Go watch the 90’s t.v. show classic, Friends, if you didn’t “get” the title of this blog post. Well, wait a second. Go watch Monica, Rachel, and the whole gang on Netflix after reading this post because you don’t want to miss the editors of GirlSense & NonSense share some interesting and sometimes random personal info:
What’s your name? Do you have any nicknames?
Pam: My name is Pamela Craig. I won’t tell you my middle name because that’s a secret. I have a million nicknames. Pammy, spam, spammy, spamster, pamalama, pamalama ding dong, pam bam, etc.
One time in 5th grade, this kid called me Pam the ham. I reject that. I rejected him too by pulling his hair. In middle school, I tried to make it a thing where people called me PJ (because my middle name starts with a “J”, and no, I’m still not telling you). It didn’t last obviously.
Sarah: My name is Sarah Johnson. My middle name is Ann, without an e. Sometimes I’m tempted to think my name is snooze-worthy and just too darn common! But then I remember it’s MY name. It’s part of who I am, and there are no other Sarah Ann Johnsons quite like me.
The story behind how I received my nickname had to do with my high school talent show, my participation in said talent show, traditional Korean fan dancing, and some of the best, most supportive friends a girl could ask for (one of whom is the one and only Pamela Craig!). That, in conjunction with some memorable debate team experiences earned me the nickname The Krazy Korean. I still answer to it to this day.
How did you get involved with GirlSense & NonSense? What do you do?
Pam: I got involved by starting the magazine. 🙂 I then begged Sarah and other people to help me because it was way too much work for one person. I do a lot of things but pretty much every single day, I’m glued to my phone or computer interacting on social media and emailing. I also manage the blog/website and delegate stuff to other staff members. At the moment, I’m also planning a very special event coming up at the end of this month. I can’t wait to share it with everyone next week!
Sarah: I got involved with the magazine after Pamela asked me to join her as co-editor. Joining GS&NS was a no-brainer for me because I am passionate about advocating for gender equality women’s empowerment. Besides collaborating with Pamela about issue themes, issue layouts, and editing, I also help write blog posts and create page designs. Pamela and I are also involved with hands-on writing workshops at local high schools.
What do you like about working for this organization?
Pam: I love working with young artists. They have such unique perspectives and are so passionate about so many different things. I’ve found that their energy has infused my own personal art/writing, and has helped me to understand myself better as an artist. It brings me so much joy to also see how proud and empowered they are by seeing their work published in a magazine. I love that!
Personally, starting and running GirlSense & NonSense has been wonderful but also really challenging. It forces me to confront all of the things I suck at constantly. I feel really vulnerable in this job a lot of the time but also really inspired and powerful. It feels like I’m beginning to flex my muscles and build my strength and confidence, which hurts like hell in the moment but over time, I know I’ll be better for it.
Sarah: What I like most about working for this organization, is being able to be a part of something that empowers young women to express themselves through their art. One of my favorite aspects of my role is being exposed to some really great art from some very talented artists. I can’t tell how many times I have been moved, shocked, inspired, amazed, and challenged by the art submitted by these individuals!
What do you find is the most challenging thing about this job?
Pam: It’s really easy to be a creator and then hide your journal at the back of your closet. But when you make something and then share it with the whole world on the scary internet, it’s enough to make you want to bury your computer in a hole and crawl into bed for the rest of your life. I doubt myself at every turn, as I think most artists do (especially girls). But we’re still here despite the icky vulnerability feelings, preparing for our fourth issue and our one year anniversary in July. We’re still here.
Sarah: The most challenging part about this job for me is not becoming overwhelmed with the need to be “perfect”. This need stems from my desire to represent our artists and their works in the best ways possible. I want to do them justice, and so being entrusted with sharing their art with the world is a very very terrifying prospect.
In addition, I believe the need to be “perfect” also stems from insecurities I have about myself as a creator and editor. It’s an incredibly vulnerable process to step into new territory with little experience and resources, but it’s an experience that has definitely caused me to grow as a person and artist. Like our artists, we are creating and it’s beautiful.
What book have you read multiple times? Why do you return to it?
Pam: “For the Time Being” by Annie Dillard. It’s nonfiction/memoir/essay that’s overflowing with insights on God, existence, love, loss, and everything in between. It’s a truly comprehensive book that fills you up, up to the brim. It changed my life and made me want to be a writer. My English teacher gave it to me in high school. Thanks, Ms. Neil!
Sarah: “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” by J.R.R. Tolkien. A classic that doesn’t need any explanation. I’m in the middle of reading it for the fifth time, and it’s a different experience every time. I keep returning to it, because it’s quite a trip. It’s one of those books where I literally lose myself to the language and to my imagination for hours at a time. I can’t get enough of it!
What was your dream job as a child?
Pam: Is it weird that I don’t remember having a “dream job” until I was in high school? I didn’t start thinking about it until people told me I should start thinking about it. As a child, I was too busy running around in the desert, making up stories, and playing with my brother. If 8-year-old Pamela was asked about her future plans, she probably would have said something to do with dinosaurs. 24-year-old Pamela is still not completely opposed to paleontology either. Dinosaurs rule.
Sarah: My dream job as a child? Didn’t have one. But I did want to be a cowboy. I would force my mom to braid my straight black hair into pigtails. I would then pull on my favorite overalls with red-striped shirt complete with one of those straw cowboy hats you could get at the dollar store for a dollar. Lastly, I would strap my faux-leather holster and cap gun around my waist, and I was set for hours imagining myself living on the frontier as a cowboy.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Pam: My brother and I were really obsessed with Jurassic Park when we were younger. We lived in the middle of a desert (technically the Snake River Plain) and had a few horses. We used to pretend that our horses were dinosaurs and we’d take care of them. It always culminated with the T-Rex getting out of its cage, followed by much chaos and violence.
Sarah: Some of my favorite childhood memories had to do with bed-tents. On the rare evening that my mother worked, my siblings and I were afraid to be alone in the house, so we would gather in the room that I shared with my sister and make a bed-tent. We would secure blankets around the top railing of the bunk bed and secure one of those clip-on lamps to the bedpost for light. We would then grab the snacks my mom left for us along with our “homework”, coloring supplies, and gameboys and spend hours in our bed tent playing, telling stories, and yes, arguing and fighting. I remember feeling so safe and secure in our bed-tent, and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories.
If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
Pam: Gender equality. I’m really interested in what full gender equality actually looks like since it seems like some inconceivable dream. Alternate: free chocolate ice cream.
Sarah: Easy access to quality higher education. Knowledge and innovation is part of the solution for perspectives and practices based in ignorance, and everyone should have the right to access it.
What is one thing you will never do again?
Pam: Try to kill a huge spider by flushing it down my sink. It will not die and it will crawl back up your sink, Pam. And you will scream and almost pass out and think that God is punishing you.
Sarah: Hair removal cream. It smells like something that rhymes with it, and it’s actually really terrifying to see your hair melting off your skin. I was also left with a horrible rash and was convinced that I was dying at one point. So never again will I try hair removal cream.
Who knows you the best?
Pam: My sister. My BFFs. My mom knows the terrible aspects of my personality really well too, like how moody I can be.
Sarah: This is interesting because I feel like my family knows one side of me best while my friends know the other best.
What’s your favorite movie?
Pam: I have too many. Jurassic Park, for sure. Dead Poets Society is a movie I can watch over and over. I like really dark films too, like There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. Also, Melancholia, because Lars Von Trier is just…I don’t know. I watched this really terrible movie in high school called Bug that really impacted me. I wrote a lot of poems about it. I was a super cool teenager.
Sarah: Duh, Lord of the Rings. I also really enjoyed Pan’s Labyrinth, Into the Wild, and Catching Fire.
What’s your favorite type of foreign food?
Pam: Thai. No contest.
Sarah: Tie between Indian and Greek.
How many pillows do you sleep with?
Pam: I have five pillows on my bed. I feel like that number is a bit high but whatever. I technically only sleep with two but I like to sleep in chaos. I’ll have the three other pillows strewn all over the bed, plus two blankets, and the two-three books I’m reading, plus my phone buried somewhere underneath. It’s pretty hectic.
Sarah: Ummm… one? Is this a trick question?
How would your friends describe you?
Pam: Introverted, pretty weird, creative, prone to deep conversations and overthinking.
Sarah: Very Asian, sporadic, phobia-prone, fun, understanding, independent, gullible.
What motivates you to work hard?
Pam: I don’t really believe in working hard just because that’s a thing that productive and successful people do. To be motivated to work hard, you have to believe in what you’re doing. I’ve been reading a book on spirituality recently, and the author points to this idea of pursuing things in life that makes your soul hum. Being a Co-Editor of GirlSense & NonSense makes my soul hum, so I work really hard at it.
Sarah: What motivates me to work hard is a combination of the people I love and the things that I am passionate about.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Pam: There’s a lot of places I would like to visit, but actually moving there is difficult to imagine. I have a deep love for the west so I’d honestly probably stay around here. I’m also really inspired by desert landscapes so it just all works out.
Sarah: If I could live anywhere, I would live in one of those ultra-efficient tiny homes on a secluded beach in the Maldives. Or live in one of those lovely multi-colored homes perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea in Cinque Terre, Italy.
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Pam: Hiking around the Snake River Plain with my sister in the morning and then reading a good book for the entire afternoon. A heaping cup of tea would also be lovely.
Sarah: I would choose to live a day of complete confidence in myself, in what I do, in my body, in my spirit, in the people I love, and in my future. If I could live one day without ANY regrets, fears, doubts, self-consciousness, and negativity, that would be a great day. It’s a process, but I hope that can and will be a reality very soon.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Pam: I won an award for writing in my last semester of college and while it’s really not on the same scale as say, graduating from college, that award came at a really difficult time in my life. I was questioning my writing and my goals, and was really so far away from who I wanted to be. The award helped clarify some things and validated what I was doing, which we all need a bit here and there.
Sarah: Up to this point, my proudest accomplishment has been being able to begin to let go of the past and find myself after many years of living a half-life. Finding myself has included being more outspoken about my personal convictions, challenging myself with new, sometimes terrifying experiences (like becoming a co-editor for GS&NS), embracing my faults and celebrating my victories, letting go of negative people and negative perspectives, beginning to love myself, and trusting my instincts. This may not seem like a huge accomplishment when compared to completing college or landing a great job, but for me it has made all the difference.
Who is your hero?
Pam: I’m inspired by people literally every single day but someone who has inspired me or who I’ve found “heroic” or “brave” for a long time is Alice Paul, a suffragist and political strategist who was instrumental in the passing of the 19th amendment and in spearheading the Equal Rights Amendment (which has still yet to be passed). She was such a badass.
Sarah: My hero is my mom. Besides going through the terrifying ordeal of bringing me into this world (I was born 5 weeks premature), my mom has shown me what it means to be brave, wise, compassionate, sacrificial, and adaptable. She came from nothing but never let that stand in her way and told me the same. On her watch I learned to read in Korean and in English. She encouraged me to fulfill my potential. She taught me about love and Jesus. She showed me that it was okay to agree to disagree. My mom and I have had our differences (and still do), and we do not have a perfect relationship. Still, my mom is my hero, and I would not be the person I am today without her.
GirlSense & NonSense Magazine is now accepting submissions! Get your writing, poetry, and art published in the upcoming issue! Click here for details.