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On the spot
Syed Faraz

Syed Faraz UT Arlington affiliation: senior economics and political science major

Stopped: 8:36 p.m. Oct. 19, 2006, outside Nedderman Hall 100, following a lecture by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Horton Foote.

What brought you to this event?  
The first thing that caught my eye was the poster—the sun setting in the background with a withered tree in the foreground. Then I saw that it was a Pulitzer Prize winner, and then I saw the name. It took a few moments, but it registered.

How familiar were you with Horton Foote before tonight?
To be honest, I was only aware of Foote's work on To Kill a Mockingbird and some Steinbeck screenplays. 

What do you like most about events like this?
The sense of connection and community you get with people of similar interests and passions.

Are there any particular speakers you wish would come to
UT Arlington?
Clinton, Gore, Barack Obama. Nobel winners, Goldman winners, world changers, activists.

Many of our recent speaking guests have been gubernatorial and/or political candidates. Have you been to see any of them?  
I saw Kinky [Friedman] in one of Dr. [Allan] Saxe’s classes. My worry was that he and the Grandma would take votes from [Chris] Bell, as they did. I wish we had a runoff law, so if no one gets a majority, the top two would face off once more. 

What's the favorite class you've taken?
The English class taught by Stacy Thorne. She was just a fantastic professor who was doing an experimental class for her doctoral work. It was full of very dynamic debate and discussion. It was very democratic, very open. It overturned the conventional concept of teaching and made us all into teachers and students.

What are your career plans? 
I think the two most powerful institutions in the world are business and government. Change one, and you can change the world. So whatever I do, it will hopefully be along these lines. But if you want concrete plans, I want to finish my undergraduate degree in economics and political science, then go to business school for an M.B.A.

When will you graduate?
If everything goes according to schedule, it should be fall '07. But there's always Murphy's Law: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

What do you like most about UT Arlington?
I'd have to say the diversity of the people who go here and the cosmopolitan feel. You can go to the library any time, and it's like a mini-United Nations. The number of languages being spoken here at any one time, I'm sure, rivals that of many big cities.

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