Centre News

20 Questions with Assistant Professor of Spanish Jason Doroga

October 17, 2013        

Jason Doroga
1. Position at Centre?
Assistant Professor of Spanish

2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
Dallas, Texas, is where I learned to think big.

3. What are your hobbies?
I am not good at it, but I enjoy woodworking. I have only managed to produce two things in about seven years: a toy chest and a business card holder. I am much better at crosswords, running and watching baseball.

4. What is your dream vacation?
Going to Russia with my family and visiting the Doroga family estate in St. Petersburg. Then heading to a much warmer place on the coast of Ecuador to go whale watching in the Pacific.

5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
Caspar David Friedrich

6. Favorite novel or poem?
It depends on how much time I have. For short poetry, I always go back to Tennyson's Ulysses. This poem has many connections to a much longer poem that I have read many times: Goethe's Faust. Slightly less lofty is Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages by Guy Deutscher. This is an accessible and entertaining book that is nothing short of mind-bending with its insight on how language shapes our thoughts and our perception of the world. Every time I read this book, it reminds me why I love studying languages.

7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
You can catch me watching tennis at all times of the year, especially when Rafael Nadal is playing. For actual participation, I prefer to lace up my running shoes and go for a run. One sport that I wish I liked more (both to watch and to play) is soccer. I've seen games in iconic stadiums in Mexico, Spain and Portugal, but I always feel like I am missing something when I watch soccer. I know I am missing talent when I play soccer.

8. Favorite TV show?
The Office

9. Favorite album?
There is no way I can pick. I listen to a lot of music and have many favorites. Depends on my mood.

10. Favorite holiday?

11. Favorite food?
Llapingachos, lentils and a fried egg on top. I ate this dish almost every day in Ecuador. Fried potato pancakes stuffed with cheese are pretty hard to beat. Plus it is a fun word to say.

12. Most prized possession?
Two small wooden statues of Don Quijote and my grandfather's Navy tie clip.

13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you'd invite to the same dinner party?
Beethoven, Barack Obama and Bucky Badger

14. Favorite aspect of your job?
I get to teach about things that I find fascinating. Something else that I love about my job is that I am surrounded by young people who do some pretty amazing work. Their energy is contagious.

15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
It depends how generous we are with the word "youth." As an undergraduate, it was living and studying in Ecuador, Germany and Italy. As a kid, it was picking apples in Washington State every fall with my family.

16. What would you be doing if you weren't working at Centre?
I'd be giving guided tours all around South America, with long stays in the Amazon and in the Andes.

17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
Learning foreign languages.

18. Fictional character in whose shoes you'd love to spend a day?
Sancho Panza. He always reminds me not to take things too seriously. Sometimes a nap is the only thing that needs to be done in an afternoon. Just not every day.

19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
The labryinth walk in McDowell Park. Many places on campus are beautiful, but I find myself here after work sometimes and am always struck at how peaceful it is.

20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Be patient with yourself. Ask a lot of questions. Have confidence in your ideas. Make time to be as well as to do.

Centre College, founded in 1819, offers its students a world of opportunities, highlighted by the nation's premier study abroad program and a faculty ranked #5 in the nation for "Best Undergraduate Teaching" at a liberal arts college by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. Centre graduates enjoy extraordinary success, with entrance to top graduate and professional schools, prestigious fellowships for further study abroad (Rhodes, Rotary, Fulbright), and rewarding jobs (on average, 97 percent are employed or in advanced study within 10 months of graduation).

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