Hardcore college calculus and lab science courses need to be balanced out with a little bit of "South Park" and zombies. Thankfully, Dr. Joshua Joseph Baron at McDaniel has that covered. The 37-year-old, who has been at McDaniel for seven years, teaches such awesome classes as South Park and Contemporary Social Issues and Philosophy of Violent Media. Oh, and Introduction to Philosophy. We're sure the philosophy class is very thorough and interesting, but ... seriously .... where do we sign up for the others.
"From an early age I gravitated toward scary movies at the expense of my sleep," said Baron, who just moved with his wife, son and dog from Belvedere Square to Philadelphia, his hometown. "I attended Temple University for graduate school, and the philosophy department there allowed me to delve deeper into what I considered an odd fascination."
As for "South Park"? He has been a fan since his time in the Marine Corps and sees great value in the subjects the cartoon covers. "I find humor is a great way to break the tension that arises from controversial subjects such as race and poverty," he said. It's all enough to (almost) make us want to go back to school. While we ponder that, Baron talked to us about his favorite zombie movie and an awesome pig-out recipe.
Worst pet peeve? People who say they'll give more than 100 percent, like, "I'll give 110 percent."
What song/songs are you loving/hating right now? For some reason lately, I fall asleep to Foster the People's "Helena Beat," I don't know why. I hate any song(s) in which the artist says their own name during the song.
Weirdest reaction you've received to your class titles/subjects? Students have left physically sick from clips I show in my Violent Media class. Lots of walkouts the first day.
Your worst habit? Head twitch. I don't know where it comes from.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Plutocracy.
Last movie you liked/disliked? Liked: "Evil Things." Disliked: "A Serbian Film."
Favorite zombie flick (we had to ask)? The "A Ride in the Park" story from the "V/H/S/2" horror anthology movie.
TV show(s) you can't get enough of? "Lucky Louie" and the newer, darker "Louie."
Favorite and most loathed fashion statement? Favorite: Argyle. Loathed: Any clothes from/about a school you didn't actually go to.
Last great meal you had? Cup of Rice Krispies, baker's dozen of mini marshmallows, hint of butter, microwave in bowl for 45 seconds, stir, eat, repeat.
Best lesson learned from an episode of "South Park"? "Britney's New Look": Being famous isn't all it's cracked up to be.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? Grand Cru.
Best advice you ever got? Sleep when you can, not when you need it.
Favorite thing about Baltimore? Rosebank Avenue.
AS TOLD TO JORDAN BARTELCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun