Getting Personal: Sean Powers

Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, a chat with Sean Powers, a news reporter and fill-in anchor, the digital news and social media editor and the curator of WILL's historical content. In the Nov. 4 newspaper, we'll have a chat with Bible expert Ken Cuffey, 56, of Champaign, president of the Urbana Seminary, where he also serves as a professor .

What time do you typically get up? What do you do the first hour of the morning?

7 a.m. Listen to NPR's "Morning Edition" on WILL.

What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?

A candy bar and cookies at work.

Best high school memory?

Interrupting the English class of the girl I was dating at the time and serenading her in front of her classmates with an original song called "Love, Love, Love." It was my way of asking her to the school dance. She said, "Yes."

Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.

I own two pairs: sneakers and black dress-up shoes. I absolutely love the sneakers because I feel at home whenever I'm wearing them. I wear them when I work out, go to work — and occasionally dancing.

What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?

Going for a run and catching up on work.

Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?

"Charlotte's Web." I used to read it thinking I could overcome my debilitating arachnophobia. Unfortunately, I continue to sometimes shake uncontrollably when I see a spider. It's still a wonderful book. In fact, in junior high, I played the character of Templeton the rat, a role that gained critical acclaim from my peers.

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

I really want to visit New Orleans and get immersed in the city's culture, music and food.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

Growing up, I had a dog named Toto. She looked exactly like the character in "The Wizard of Oz." When I was little, Toto and I would sit on the couch for hours, watching talk shows. I got really irritated by her barking, but I have a feeling she just wanted someone with whom she could communicate.

Have you discovered that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?

More like my father. We're both a tad eccentric and extremely old-fashioned in many ways. We stand by what we're passionate about and try to find a way to make people smile, even in the worst situations.

What would you order for your last meal?

A lactose- and dairy-free macaroni and cheese meal with ginger ale and crackers.

What can you not live without?

My audio recorder.

Who do you have on your iPod?

Podcasts from public radio's "This American Life" and CBC Radio's "WireTap." I also have a mixture of songs from artists including Rilo Kiley, Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan, Tegan and Sara, Katy Perry, Adele, Glee, BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Beatles, Selena Gomez and Al Green.

What's the happiest memory of your life?

Falling in love for the first time.

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?

Three of my closest friends: Pam Dempsey, Porcshe Moran and Carolina Astrain. These three women inspire me in so many ways.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

You're young. There's no reason to rush your life.

What's your best piece of advice?

Follow what you're passionate about.

What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?

My first real job was at Little Tokyo, a Japanese restaurant in my hometown. I didn't make much at all, dealt with a lot of verbal abuse from management and quit after a month.

What was a pivotal decision in your career and how did you arrive at that decision?

Going to the University of Missouri and deciding that I would work in public media. I arrived at that decision after producing my first radio documentary for my high school's radio station in Flossmoor. The program was about teenage pregnancy. The documentary was part of a class assignment that had to be exactly 55 minutes ... not a second more or less. After going through that process, I decided I wanted to continue my career in in-depth radio journalism. Public broadcasting felt like the best avenue to continue that work.

Do you have a bad habit? What is it?

When I'm alone, I tend to think about a lot at once, and will occasionally talk to myself. This can be especially confusing when I'm in the middle of a phone conversation. I also tend to take on too many projects at once and will find myself working until the last minute on each project.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

I try to relax by going for long walks and listening to my iPod. Also, I will decompress by watching episodes of "Doctor Who" and "The West Wing." Allons-y!

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