Who are you? What do you do on campus? What are your hobbies? Interests? Favorite class?
I’m Robert Holder, a Geology and Scandinavian Studies major and co-president of Viking Society. I am pretty busy with class, but when I get some free time, I like to run, work out, read, sauna, rock climb and watch tv (it’s always sunny, x-files and futurama are the best). I works as a geology TA, Spanish tutor and academic assistant for Scandinavian Studies. My favorite class has been Geo322: Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology.
What is the most important book you’ve ever read? Why was it so influential/memorable?
I would have to say that it was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig. This was the first book that I picked up and read for more than just entertainment, back when I was a junior in high school.
What was your favorite book as a kid? Why?
When I was really young I liked two books: Happy Birthday, Og!, by James Young, and Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, by Richard Scarry. In the latter, there was this little yellow beetle named “goldbug” hidden on every page, and I made my mom read it with me almost every day for a while as a toddler so that I could find him over and over again. I still try and find the little guy sometimes when I get bored over the summers.
Do you have a favorite book character?
Tough question…Mat from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.
Where is your favorite place to study or read?
I like to sit at my desk in my single room. It’s like my private office where I can just let my stuff sprawl out across my desk and floor. The library and other buildings are hard to work in because everything is so distracting (especially the books in the library) and you can’t just let your stuff go everywhere because the work spaces are smaller.
What book would you recommend to Gusties?
Barabbas, by Pär Lagerkvist. It is short and easy to read. It is a story of the life of Barabbas, the man who was freed in Jesus’s place, after the crucifixion. As someone who Jesus literally died for, he is shunned by the original Christian community and struggles to understand the significance of the Christian message “love one another.” While searching for meaning in his life after death row, he finds himself in repeated existential crises, simultaneously fearing death and unable to believe in salvation.