Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
High school: East Central High School
your family: My parents, Cliff
and Iva, have been married for an amazing 21 years and I’ve
shared 18 with them. I’m
the oldest of three. My brother, Chris, is 13 and my sister, Chelsea,
Why did you choose to attend The University
of Texas at Austin?
As of August 2002, UT was actually at the
bottom of a list of four colleges I was considering attending.
until I decided to tour the campus that UT rose from last to first
on my list of
colleges. Actually, to be a bit more specific, it was the tour
guide who led me to choosing The University of Texas at Austin.
Because he was an African American male, I felt he could give me
insight as to what I could expect if I decided to attend UT. When
I told him I was considering attending UT and a couple other schools,
namely Prairie View A&M University, he explained that while
Prairie View is fine, by going there, I wouldn't have as much of
an impact than if I attended UT. He went on to say that because
there are so few African American males at UT, my impact on the
campus would not only be more significant, but by excelling at
the university, I represent African American males in a positive
light. This would make the road a bit easier to travel for those
after me, which could lead to more African Americans attending
the university. He also told me about many other benefits to attending
UT over other schools, including the resources, the faculty and
the overall experience. All of the insight he gave me weighed heavily
on my decision to attend UT. When I thanked him, he laughed and
asked that in the future, I help someone like he helped me. I certainly
plan to do just that.
What do you want to do when you graduate
from the university?
My ultimate goal is to attend UT’s Law
School and from there, to pursue a career in corporate law.
If you could choose one personal
object to represent you (something that you brought to campus with
you), what would that object be?
My pen and notebook. Why? It’s
simple. For me, the pen and notebook represent writing, which doesn’t
make a lot of noise or cause a big distraction, but it provides
you with an outlet
for reflection. Don’t get me wrong, I have my times where
I do make a lot of noise or I may become the center of attention,
but for the most part, when you see me, I’m likely quiet,
contemplating whatever happens to come across my mind at the time.
If you had
to choose one thing about yourself to share with the university’s
Web audience, what would it be?
I suppose I could share the origin
of the nickname ‘C.J.’ with
the university’s Web audience. My real name is Clifford Earl
II. It’s definitely not one of your more common names, but
that’s not the point. The question I’m usually asked
about my nickname is, “Where does the ‘J’ in ‘C.J.’ come
from?” Well, my mom would have named me Clifford Earl Jr.,
but in my family, if you’re the junior, your name is Junior.
Out of the 26 first cousins and 28 second cousins on my mom’s
side, all of the males who were given their father’s name
are known as Junior. Well, to prevent this from happening, but
at the same time give me a name to differentiate me from my father,
my mom nicknamed me ‘C.J.’.
Who are your heroes?
While I look up to legendary
individuals like Dr. Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson, who
overcame severe adversities in pursuit
of a dream, my heroes are the two individuals who are responsible
for who I am today. My parents. They are caring parents, a loving
couple and strong in the word of God. The examples they have set
through the manner in which they live their lives have had a tremendous
impact on the manner in which I live mine. I am truly blessed to
have them as my parents.
If you could travel to one spot anywhere
in the world, where would you want to visit?
San Diego, California.
There’s no finer place in this world.
are your current favorite books? What books would you recommend
to someone you just met?
Erich Maria Remarque’s “All Quiet On The Western Front.” It’s
truly a remarkable book, from an anti-war standpoint. There’s
not another book I’d recommend to someone especially in light
of all that’s occurring in our world today. After reading
this book, I learned that this was one of the works to be publicly
burned in 1933 by the Nazis.
What pushes your buttons? What are
your pet peeves?
Onions. I can’t stand them.
What music are you listening to currently?
I always have a variety of music in rotation, ranging from 2-Pac to Prince, but
if I told you what I’m listening to the most at this moment, it would
have to be Outkast’s “Stankonia,” Bilal’s “1st
Born Second” and Common’s “Like Water For Chocolate.”
Nearly all shades of blue.
first on my list of favorite Web sites, because if there’s
any bit of noteworthy developments in the sports world, ESPN.com
will no doubt be on top of it.
My Aunt Brenda’s barbecue. Only my grandma’s home-cooked
meals rival it. Please believe, that’s saying a lot.
“Coming To America” is probably my all-time favorite movie.
I’ve never enjoyed watching a movie more. It’s a shame
how many times I’ve seen it. Let’s just say if I saw
it one more time, I’d probably be able to write the script
to the movie word for word.
Nas, 2-Pac, Sevendust, Outkast, Prince, Michael Jackson… The
list goes on and on. I’ve always listened to a lot of music,
but it was after I began working in a music store that the floodgates
flew open, and I exposed myself to a variety of different music
genres. Artists that I would consider favorites range from Notorious
B.I.G. to Earth, Wind & Fire.
subjects? What are you interested in studying in the future?
I am very interested in Government, but Philosophy is by far the
most interesting class I’ve ever taken. I plan to continue
to take Philosophy courses in the future.
Gregory Gym, hands down. It’s all-you-can-play basketball
seven days a week.
to go in Austin? Favorite things to do in Austin?
I haven’t been here long enough to know the ins and outs
of Austin, but in my short time here, I’ve become fond of
Sandy’s on Thursdays. A bacon cheeseburger with fries
and a drink for about $2.50? You can’t beat that.
Nothing is more spiritually and mentally fulfilling than writing.
I write whenever I get the urge to do so. Be it at 9 a.m. while
I’m eating breakfast or after midnight when I can’t
sleep, I write whatever is on my mind. I also play a lot of basketball.
That’s why Gregory Gym is one of my favorite campus spots.