Scheduling an Interview with Noam Chomsky

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Noam Chomksy’s Office at MIT | April 1, 2014 | 12:16 PM

I’ll never forget Tuesday, April 1, 2014. It was on this day that I interviewed Noam Chomsky at his MIT office in Cambridge, MA. The interview took place at 12:00 pm. We talked about education, democracy, and the news media, which was published here.

I often get asked, “How’d you get to interview Noam Chomsky?” That’s a great question! And, up until now, the only person who knew was my dear friend Emily.

So, here’s how it happened!!

To provide a brief background, I was a first year doctoral student, and I was interested in the relationship between education and the news media in terms of policy and pedagogy. That is, what role do the media play in education policy? And, how are the media educational in itself? That is, the media provide a daily stream of curriculum to the public, helping them learn about issues in the world beyond their personal experiences. With this in mind, I first emailed Noam Chomsky on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm. Professor Chomsky responded 56 minutes later, writing:

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Nevertheless, I persisted. I emailed him back on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm, writing “Perhaps maybe this summer. ” And, at 8:33 pm, he replied:

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I was confused at first because that was the email address I initially used. So, I looked up Bev Stohl in the MIT directory and emailed her. She replied on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 4:07 pm, writing:

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Apparently, Noam employed a work force of three dedicated assistants. Bev Stohl was his pinnacle. They initially screen his emails even though he read reads them all. Cool!!

On Friday, January 17, 2014 at 9:03 am, I received an email from another assistant, Glenn Ketterle. My interview was almost scheduled with Professor Chomsky:

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I responded at 10:34 am, writing:

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Noam Chomsky’s assistant, Glenn, officially confirmed my interview at 12:37 pm, writing:

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And, that’s how I scheduled an interview with Noam Chomsky for April 1, 2014 at his MIT office located at 77 Mass Ave., Cambridge, MA  02139. Walking up to the building that day, I must admit, I was pretty intrigued. Take a look for yourself: