New CALL member, Trez Drake, is the Foreign, Comparative & International Law Librarian at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Her Northwestern colleague, Tom Gaylord, recently interviewed her so we could get to know her.
TG: Where did you grow up, and where else have you lived before coming to Chicago? Do you have a favorite among them?
TD: I grew up in rural North Carolina, went to college in Maine, law school in Atlanta, library school in Seattle. Besides that, I have lived in Massachusetts, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alaska, and New York—the City. I think Seattle was a favorite because I made some good friends who are family and have a bed waiting for me whenever I go back. The couple that I lived with were foodies so I learned to drink a Manhattan and became friends with food from Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I miss the dinner parties and sit-down dinner 5+ days a week.
TG: What led you to become a law librarian, and why the focus on foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL)?
TD: I became a law librarian because I couldn’t find my place in the law, but wanted to be able to use the degree over which I suffered and cried. Seemed a waste to walk away from the degree. I chose FCIL because I’ve always been curious, a bit of an adventurer, had an interest in other places and cultures. I studied Russian as a foreign language, and took lots of human rights and international law classes at Georgia State. Seemed like a proper fit.
TG: What are some of your favorite hobbies?
TD: Cooking, reading, binge watching on my Roku, writing.
TG: Where’s your favorite place to travel? Where have you not visited that you want to visit the most?
TD: I’m a homebody so my favorite place to travel is wherever my friends are—even if that means that I’ll be making a new friend when I arrive. One of those places is to visit my best friend from home. She’s like a sister to me and never gives me a hard time for reading too much or when my accent slips; and she always makes sure that I get the right kind of barbecue when I’m in town. As for a place that I most want to visit, I have been thinking that it’d be nice to take a cross-country road trip with a silver bullet trailer. But I worry I’d either get lonely traveling alone or kill my traveling companion. Maybe I should get a dog.
TG: What do you like most about living in Chicago?
TD: Chicago is hyggeligt [pronounced hoog-lee; Danish for “cozy.”]. Feels like a city, but I don’t feel lost and overwhelmed. I like the convenience. The express bus is a step out my door. The red line and my grocery is 5 blocks away. The beach is a long block from my apartment. And there is water everywhere!!! And food!!!
TG: Physical books or ebooks?
TD: Both. I have plenty of print books at home that I have to read. But, for commuting and travel, e-books are easier to carry.
TG: What’s the best TV show of all time? (Spoiler alert: It’s “The Wire.”)
TD: It’s “The Wire!” (Um, it’s on my binge list!) But, really? Dr. Who!
TG: What is one more thing we should know about you that I haven’t asked?
TD: I have a strange recall for the lyrics of 80s Top 40.