Jewish Aggie of the Week Presents Eric Garfinkle

Monday, 14 November, 2016 - 7:43 pm

 Jewish Aggie of the Week Presents


What is your name?

Eric Garfinkle

Where are you from?

Bellaire Texas


Where did you go to high school?

Bellaire High School


Why did you choose Texas A&M?

Heard it was a good engineering school so I went for my undergrad. Stayed for PhD


What was your major and why did you decide to pursue such a degree?

Computer Engineering. I picked it because it sounded like a halfway point for electrical engineering and computer science, but it’s definitely not like that at all. Ended up loving it so I stuck with it.


What is your favorite book? Why?

Don’t really have a favorite, but I read “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” recently, which was an incredibly interesting book on the science behind habits. Helped me understand how to form good habits and how to change bad ones.


What do you look forward to when coming to Chabad?

Food of course, but also saying hi to everyone. Whenever I show up there always is something interesting to learn about or talk about.


What do you love about Jewish life on campus?

A lot of the jews are involved, even those that aren’t observant. There is always a community and a place to go regardless of how “Jewish” you are.


Why do you think it is important to be involved in Jewish life?

It’s good to learn about judaism, since many people you meet at a&m aren’t familiar with it, or have never met a jew in their life. From spending time with chabad, it's much easier to articulate my beliefs and help other people understand jewish traditions.


If you had a dream list for Chabad, what would be on it?

Real Kitchen knifes for kosher cooking club. Other than that things seem good.


Do you plan on going to graduate school at A&M?

Already on that.


Do you have any siblings?

One twin brother, he went to the other texas school


What is your favorite Jewish food?

Matzah balls


What is your favorite food?

Real Texas brisket


What is your favorite Jewish childhood memory?

Lighting shabbat candles with my parents


What is your favorite Chabad experience until now?

I don't really have a number one favorite thing, I just enjoy shabbat and sukkot.


Have you ever traveled outside of the United States? If so, where? Which place was your favorite? For what reason?

I’ve been to Israel, the Netherlands, and England. My favorite was Israel because of how different the day to day life was compared to America.


Have you ever been to Israel? If so, what was the most moving/amazing/inspirational experience you had?

I have been. The most amazing experience I had was staying a day in Jerusalem after the trip. I had gotten barely any sleep and wandered the city seeing sights and eating food. But the amazing part was seeing all of the people younger than me, patrolling the streets with plenty of firepower.


If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Honestly anywhere in California or Seattle. I want to try the most innovative and tasty beer in the world, and I’m very positive it’s in the US. Germany and Belgium hold to tradition, so it's hard to find something really creative from those countries.


What is your favorite vacation spot?

Austin. Good food, easy to get to, very fun.


How do you enjoy spending your free time?

Reading, playing games, making beer


If you could start university again what would you do differently?

Spend more time doing extracurriculars and also working harder in classes.


Do you have any animals? What is their best trick?

I have a cat named Horatio. His best trick is complaining and sleeping, with occasional belly rubs.


Did you prefer living on campus or off campus? What would you recommend to freshmen?

On campus is great, I recommend spending at least one year in the dorms, then move to an apartment or house close enough to walk to campus.


If you could have one wish for anything in the world what would it be?

More research funding


What has been your most thrilling experience in your life?

Cliff jumping into a very small lake.


Do you have a message for future A&M students?

Have a great time here, and meet tons of people. Also go to chabad on occasion.


What has been your most enjoyable class?

Computer Architecture. After taking that class I learned a ton about how computers are designed and it helped motivate me towards doing my PhD.


What has been your best job on campus?

On campus I worked as a student researcher, helped me get great internships and work opportunities and meet amazing people.


If you were able to have one superpower what would it be?

Flight, think how nice it would be to just fly places, cheaper and faster than an Uber


What would enhance Jewish life on campus?

More Jews.


How did you get involved with Chabad?

I was in boy scouts with people who were in Sammy, and they went to chabad, so of course I went.


Do you have plans for after graduation?

Definitely get a job. Maybe travel some before I get too serious about my career.


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