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20 Questions with Patrick Merle

IMG_055020 Questions with Patrick Merle

  1. What was your first job?
    I freelanced for an economic magazine in Paris and for Runner’s World website. My first full-time job was to be a reporter in the international unit of a French network.
  2. If you were to write a personal memoir, what would you name it?
    Maybe “Le cowboy francais”, “The French cowboy,” and if the publisher disapproved, then maybe: “La voix discrete du passeport,” “the passport’s discreet voice.”
  3. Where did you grow up?
    I grew up in the South of France, more precisely Privas, a small town located in low mountains in Ardeche. A quiet environment rich in opportunities to do outdoor activities that often leave me rejuvenated.
  4. What is your favorite class you’ve taught?
    I particularly appreciate when students push back and manage to dissociate themselves from the grading system so they can take risks, discuss current events, and understand the implications. To that extent, Political Communication and also International Public Relations are enjoyable courses.
  5. What is your favorite place to grab dinner in Tallahassee?
    Dr. Raney and Dr. Arpan introduced me to Sage and that restaurant definitely deserves a regular visit. I also like Vertigo, particularly in the summer time so I can sit outside.
  6. What are your hobbies outside of work?
    Growing up watching the Tour de France, I always loved cycling, a sport I still practice on a weekly basis riding around Tallahassee and Georgia. I also compete in triathlon so running and swimming are part of the package. Of course crisscrossing the Atlantic and traveling is important to me.
  7. Have you always wanted to teach?
    Absolutely not. I always wanted to be a foreign correspondent, a reporter traveling across borders to tell stories.
  8. What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to or where would you like to go?
    Hard to pinpoint a favorite. Besides Paris, a second home for me since my father lives there now, I always like to visit Stockholm. I suppose my list would also include San Diego, Lausanne, Nice, and Edinburgh to name a few.I would really like to go to Dunedin in New Zealand to bike, run, and hike.
  9. How many football games have you attended?
    Two so far, one against the team of Maryland, and one against Miami. Quite happy to have been in attendance for the rendition of that rivalry since it was a record for the largest audience, and the team captured the victory.
  10. Proudest career/life moment?
    I like the fact that I received my education in three different countries, France, Ireland, and the US. Proud to have been reporting in NY after Sept 11 and honored to have been at the world duathlon championships in 2010.
  11. What’s your favorite band?
    I find myself returning quite often to Moby, U2, Cold Play but also classical music. So no favorite band really.
  12. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
    My grandfathers have been quite influential in my life. On my mother side, my grandfather, fluent in Latin, liked to quote Virgil, and specifically told me: Labor Omnia Vincit Improbus. That became my leitmotiv.
  13. If money were no object, how would you spend your days?
    Most likely in a place where I would be able train in the mountains, head to a coffee shop for a hot chocolate and a nice sandwich, write a little bit, go to a bike shop, and then relax outside with good friends.
  14. What is your favorite book and why?
    All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. The investigative work inspired me quite early in my young career. On the French side, I like Les Lettres Philosophiques from Voltaire and most of his work really.
  15. If you could be famous for something, what would it be?
    Famous? You are funny. Considering the hypothetical nature of the question, I could say three things: (a) the Pulitzer prize in investigative reporting; (b) my skills as a tap dancer; and (c) the winner of Ironman France.
  16. What Jeopardy category could you clear, no problem?
    Something related to the Tour de France maybe.
  17. Do you have any pets?
    Oui, well only if two clean, faithful and beautiful road bikes count.
  18. When did you start working at Florida State University?
    I started in August 2013, which for a while left me entertained to think that I was the lucky charm of the football team considering the team had been undefeated ever since I joined the school.
  19. What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
    The Imitation Game. I enjoyed it.
  20. What is the best part about your job?
    Teasing students intellectually and finding ways to challenge them. I love doing research as well, so any collaboration on research projects entertains me quite a bit.

’20 Questions with CCI’ brings faculty and staff from the College of Communication & Information into a new light. Learn more about your favorite professors – their hobbies, interests and favorite Tally places.

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