Although I seldom have regrets, I would use that as an opportunity to do things differently.

Where would you most like to live?

I would like to experience living around the world. There are too many beautiful places on earth to narrow it down to one place. But! If I had to name my starting point, I would probably say Italy.

What is your most treasured possession?

My sneaker collection is both a guilty pleasure and treasured possession. However, if my house caught on fire, and I had to run back to salvage something (besides my French Bulldog, Nike) I would have to change my answer to my camera equipment.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Giving up on life and just existing.

What is your favorite occupation?

Any career that doesn’t feel like an occupation. If I can wake up in the morning before my alarm clock goes off and venture off to do something that I love and enjoy— that’s my favorite occupation. Currently, for me, that’s being a creator and telling stories through the medium of film.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I can communicate and connect with various types of people despite our differences.

What do you most value in your friends?

Transparency. I appreciate when people are transparent and honest about who they are. Often people have the tendency to hide their true colors to conform themselves to fit into a particular group. I want my friends to be themselves and allow me to make an informed decision about our friendship.

Who are your favorite writers?

James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, bell hooks, Octavia Butler, Langston Hughes, and many more.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

James Baldwin. We are Leos; We are writers; We are activist; We are queer.