Interview with Geoffrey Cook

By: Jennifer Mogensen

UB student

Geoffrey Cook is 20 years old and was born in Syracuse, New York.  Cook is a junior at the University of Buffalo.  He is currently a media studies major; however, he is considering changing his major to sociology.  At this time he remains undecided.

Cook became interested in media studies after attending a series of film festivals in Syracuse.  According to Cook, he would love to make films but is looking at the more realistic side of things now.  He believes his future may lie in advertising.

UB is Cook’s first experience in public education. Cook has fond memories of his early education in his hometown. He spent his first 13 years of school in the Catholic school system.  He spent the majority of his years at Christian Brothers Academy.  According to Cook, he attended private schools not for the religious aspect but rather the quality of education.  He believes that his life has been enriched from the experience.

Despite attending Catholic school, Cook is not Catholic. “Thirteen years of Catholic school will rid you of religion,” said Cook.  He does admit to believing in a higher power and considers his beliefs most in line with the Presbyterian church.  According to Cook, Catholicism is more of an organization than a faith.

Cook is enjoying his time in a public university and is looking forward to graduation.

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2 responses to “Interview with Geoffrey Cook

  1. Lead: 2/4 This lead is flat and doesn’t pull me in at all. Why not start saying Geoff Cook spent xx years in Catholic School, but isn’t Catholic. He is, however…
    The idea of the assignment was to help you retell/reformulate a story in a compelling way. It’s a great exercise for improving writing. Here, there is no story, no pull.

    Retelling a story gives a reader a peephole into Geoff’s life by hearing about an event or memory that meant something to him. Here, you have his experiences in Catholic School. What were they, exactly? How did they shape him?

    Interviewing: 2/3 Here’s where you can improve. Ask deeper questions. You should have pushed Geoff to answer more specific questions. Why does he think he got a good education in Catholic School? What did he learn? How did he feel in Catholic classes? Did he ever try to argue with the teacher?

    If he didn’t supply a ready memory/event/experience (which was the assignment so he should have) your job as the interviewer was to pull it out of him using open-ended questions.

    Getting a person to tell you a specific story about their past, by the way, is a great tool for an interviewer. Often it gives you an anecdote that speaks to their character/personality/life experiences.

    Grammar: 3 Your writing here doesn’t sparkle as it sometimes does. But it’s competent.

  2. Apparently I did not fully understand the assignment. I thought it was a straight interview, as in just the facts. You wanted hometown, age, etc. I simply took his info and worked it together and put it out there. I did not think it was supposed to be an article. It was also not that interesting because he didn’t have a story prepared…I know that I could have asked more questions to try to pull something out but time was ticking away. Oh well.

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