Alex Weidenhamer completed his M.A. in English, with a focus on speculative literature, philosophy, and gender. He’s now looking into PhD programs and life’s next adventure.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness is such a transient idea to me, but the only constant, and perfect, form of happiness I can think of would be anywhere surrounded by my closest friends and loved ones.  

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Oh gosh, between film, literature, and video games, I have so many! The first one that comes to mind though is Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2. His character arc is one of the greatest I’ve ever seen, and he shows that, no matter what your past may be, people always have the chance to change. 

What is it that you most dislike?

Oh, I’d have to say dishonesty and laziness; pickles are a close third. 

Where would you like to live?

I love the Northeast United States, and I always imagined myself settling down in Massachusetts someday. However, I really wouldn’t mind living out of the country for a while to see what the world has to offer.  

What do you most value in your friends?

Loyalty. I regard my closest friends as family, and they do the same for me, so it’s only natural that I place a high importance on it. True friendships, the ones that stand the test of time, are built upon an unwavering sense of loyalty to one another.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Honestly, I found out that when I teach, I say the phrase, “So, let me tell you a story…” before I go off on tangents. One of my students pointed it out a few semesters ago, and I realize now that I am slowly becoming my father.

What is your current state of mind?

After graduating, I always wake up wondering, “What’s next?” I’m constantly searching for something new to challenge/better myself, and now, I feel just a tad restless. 

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’ve always wanted to be able to paint. As a kid, I was in love with landscapes, and I never truly understood how people could capture those moments of natural beauty so perfectly.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

In all honesty, anything that can make someone a more self-actualized and compassionate person is great in my opinion, but if I had to choose, I’d say contentment. Though I think people should strive to find the good in their present circumstances, there is always room for improvement and ways to better yourself. 

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

I would probably like to be some kind of animal, so I’ll go with a fox. I’ve always really liked their role as the cunning tricksters in various folktales around the world.  

What is your favorite journey?

This weird thing we call life.

What is your motto?  

“This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” — Alan Watts