Students who do cool things: “You’re Totally Awesome” (+ BCA)

“You’re Totally Awesome” is a podcast featuring students from all over Brown University and finding out what makes them excited about college and life. These are people you have seen around in your classes, out at night, or maybe even on stage. Aaron Nam ’12, the creator and facilitator of “You’re Totally Awesome,” says there are “so many great people around that we all want to catch up with before we leave this beautiful ecosystem that is college” and uses this as an opportunity to spotlight them. Think of it as an amalgamation of our Students who do cool things and Last Call, but with video. You can find more YTA interviews at and on iTunes.

Aaron sat down with Gillian Brassil, head of the BCA, to talk shop, and this is what she said:


For more information, check out Gillian on  YTA’s website. We, of course, decided to stick around and interrogate Aaron about this awesome venture.

Can you please define the word “totally”? If I were running for ASB President, my answer would be, “Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘totally’ as ‘in a total manner.'” Since I’m not running for anything, I’ll respond, “Urban Dictionary defines ‘totally’ as ‘A word that makes a woman’s knees weak when spoken by the love of her life.'” That just about covers it.

Can you define the word “awesome” (preferably in under 150 characters… this is an entirely arbitrary demand)? Three characters: You. Example: “Wendy Schiller is totally awesome.”

What are the three greatest things you have learned from doing YTA? Only three? Three per interviewee would be doable. Three overall? Toughie… Here goes, in no particular order:

  1. Natan Last can do a crossword puzzle in ~3 minutes. Blindfolded. That last bit was a lie.
  2. Nathaniel Shapiro wrote a poem in 3rd grade titled “Why Life.” Dark, twisted, amaz.
  3. Steph Yin lived with Sea Gypsies in Indonesia for two months on those stilt houses that you see in National Geographic.
  4. *Honorable mention: iJenny is not Google Searchable 😉

Are those flowers real? Working off a small budget (as evidenced by the “amazing” production value of my vids). I think they’re pretty, though. Also, I want to give a big thank you to Brown University’s chaplain, Reverend Janet Cooper Nelson, for letting me use them and the chaplain’s room.

What’s next in the Aaron Nam brain? We’ve got some things cooking. One in particular that we’re hoping to get off the ground soon. Lampposts have been on my and Willie Herrmann’s minds of late… Sorry for the tease. Just don’t want to hype it up too much in case it falls through. It’s going to be a lot of fun though. Also, look out for a second wave of the Namosaur Wars post-Spring weekend. We’re not done yet. The biggest upcoming project is the CCCarnival for me and partner Sidney Kushner’s nonprofit CCChampions coming up on May 4. We’ll be teaming up with Hasbro’s Children’s Hospital and the PawSox for the event. If anyone wants to find out more about the Carnival or the organization, head over Sorry for the plug…

What are you interested in? What are you passionate about? People. Man, I love people. Everyone has so much to offer the world, and they are, in their own way, contributing so much, sometimes without even knowing it. I wish everyone knew just how amazing they were and took the time to celebrate themselves and let everyone celebrate with them.

What are you most proud of in your time at Brown? My friendships. Corny, I know. Honestly though, I’m so grateful to have been surrounded with such amazing people who care so much for the world and the people around them. I’m constantly taken aback by the passion, wit, determination (the list goes on) that each of them have. I’m honored to be known by each and every one of them, let alone to be called their friends.

Stay tuned for You’re Totally Awesome, now collaborating with Last Call!

(Editor’s Note: In the interest of totally awesome full disclosure, BlogDailyHerald is totally awesome!)

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