To get to know our new faculty and staff a little better, we asked them to answer a few questions from the Proust Questionnaire — the famous set of questions that Vanity Fair asks celebrities on its back page. Today, we learn a little more about Middle Science Faculty Kathleen “Katie” Riley.
What is your greatest extravagance?
It depends on what my hobby is at the moment. I tend to go from hobby to hobby and spend more money than I should on things I don’t always stick with. Recently I’ve spent money on calligraphy tools; kombucha brewing kits; pickling kits; and big, chunky yarn for knitting, just to name a few.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I wish I were more talented in picking up languages. I took eight years of Spanish and still really struggled with communicating when I visited Spain. I also wish I were more fluent in German after living in Austria for three years. The words and grammar rules get all jumbled in my head, and it takes me a really long time to master even the simplest of concepts, but I do enjoy learning it. I just wish I could learn languages faster/easier so I could become a polyglot.
Where would you most like to live?
I was very lucky to be able to spend three years living and teaching in Vienna, Austria. I would love to return there someday, maybe in retirement. I enjoyed Austrian culture and the language, and I loved that I could hop on a train in the bustling city of Vienna and soon be deep in the Alps, especially in the winter when they were covered in snow.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I really enjoy talking to anyone! I will strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. I’m a very chatty person, and when I see something I want to talk about, I’m not afraid to do so. I do this in grocery stores, on vacations, or just walking down the street. It might not always be fun for the people I’m with when I do this, but I always enjoy the conversation.
What is your favorite occupation?
If I weren’t a teacher and I had the writing/photography talent to do so, I would love to be a travel blogger. It may seem kind of cliché, but after living abroad in Europe and traveling to parts of Africa and Central America, I want to go everywhere, and I just love the idea of sharing my adventures with the world while I sip a coffee and nibble on a slice of cake in a quaint little café.