When I first made contact with Peter Ray (on the left), I had so many questions for him. Was he vertically challenged (like me)? Why did his email address say he was British? And, above all, what kind of personality does he have? I could’ve asked him any of these things. But no, the first thing I asked him was, “What time is it?”
He answered that it was 5:40 AM in Kurdistan, which prompted another round of questions. Why was he awake at that hour? Did he just wake up, or did he stay up all night? Why was he in Kurdistan? But more than that, his answer gave a first glimpse into his world, a world where the Internet provided his only method of communication, and where the time zone difference forced him to stay awake at odd hours of the night to communicate with his friends. Or maybe he just couldn’t sleep. Whatever it was, our conversation turned to other matters, but this first impression of Peter Ray still lingered in my mind.
One of the words he uses to describe himself is “eccentric.” He is an extreme Anglophile, history buff, science geek, Elon Musk fanboy, and leader-because-no-one-else-wants-to. He likes the idea of a Renaissance man, a well-rounded person who can study any subject if he wants; at the same time, he is a staunch proponent of specialization, and has already chosen a specific field for himself: computer science applied to aerospace engineering. And despite the email address, Peter is actually American. But despite the fact that he’s American, he has a slight British accent due to his British speech therapist. As he puts it, he “likes being confusing.”
Peter is also very efficient. He maintains a web of relationships with his friends through Whatsapp, Hangouts, and Discord. He runs a Youtube channel simply because no one else wants to run that channel. And he is obsessed with doing productive things every day.
All of these character traits that Peter has—his eccentricity, efficiency, and, well, weirdness—point to one underlying trait that Peter is proud of: his originality. I mean, come on, what other American’s email address says they’re British? Peter is appalled by the fact that there are other Peter Rays running around, and he strives to be different, to be above the rest. I can’t wait to see what Peter will do with clay this year!