First Impressions: An Interview with (RJ) Robert-Jacob Hinojosa

Robert-Jacob Hinojosa- movie buff, sports fanatic, music lover, comedian…

On January 23, 2018, at my living room apartment, I interview RJ as he does his accounting homework while watching the Kansasa vs Oklahoma basketball game. I’m procrastinating my reading homework. But don’t worry, we got our stuff done anyway.

H: So you got to tell me your full name

RJ: Robert-Jacob Hinojosa. There’s no middle name

Why?

(jokingly) Cause my parents suckkk…

They wanted me to be RJ but they didn’t want dots in my name and they didn’t want me to have a middle name. So they hyphenated Robert and Jacob.

Where are you from?

Like where was I born? Technically in McAllen, Tx and I grew up in San Manuel till I was like three or four. Then we moved to Edinburg and I lived there till now.

And how many Siblings do you have?What are their names?

I have four siblings. Vaness shes the oldest, Olivia, then me, and then Gabby, and then Nico the youngest.

Okay, so why are you at UT?

Cause I have to go to college, cause my parents. I have to go.

But you wanted to come?

Here? I mean I guess it wasn’t my first choice.

What was your first choice?

Like anywhere (starts laughing) Texas was, I don’t want to say a backup plan, I knew I was going to get in. But I had the 7% rule in my back pocket. And I tried to get in anywhere else, and I did get into other places, but I had to pay a lot more than I would at UT.

Do you think you’re missing out on a lot of stuff?

(Sarcastically) Yeah, dude like not having a girlfriend and stuff like that. Sounds realllllly greatttt.

(laughing)

But no I don’t think I’m missing out on anything. Every other place I could have gone wasn’t Austin, and I like it here.

So what are you studying here? Well, first I know that you changed your major a bunch of times. But what did you first come as?

I came as a biomedical engineer. Then after one semester I switched to exercise science, then to physical culture and sports, and then to Sports Management which I’m going to graduate with. Funny story, I knew I was going to switch out of my biomedical engineer major after ten minutes in my first class at UT. It was intro to BME lab and I like hated that professor. Later that semester the professor quit his job and became a rock climbing instructor so I think I made a good call.

So why did you choose this profession to study?

I thought about coaching but I didn’t want to be a coach, it takes too much time out of your personal life so I figured to be a GM, General Manager. Which requires sports knowledge and management knowledge and business so I thought sports management was a good combination. The only thing that really tailors sports and business. So I got in. I mean I hate half the classes I take but the other half are the best classes I’ve taken here.

Okay so just for fun I want you to tell me three facts about yourself. That maybe I don’t know, or that you just want to get out there, about yourself.

Ummm, I’ve played organized basketball since I was three years old, which is two years before anyone else does. But it was because my parents were a part of a boys and girls club in San Manuel.

Umm facts about my self…I don’t know..mmm. If I could choose another profession I’d like to be a writer for movies. And then I don’t know…I’m really close to my parents, they’re like my best friends.

Yeah, not a lot of people are close to their parents as what I’ve seen and experienced, compared to what I’ve seen with your Mom and your Dad.

 

 

Okay so, I’m just going to ask you a bunch of other random questions. And I want to know how different your life was a year ago.

I wasn’t in my major, one. I had long hair. I’m just going by physical appearance. I had no beard. I was pretty depressed in college honestly. Um, I wasn’t having fun. But now that I’m part of a club and friends with your roommates, I have more fun and stuff and I’m happier now than I used to be, so that’s pretty much the biggest difference.

So what year are you?

This is my third year of college.

So to all the people out there that are younger than you what would you tell them about the experiences you’ve had in college?

They should try to be different than they were in high school, I’m totally different than what I was. I’m like way more laid back, I just got a fresh start here to act differently and not be judged. It’s a good clean slate and you can try many different things. Especially when you leave for college because nobody back at home that has known me since I was a kid never even sees me now.

Everyone I know here in Austin that isn’t you, I’ve basically met in the past year in a half. How they know me in college is just how they know me. They don’t have any preconceptions of me. Is that a word? Preconceptions?

I think so, yes. 

Okay, so on another note, what do you spend most of your time thinking about? Like when you’re dazed off?

Uh like right now, about what am I going to do when I graduate! (laughing) Right there in my head all the time.I don’t know…what consumes my day? I like to daydream a lot, usually random situations and what ifs. And about sports a lot! And playing sports. But mainly about what I’m going to do after college.

I want you to tell me what is your strongest personality quality?

One thing that everyone seems to agree is that I’m funny. I think this whole thing about personality is, you don’t really know how you are. The only way you know is by what people think about you. So everything I’m saying is by what people tell me. I really don’t know. People call me an a-hole sometimes, that too. (laughs). I’m funny and blunt.

But do you like yourself, would you be friends with you?

Nah I fu*king hate my self, no I’m kidding. Yeah, I guess. I’m like the best, I’d be friends with myself. I don’t think I’m that bad. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t judge others. So I think I’d be pretty cool to hang out with but I’m not really a social butterfly.

(complaining about school and professors stuff later)

 But what is one thing you don’t like about yourself, but come to terms with it?

My anxiety, and yeah I’ve come to terms with it.

That’s good. So do you like to read?

Yeah, I like to read. I read on Reddit. Top books, “The Giver”, I really liked “Holes”, Phil Knight’s “Shoe Dog”, “Moneyball”. I really liked “Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism”.  Also “The Football That Won” a children’s book, I used to read with my Mom all the time. Its a good book, nice pictures.

Awe that’s cute. So what are your favorite movies?

I’m a Cinephile. That’s the proper term. My favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr.Fox. I have a bunch of favorite movies. Like off the top of my head, American Psycho, Fight Club,  The Fugitive with freaking Harrison Ford. That movie is amazing! Have you seen The Fugitive?

No.

Oh my god what a movie. It’s like a total 80s action flick. It has zero plot, honestly with no deep thick plot. It’s just a good movie, I really like it. It’s just a cop thriller. “I didn’t kill my wife!” “I don’t care” (laughing)  a famous line.

I don’t know what other movies I like. Mad Max Fury Road was really good, Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan was a fox, sorry Hollie. (laughs) Those are the two big ones that stand out this year. Mad Max was crazy. But my favorite movie of 2017 would have to be Blade Runner 2049!

If you can have a movie title that would describe your life what would it be?

What’s the name of that song? Oh I like that song “Fat Lip” by Sum 41. I know it has nothing to do with the movie title but that song is like a really good song about how I feel about myself. It’s super lame. But Fat Lip would be the name of the movie based off of that song. Cause that song is about not conforming to your age and what societies expectations are.

Leading to that, what is your favorite kind of music?

Have you ever heard of Ska?

(we both start laughing, inside joke 🙂 )

Nah Nah, I’m joking. I like to listen to rap music or hip-hop music. I also like Indie music. Recently played I have Triathlon, Tyler the Creator, The Shins ( I listen to them a lot today, what a great day, I love The Shins) The Strokes. I’m a really big Drake Fan. I don’t know if people judge me on that but in 8th grade, I went through this period where I had a poster of Drake on my wall. It was a really cool poster. He had a bunch of good bangers.

But if I had to pick my artists of 2017  would be Rex Orange County and Her’s, and I also finally got into Frank Ocean.

So besides listening to music what are your hobbies?

I play basketball a lot and when I can I like to work out. I watch a bunch of movies, I really don’t like to rewatch movies. I don’t. You can never get that first time feeling back, you what I mean? I mean I’ve seen my favorite movies again like Shawshank Redemption and Saving Private Ryan when it comes on TV. But all my other favorites, I’ve seen Fight Club once, and I read the book, it’s a pretty good book. I’ve seen American Psycho twice. And yeah, I just don’t rewatch movies.

Yeah, I get you. It ruins something that you like. So another question is, what have you formed an opinion about? About anything.

(laughs) Well, the Cavaliers basketball team, and how their being run. I don’t think they’re going to last long. OH! I hate that new Ipad commercial. How can you not know what a computer is, what a dumbass little girl. “what’s a computer?” Like everything is a computer when you hold a calculator ITS A COMPUTER. Also that my flat feet are going to be the death of me. Also, I don’t know what to do with my life.

About that, what are you most afraid of?

Spiders and being a failure.

Do you think everyone is afraid of that? Like do you wish you didn’t have that fear?

I don’t know. And Yeah it’d make my life a lot easier. I’ve had a lot of expectations on me. I’m also afraid of succeeding, because of my fear of failure instead of my want to succeed. Because when I do, I’ll still be afraid.

Do you think because of that, it has a lot to do with college? Who are these people with expectations of you?

No, I’ve always felt that. My family, they don’t mean to do it in a bad way. There’s always an expectation. Oh, my god, my Dad tells me “You know who I saw today?” and he says someones that I’ve like only met twice. And he says “They ask me how you doing, and wish you good luck” And I’m like, I really don’t know who that is, but they are invested in what I do.

Do you think its because they look up to you or are jealous of you because you left town for college?

I don’t know. They just expect. I was successful at a young age, so yeah.

Yeah. So now that you in college, what major, or job you wish you could do?

Write for movies. There’s a part of me that wants to be creative.

And that’s the next question: Do you think you’re creative?

No. If I sat down and applied myself I think I could be. I know I’m creative. But I’d have to work at it. If I had to make a last impression of myself, I’d like to make a movie.

How do you feel about expressing yourself? And the importance?

It’s important. It’s hard with what I want to do. It’s hard to express your self if you need to fit into a stereotype for a job. Like my professor reading out my resumes in class. It’s stupid. I know the importance of a Resume but I feel that meeting someone is important. Like that’s how I got my Rec Sports job, they asked me a bunch of questions like these to see if I was cool to work with.

What do you want people to be obsessed with?

Movies. But I like talking about artistic mediums that bring out a bunch of different opinions about them. It’s good to talk about them. Like for example, the difference of having a relationship with the main character in Whiplash and then Good Will Hunting and how those who different couples add something different to the movie.

What are you addicted too?

Food? Maybe?

You never fu*king eat! (laughs)

I’d like to be addicted to clothes. If I had the money, I’d just by a shit load of clothes. Like I want those Nikes that Forest Gump has. That’s a good movie, I like how its narrator through and a simpleton with no bias. That’d be cool to talk about. What are we talking about again?

Addicted

Oh yeah. I’d buy a bunch of clothes. Then I’ll give it away to homeless people. They’ll look fly as fu*k. How can you not give a guy some change who’s wearing Nike Cortes, skinny jeans, and a flannel? You can give that guy change.

Or maybe I could just give them money too, not just clothes. (laughs)

What are you self-conscious about?

(Starts laughing) You know. My body, my anxiety, and OCD.

So UT free counseling, I checked and It’s true, they waved the fee!  

Wow, guys(roommates) you need to throw Hollie a party because she changed UT policy with her petition!!! I mean we don’t know if it was the direct cause. But mental health services are free now, which happened right after her petition.

(laughing)

Anyway, what would you give a Ted talk on?

Sports, and how its institutionalized racism in America. How the NCAA takes advantage of their players.

So the last question, would you consider yourself an artist?

At the moment no. I don’t produce anything that invokes thought.

But what about the things you say?

I don’t talk enough.  If I was a good oratory person or storyteller, it’d be cool. I feel like the easiest thing I could do is be a comedian. That’s the fastest way I can be an artist. Because I can’t sing for sh*t, I can’t play any instruments-

But you learn really fast, like with the bass.

Yeah but the quickest path is probably comedian. I like storytellers like Dave Chapelle, I like his style. But I’m not even a good storyteller too so I’d have to get good at that. I wish I could draw and stuff.

Is there one last thing you want to say? About yourself that you want to get out there? Would you say at the end of this they know something about you?

At the end of the interview? Probably not, you’d have to meet me. You know my answers but you won’t know about me until you meet me. Cause body language tells a lot about people. I’m saying that, if you read a memoir about an artist you like, would you say you completely knew them. Just because you know every single fact about me doesn’t mean you know who I am. Just because everyone who reads this is not going to be “oh I want to be RJ’s Friend” But then if they meet me they find out that I am sarcastic, I crack a lot of jokes. I don’t take a lot of things seriously because I don’t want to. I’m just saying they won’t necessarily know me.

You have to meet someone. If I want them to know who I am, they need to meet me. It takes a lot of time to know you. I’m still trying to figure it out.I guess I am trying to figure out who I am –so I guess that means I’m deep, ahh. That’s what I hate, people hate when you say cliches but in reality, does anyone know who they are? I’m 21 and you ask me to describe myself and I don’t know how to fu*king describe myself.

When you think about it people have a lot of misconceptions about themselves. We’re not a bunch of weirdos were all pretty cool.

Yeah, you have friends, you have a girlfriend, best friends.

Babe, you’re my girlfriend?

Yeahhhh!!!

(baby voice) No way!

end

If you like this interview, there is more to come in the series!

H

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