By Rachel Tennenbaum
In this Q&A we will explore an avenue not often taken in the world of news: getting cozy with the public. Once a week CHP will sit down with a member of the Santa Cruz community and ask them questions ranging from the amusing to the intimate. Because he’s not just the cable guyÂ­—he’s got a whole package of thoughts whirling around in his head, and we’d like to know what’s going on.
This week we spoke with Student Health Outreach and Promotion (S.H.O.P.) coordinator and author Jane Bogart. We caught-up with her in her office at Kresge, sitting at the computer, surrounded by photographs of flowers.
What’s an animal you identify with?
Actually, many people have nicknamed me Monkey because I can’t sit like a normal human being, and I also can’t be still for long periods of time.
What’s your favorite food?
A really good slice of pizza will do it for me. I actually miss really good New York City pizza, the thin crust.
I’m a purist, I like my plain ordinary cheese. But since I’ve lived in California I’ve gotten an affinity for artichoke hearts on my pizza. [Bogart has been in CA for a little over two years.]
What is your favorite color?
It’s interesting, I don’t have one. Although I wear a lot of black [she’s wearing all brown]. Black is a constant, and I like fall colors, in general.
What are you most afraid of?
I used to have this card in my office that said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” There’s usually one thing on a daily basis that scares me. I guess my biggest fear would be lost opportunities.
How did you get this job?
I was a director of healthy promotion at NYU for 10 years, and then I had a midlife crisis and decided to change my whole life and go somewhere where nobody knew me, but still in the continental United States.
And this job came across the listserv I was on. I love what I do, so the fact that I can now do it in this incredibly beautiful and different place is great.
What did you want to change in your life?
I wanted to see if I could start all over again. I also wanted to be in a place with more natural beauty and a place that was less stressful.
What do you love about your job?
I love that I get to talk about topics that people don’t usually talk about publicly. I love working with students and working in a college environment because every year new people come in and are excited and it reenergizes you all the time. And it keeps you cool and young, I know all the right terms!
I love helping people and I love seeing change in people, and those are things that definitely happen through the work that we do. I also feel that what we do is really important, so I feel valued.
Is it possible to have a job you love?
My theory is that if you say yes to stuff that interests you, that you keep following your passion. There’s always a way to find pleasure in what you’re doing.
Was it difficult to write a book? [Bogart is the author of the book Sexploration.]
The hardest part about writing a book was trying to figure what I had to say about sex that was different than what anyone had said before me.
How did your parents react to a book about sex?
My dad is 91-years-old and he loves it. He and my step-mom, their favorite thing to do is go to bookstores in Long Island, order the book then never pick it up, so it gets to the bookstore.
He also came to a book party at the Museum of Sex in New York. They have a giant penis made out of flowers in the front lobby. We have a picture with his arm around the penis.
When do you feel your best, most in-the-moment?
I feel most in-the-moment when I feel connected to another person. Usually it’s in conversation with people where you have that moment where you both know that you get each other. That’s really important to me. And the other is being completely silly, just like laughing so hard that your stomach hurts.
You give a lot of advice. Do you have advice that you hold close to your heart?
Yes, actually. It’s to give yourself enough stillness to really hear your true inner voice. And sometimes it’s hard to do when you’re busy, but when I can’t decide what to do or I feel overwhelmed, to take some moments to be able to quiet my head and body enough to really hear the real inner guiding voice.
January 30. I’m a total Aquarian.
Favorite place to be?
I have a big duality, I guess. I love New York City, it’s probably my favorite place on earth, but I also love being on the beach, and so it would be really hard for me to narrow it down.
Do you think that world peace is possible?
I do think that living cooperatively is possible. At heart I’m an optimist, and I see that people can get along, but I’m not sure that I believe that we could have a peaceful universe all at one time. I think that we could have moments of peace, but I really feel that it comes down to connecting as human beings.
Reader, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any suggestions for possible interviews or interesting questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.