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    • Dr. Kai Bynum enjoys life outside of his suits.

Interview: Dr. Bynum Beyond Hop

Helena Lyng-Olsen ’18 and Lilly Tipton ’18 interviewed Dr. Bynum on the interests and hobbies he enjoys beyond life in Baldwin Hall. His responses are below:
What do you do in your free time?
Well, I don’t have much free time these days but if I have a little time I enjoy reading, writing, watching news and sports, thinking in silence, and exercising. If I have some time on vacation I enjoy fly-fishing, traveling, and the outdoors in general.

What teams do you support and in what sports?
All of Hopkins’ Sports Teams... Football: The University of Washington Huskies!!!, Patriots and Broncos. Baseball: Red Sox and Mariners. Basketball: Celtics

What is your favorite place in the world?
The “H” on our campus looking at downtown New Haven. A list of runner-ups would be Ketchum, Idaho, and Cape Cod.

What do you like most about living in New Haven? What was the biggest adjustment moving to New Haven?
I’ve enjoyed the intellectual vigor, grit, diversity, and industrious spirit of New Haven. All those factors might come second to the fantastic food scene in the city. The adjustment was easy. I really enjoy living here.

You mentioned you had traveled to all 50 states. What have you gained from your travels?
I’ve gained a perspective of people from different cultures, regions, political opinions, backgrounds and all walks of life; and, through that, I’ve gained the belief that there are a lot of good people in this world and there are a lot of ways to seek happiness and meaning. Lastly, I’ve gained the realization that this is a pretty amazing country that is strengthened by a rich and deep sense of diversity of all forms.

If you could return to one state which would it be and why?
Alaska. In particular, Seward, Alaska, where I finally understood the intersection of finding a sense of purpose, connecting with a range of people, being absorbed by nature, and realizing an authentic sense of myself. 

How long have you had your dog and what is your favorite thing about having a dog?
My dog Huxley is two years old. Dogs, and my dog in particular, give unconditional love. They don’t really care about the highs and lows of your day. They just want to be with you.

Why did you pick this breed? Have you had other dogs and, if so, what kind?
This is the second Bernese Mountain Dog we’ve had. They have a calm disposition, they’re big, sweet, handsome, and loyal dogs.

What three things (events, people, places etc.) in your life have in
fluenced you the most?
This is a really tough question, but I’ll give you four:
My close family and friends. (Too many to mention here.) My extensive domestic and international travel. (When I was younger, it was the first vehicle that opened my eyes to the reality of the world outside of the Plato’s Cave in which I was living.) My love for literature, philosophy, and ideas. (Whitman, Kerouac, Melville, Rilke, Wallace Stevens, Plath, Beckett, Franz Wright, and Nietzsche) My insatiable desire to live life to its fullest.

I was trying to think about a moment in my life that captured the responses, and I re
flected on my Junior year of high school. That year I played four varsity sports, took two AP classes, took two classes at a local community college because I was trying to accumulate enough credits to graduate high school early, I traveled to Europe for the second time, I traveled to Alaska for the first time, and I was introduced to Walt Whitman for the first time. It was a year where I started to define for myself how I wanted to live my life, challenge my abilities, participate in activities I was passionate about, and learn what kind of intellectual inquiry added value to my life in this world.

What type of music do you listen to?
I like pretty much all types of music. It really depends on my mood. I like Bob Marley, George Strait, Tupac, Sinatra, Eva Cassidy, Al Green, Benyaro, Dave Brubeck, Mendelssohn, Van Morrison, Alison Krauss, and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. They are regulars on my iTunes.

Best movie of all time?
This one is easy... “Wonder Boys.” 
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