Tom Benolkin: The Farewell Interview


Will Hamilton, Editor

As you may know resident tech guru, Tom Benolkin has officially left for a job offer elsewhere. For those who didn’t know him, he was that guy in “The Nest” you went to when you messed up your computer. For us at Eagle News Network we will dearly miss him because of all the work he put in towards managing the website and getting us started. Wednesday was his last day and we conducted a farewell interview with Tom so we can all remember what he brought to our community.

  • Why are you leaving us?
    • “It’s really funny.  I’ll explain it to you like I explained it to my mom.  I’ll be doing the same thing for 150 graphic designers that I do for 750 students.  If I excel I could eventually live in Europe or Australia.  I’d like to eventually live in New Zealand or Iceland.  It would be too good of an opportunity to pass up.”  
  • What will you miss most about TG?
    • “There’s a lot. It’s hard to choose from all the options. But the culture here is very uplifting. To be around learning, to be a source of inspiration for people, and for people to be themselves and not be ashamed of who they are. It has been nice being to help people.”
  • What do you look forward to most at your new job?
    • “The new challenges. I think it’s going to give me a lot more real life situations. It will be nice, and different, but it will give me a good change.”
  • If your life could be a book which book would it be?
    • “Adventures of Captain Underpants because it’s hilarious and I would be Captain Underpants because it’s goofy and fun and if you take life too seriously you will be stuck.”
  • If you were a piece of candy what candy would you be? Why?
    • “Laffy Taffy. It has funny jokes that get stuck in your mind and the taffy gets stuck in your teeth.”
  • What has been your favorite memory at TG?-
    • “ I like playing in the volleyball game. That was pretty fun. At the end of the year the staff does a softball game, graduation is exciting and it’s interesting to see how everyone reacts about going to the next step.”
  • What are some of your favorite bands/musicians?
    • “First and foremost Bob Marley. The time that he created his music and the location he lived in and his whole life’s journey is very interesting. I hope to go to Saint Ann in Jamaica surrounded by trees and mountains. He carries a child-like sense in his creation while still having prophetic lyrics. I also like Drake. SOJA (soldiers of jah army). Daft Punk.  I produce music, so it’s really near and dear to my heart. I could go for hours on this question.”
  • If you were any superhero what would it be?
    • “Nightcrawler because he could go wherever he could go, he really like camping traveling hiking and it would be really great to just poof anywhere.”
  • If you were trapped on a deserted island, what’s one thing you’d hope to have with you?
    • “Guitar, hands down. Nothing else. Take the strings off and cut coconuts open. They’re very versatile”
  • What will stay with you from TG through your next journey?
    • “A lot of things will stay with me. Working between class periods and having passing time when things need to be done has helped me prioritize things. I like support jobs because you can relieve other people’s stress and that makes me feel better too.”
  • What impression do you want people at TG to have of you?
    • “An open, honest, kind person that genuinely enjoys making your life easier. Being approachable too I think that’s very important.”
  • What is the best Vacation you have ever taken?
    • “Cozumel for Carnivale, which is a big parade party kind of thing. It was fun and super great, except I got sick because I ate a burger from a food truck. Be careful with what you eat in Mexico.”
  • Where do you hope to see yourself in 10 years?
    • “In another country owning rental properties while making a sustainable income and walking his dog. Or make a video game and write a bunch of original compositions for it.”
  • If you could pick one song that explains your life, what would it be?
    • “This is a tough question. I would have to pick a Bob Marley song, Jammin’ by Bob Marley, it’s just a fun song!”
  • What is your favorite sport to watch?
    • a. “I’d have to go with football on that one. Soccer is fun too. You don’t normally get to see hacky sack on ESPN, which is cool. It is a toss up between football and supercross since I used to ride supercross.”
  • Did you ever audition for survivor?
    • “Yes. It was great. Really fun. Got one call back. Got to MOA at 8 am, 100 other people there. Stood in line for 2 hours. You stand in front of camera and I’ve never had one moment where I was so scared or excited at once. Had to rep yourself. My favorite survivor contestant is Boston Rob.”
  • If you found a suitcase full of $1,000,000 what would you do?
    • “Be a millionaire. Pay off all of my girlfriend’s, sister’s and my student loan debt. Buy rental properties in Fiji.”
  • What’s your favorite place to eat?
    • “A tiny place, it was the size of a walk up Dairy Queen. It’s called Pita King. They make very good gyros.”
  • If you could go to lunch with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
    • “I feel like you’re selling yourself short if you don’t choose a dead person.  But I would have to say Lee Scratch Perry, he is a musician and DJ for studio one in Jamaica in the 50s and 60s, he is amazing and created lots of rhythms that people have used for decades (Sean Paul, Pitbull).”
  • I sense you as a Jonah Hill guy, am I right?
    • “Yes, because he’s America’s sweetheart. Great in Grandma’s boy.”
  • Do you have any fun summer plans?
    • “Camping at least twice a month. Mixtape dropping in the summer.”
  • Do you like to cook? What’s your favorite cuisine?
    • “I love to cook, I make amazing tacos. I guess I just love to cook to prepare and reward of tasting my creation. My least favorite is Italian because it’s pretty basic, I like different stuff. Cook at least once a day.”

All of us at ENN would like to wish Tom the best with his future plans. We will miss all he brought to this school, but we are excited right along with him for whats next!