Burke.Word first met James Angarola (Burke ’10) along with Ms. Burke.Word 15 or so years ago. We were watching the Burke.Word kidlets at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill, when we first spied James and his 2 year-old twin, John, dressed in matching red liederhosen-like shorts with big white buttons, running around the park like they owned the joint. After much water had passed under many bridges, James made his way to Burke – and over time he came to move around the school like he owned the joint. With his sense of humor, his sense of caring, his willingness to connect with others, and his uncanny ability to be a good friend (not to mention his possession of those big red furry caterpillars he calls sideburns on either side of his face) – he now walks away after his graduation owning the keys to the heart of Burke.
What is the most embarrassing song on your ipod?
Hmmm I have tons of embarrassing songs, but I bet the winner is “Close to You” by The Carpenters. What’s even sadder is I know all the lyrics. . .
Who’s on your list of Fave Five people of all time?
I’ll exclude family because they would take over all this. My five favorite people are Robin Williams (see Good Will Hunting), Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres, Mick Jagger, and Christopher Reeves
I wish I knew how to…
Draw really well. I’ve never been able to sketch on paper what my mind envisions. It’s beyond frustrating because it’s one of the few ways of self communication I cannot accomplish.
What was the best present that you’ve ever received?
My cousin gave me a Nintendo 64 in second grade. It might have been the worst present in my mom’s eyes, but ever since I have had a vivid imagination.
Tell us a piece of good or bad advice you’ve received that will stay with you.
I’m not sure if this counts as advice given to me directly, but certain life events have led me to realize that bad things WILL happen but you can either learn from the experience or hurt yourself over-thinking it all. Basically, never walk away from any experience because you’re scared or even worse indifferent. Everything you do is a learning experience.
James & Sideburns in AP Stat
Which aspect of your physical appearance are you most proud of?
You know this very well, Ramaz. Easily my pride and joy physically are my sideburns. It’s like having two Mr. Potato Heads on the side of your face. I mean you can do so much with them. They are literally God’s gift to man.
What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without people. I could never be a mountain man or trapped on an island alone. The human connection is the most valuable resource the universe has given us.
What do you really care about?
If you know me, I care about my community especially the one at Burke. I love Burke and have done all that I can for it. Whether that led to 100% recognition or not, I would recommend to everyone to reach out to the Burke community because you will surely be rewarded. If you don’t believe me, just ask the class of 2010 or anyone at the 2010 senior send-off.
Is there other sentient life out in the universe? – What’s it like?
There’s other life out in the universe. I really hope it’s like comic books with all different types of aliens who somehow know English. I would love to have baby names like Mork and Ming-the-Merciless be the new “thing”. Just think how good a time Gary Busey would have.
Do you sing in the shower or the car?
If I’m in the car with friends, I’ll sing along. If I’m in the shower and no one is home, I’ll sing along. Sometimes singing makes me concerned about maintaining the human connection because I don’t have “golden pipes” to belt out songs.
What phrase do you use too often?
I have a lot of those, but I think the top three have got to be “it’s decent”, “hi-yooooo”, and in recent times “WOOOOOO” (that last one works well if you are speaking in public and tears have to be controlled).
What mild mannered person at Burke is secretly a super hero? What’s their power? What’s their super name?
Easy. Jeffrey Robb IS Superman. Do you not believe me? Lois Lane didn’t believe Clark Kent could be Superman even though the only difference was red underwear and glasses. Hopefully, I blew your mind.
What’s your super power?
A wise man, who cannot grow sideburns, once told me I have the ability to communicate to people. I’ve never lost sight of that since.
Where do you most like to hang out at or near Burke?
At Burke, Pam’s office is a great place (when you are not in trouble, of course) to have conversations that I have always come out of as learning something new about myself. Outside of Burke, Peter Vance and Nina K. have houses near school that have literally housed me some nights after Burke events and even during the snowlocalypse. I appreciate them for putting up with me, since I may not be the best person when I’m trapped in one place.
If you were to have a nom de plume – what would it be?
Hollywood. I heard Bono was already taken.
What have you learned while at Burke?
Hefty question. I’ve learned a whole damn lot at Burke about how to be who I am, whether as a student, leader, speaker, etc. or how I have so much faith in the world, in part, simply because of my grade that has stayed unified through thick and thin. I’ve also learned that Sami Keyani can not only freestyle rap like a true artist, but he can also bring the whole school to misty eyes with his soulful performance of James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover”.
What’s your favorite song of all time? Why?
“Sympathy for the Devil” by the Rolling Stones has everything I need in a song. It’s got the soul of the world wrapped up in a tone that is the epiphany of cool. Also, what other song can have one mad maraca beat.
What’s your most vivid memory of your time at Burke?
Well, the last week of school I did nothing but tear up in happiness, sadness, and pride involving my grade. I guess one of my most vivid memories would have to be on my tenth grade bonding trip. Elliot Kass was in a tent with Michael Bender and a few others. One thing must have led to another which led to some incident resulting in Mike Bender hitting Ekass in the eye. For the next 2 hours, everyone groaned as Elliot repeated “Bender, who would hit somebody in the eye? C’mon man.” The noise ended when Bob K, the man with a heart of gold, yelled at all of us boys at about 1am.
Tell us about a time when you were really happy.
I always try to be happy, but senior year in general has been the happiest year of my life. I’ve learned a lot about myself and more importantly people laughed at my jokes a lot. Without my comedy, I’m nothing. . .kidding guys.
Close your eyes… what do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
The dreamer in me says I’ll be working for SNL as a writer maybe even a performer in a few years. The other dreamer in me says I’ll be on way towards being president when I’m 37 or something. I want to be the first non-stoic, dare I say emotive, president.
What scares you the most?
I’m afraid when people lose hope. I also fear clowns and friendly (too friendly if you ask me) seagulls. Curse you Alfred Hitchcock.
If you could have any celebrity, or band (or anyone) make an appearance at a party of yours, who would it be?
I want the Rolling Stones to live long enough to play at my wedding. I want to be able to hear live renditions of “Start Me Up” as people arrive and “Rock and a Hard Place” as the person marrying me and my future wife says “till death do you part”.
Whom do you think that Edmundification should spotlight next?
Either Nora Schlang or Becca Salky. Both of them are kind, but kind of crazy in the good way. Also, I heard they lost the student government elections, so I think people deserve a follow up.
What question would you like to ask the next Edmundification Celebrity?
If you could have any accent in the world, what would you pick and why?
[BTW Angarola, who sez Ramaz can’t grow sideburns!?! Click and see a real pair!
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