Senior Q&A: Getting to know Daniel McNamara
Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2008 - 3:54pm
Since Daniel McNamara, affectionately known as D Mac among his peers, is the quiet, observant type, he often escapes the Uni public eye. However, a quick chat with him reveals his quirky approach to life. For example, his favorite food is tuna. Not tuna filet, or some other gourmet variation, but tuna straight from the can. He's also an avid listener of heavy metal music, and every once in a while can be caught headbanging furiously with his blond whisps of hair flying everywhere. Another original characteristic is his hobby: walking around his neighborhood at odd hours in the evening. Read on to find out more about D Mac. This will be the first of a series of Q&A’s with senior students before graduation on May 31.
Questions and Answers with Daniel McNamara
The following is a transcript of an in-person interview with Daniel McNamara, conducted by Gargoyle senior Andrea Park.
What do you think of your nickname, “D Mac,” and where did it come from?
[Austin] Rundus, subbie year, gave it to me.
Do you like it?
It’s better than any other name given to me.
What are other nicknames you’ve had?
Don’t want to get into it.
Where are you heading off for college, and what do you plan to study?
St. Olaf …. I’ll probably take classes in everything, but major in environmental science or history or something like that.
What in particular about environmental science and history are you interested in?
Well, environmental science is like playing with animals. I loved field bio this year. It was like the best class I’ve ever had. And I just like history.
D Mac and his hoodie will be heading to St. Olaf College in Minnesota this fall, where he plans to study environmental science and history. Gargoyle photo by Andrea Park (click to enlarge)
Is there any period in history that you identify with?
Um, nothing particularly. Maybe the Napoleonic Era.
What’s the most and least exciting thing about going off to college?
The thing I’m least looking forward to is meeting new people. I like people, but I’m horrible at meeting people.
Being somewhere with snow.
Why St. Olaf?
I was looking for a little liberal-arts college. It has the majors I’m looking for. It has Norwegian.
Like the language? Are you going to take it?
What are the three most important things in your life?
I like people. I’m not what you call a people person, but I really like listening to people. Um. I’m a huge nerd, so I like “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” crap and some comics and movies and crap. And I guess God, because that’s important.
Are you involved with your church?
Yeah. For youth group I was pretty much responsible for remodeling a house the church owned and turning it into a youth building. I belong to the Twin City Bible Church.
In general, why are you so quiet?
I really don’t know. Part of the reason is that I’m afraid of saying something really dumb, because I used to talk a lot like my subbie year. Not a lot. But I would say stuff without thinking and feel totally retarded afterwards. So. Now. I don’t know. I talk a lot around people I know really well.
OK. Cool. So I hear you are into heavy metal music? What’s your favorite band?
Children of Bodom. I think Carl [Zielinski] has a review up about them. They’re really good. … I didn’t like popular music, like rock, at all until freshman year … and then I found Children of Bodom over the summer, and I liked them because they had these crazy riffs on their 30-second samples on iTunes. But it was stuff from their worst album, and then I researched them and found their old albums, which are better, then found other bands like them, listened to those. I don’t know, not many other people are into [heavy metal].
Are you in a band?
No. I suck at guitar.
Would you want to be in a heavy metal band?
If I was good, and had motivation to practice, I would. But the chances of that are low at best.
What’s up with your zip-up hoodie that you wear all the time?
It’s awesome. And it is falling apart. Um. I got it for Christmas last year. It’s the [Galactic] Empire symbol from “Star Wars.” I saw it and was like, “‘Star Wars,’ that’s cool.” Now I’m not so much into “Star Wars,” but it’s really comfortable. So that’s cool.
You have an interesting style. Like you mix and match the colors of your zip-off bottom pants. What’s up with that?
I did that sophomore year a lot. I still do it sometimes. I just like doing that. It’s weird.
So you like being weird?
If you were to describe yourself in four words, what would those four words be?
Metal. Quiet. Sarcastic. I don’t have a fourth word. Maybe weird.
Are there words that you live by?
There’s this quote from despair.com: Hard work often pays off later, but laziness always pays off now.
You have adopted brothers and sisters. Will you describe them, and give us the story behind that, and how that’s changed your high school experience?
All right. So I have two little brothers from Korea, and one from India. [One Korean brother] is 7, one is 2, and the kid from India is 7. So they’re twins, kind of. Except one is Indian. They’re hyper, loud. Basically like normal little kids. I wouldn’t say it’s changed my life that much, except I get less attention and have to do more stuff on my own. I have to drive them places sometimes.
What is your most memorable high school experience?
Baseball. Theater this year. The spring play. And I don’t know if I should include throwing a snowball through the subbie science window, but I don’t know if I should be proud of that. Plus, I don’t know if [Assistant Principal Sue] Kovacs wants me advertising that. That’s about it.
So what classes have you enjoyed the most?
Field bio. All of my history classes. And I like languages. Latin was awesome, especially last year. And Spanish is good.
What are some interesting things about you that no one knows?
My hobby is walking around — like there’s a park in backyard, and my hobby is walking around there at 10:30 or 11 at night. I just walk around and sit under trees.
It’s fun. No one else is out there. It’s dark.
Have you ever been arrested?
No. There aren’t many police officers in southwest Champaign. But I do get people looking out their windows thinking, “What is this kid doing out there on my lake at 11?”
Describe your sense of humor.
It’s really dry and sarcastic. If someone says something blatantly obvious, I’ll thank them. It’s really sarcastic.
Is there a reason?
It’s my main way of talking to people. I don’t know. It’s just a way I can connect with people.
If you had to do Uni all over again, what would you do differently?
Um. I would take philosophy and anthropology. And I’d probably get to know more people. I didn’t know any upperclassmen until junior year. I kinda wish I had known more upperclassmen, and get to know people better.
What are some activities you are involved in outside of school?
The church youth group is a big one. Most of my friends go to my church, and they go to Judah. Um. I do Boy Scouts, kind of. I used to go a lot. But now not so much. I fish.
You fish? Are you good?
I’m pretty good.
Where do you go fish at?
What is your favorite food and why?
Tuna. I have no idea why. It just tastes good.
Tuna from a can …?
Is there a particular brand you enjoy?
No. Not really.
How would you prepare a tuna meal?
I would open a can and have a fork or something.
Do you have any pets?
Yes. A cat. He’s awesome.
What’s his name?
What does he look like?
He’s gray, kind of furry. He’s about a regular size for a cat. He likes to sit on my head in the morning when I’m trying to go back to sleep.
So, any last words of advice for the underclassmen?
Um. Don’t do your math homework.