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Random Thoughts: A Community Conversation with Baylor Talcott

This week, Mid Rivers Newsmagazine talks with Baylor Talcott, our summer intern. Talcott is a student at the University of Tampa double-majoring in journalism and new media production. 

Baylor Talcott

What makes a good life?

Happiness. No matter what you’re doing in life, no matter what’s going on, just try to stay positive and stay happy. If you’re not making enough money, don’t let that be the driving factor. Make sure you’re doing what you love, and whether that’s a job or a hobby or any activity, just make sure you’re happy.

What goal do you think humanity is not focused enough on achieving?

So, my main focus, from a global standpoint, is the environment. Humanity, in general, is trying to stop global warming and climate change, but we aren’t doing a very good job with it … The U.S. pulled out of The Paris Agreement, and the U.S. is kind of pulling back from other environmental restrictions that we’ve had in the past. I feel like we’re not doing enough, and I feel like if we were to focus on one aspect of the environment for five or six years, we’d be able to fix some things. If we were able to do that with the environment, we’d be able to do it with other things … [The distraction] is mainly political. It’s one side not wanting to and the other side wanting to, and then everyone trying to take the side they think is best instead of focusing on the main issue. They’re not focused on finding a solution, they’re focused on picking a side. That is why we haven’t been able to really come up with anything [to help the situation].

Do you think that children born today will have better or worse lives than their parents?

I think it kind of depends on where they grow up. From what my parents have talked about, I definitely have a better life than they had. Obviously, technology changes things with how kids are going to talk to each other, grow up and learn on their own, because there [are] a lot of opportunities out there that we have with technology that our parents didn’t have.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

That’s a tough one to answer because I don’t really sleep much in the first place anymore … When I’m not writing or working on articles, I’ll spend my time playing guitar and learning new chords. That’s probably what I’d do with most of my time. I try to learn as much as I can. 

What is the most interesting documentary you’ve ever watched?

Interesting for everyone else probably isn’t going to happen, but to me, it was on how refried beans are made … I found out they’re not even fried in the first place. They’re baked … If someone ever wants to hear a weird fact, I say that. It doesn’t come up often, but when it does, it can be kind of funny. It was an hour-and-a-half documentary on the Food Network, which I religiously watch. 

What is the funniest thing you’ve seen a kid do?

I was dating a girl in high school who would babysit, so I used to go over and help her. We were watching a movie and, appropriate or not, there was a scene where a guy started streaking. We had a 6- or 7-year-old, and you would think, at that point, he would know, “Don’t do everything you see on television or in movies.” That didn’t happen. After we watched the movie, we took him out to … a little community lake … there in Eureka. It was a little crowded. So, he had the idea to be funny. He took off his pants and started streaking across the entire lake, jumped in the lake and started swimming naked. I was crying, laughing at the time, but she was not having any of it. She was trying to get him out, and I couldn’t even help at all. It was hysterical. It’s still vivid in my mind.

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