Bear Pause: Peter Ormand '01

Peter Ormand '01 has been living in New York City since his freshman year of college. He misses Minneapolis, but since joining Target two years ago as food and beverage director he has been able to return to his childhood hometown more frequently.

Q: What is the most surprising thing about you?
A: People are always pretty surprised to find out that I speak Spanish fluently. I'll admit I've used that to my advantage from time to time.

Q: What book has influenced you greatly? How?
A: Freshman year we read the English translation of Manlio Argueta's book "One Day of Life," which depicts a particularly tragic day for a Salvadoran family during their country's civil war. Of course, at the time I had no idea that 10 years later I would be married to a Salvadoran woman. My wife, son and I travel to El Salvador often, and we have a real passion for El Salvador and her people. I've reread "One Day of Life" a couple of times, and I'm always moved by Argueta's depiction of his fellow Salvadorans and their immense courage and resolve.

Q: If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you spend it?
A: I'd like to think I'd spend it at the gym, but I know that's something I just tell myself to feel better about myself. I would probably spend it reading or cooking.

Q: If you could live inside any sitcom, which one would it be?
A: Growing up in Minnesota I always loved "Seinfeld"; it depicted a NYC that I fell in love with but which has unfortunately long since disappeared.

Q: When was the last time you were nervous?
A: I think when you become a parent you stop being nervous for yourself and start being nervous for your kid. My son had baseball tryouts this week, and I had butterflies in my stomach all morning.

Q: Who is your hero?
A: Two individuals who come to mind right away are Martin Luther King Jr. and San Romero de las Americas. Both have a lot of uncomfortable things to say about loving your fellow human. Both gave their lives in the struggle for equality.

Q: If you could visit any place in the world, where would you choose to go and why?
A: The African nation of Eritrea has been on my "dream list" for a very long time. It checks all the boxes of what I look for in a memorable travel destination: hospitable people, great food, unique architecture and an outsized role in human history. Unfortunately it can be difficult to secure a visa — but I know I'll make it someday.

Q: What teacher inspired you the most? How?
A: I had so many amazing teachers at Blake, but two come to mind immediately: Profe Kahle and Madame Cassavante. They both were instrumental in showing me how large and varied the world is and how a knowledge of languages could allow me to have a deeper appreciation for and engagement with that world. Profe Kahle was the first person to turn me on to Latinx music, and Madame Cassavante's tales from her sabbatical in francophone Africa helped nurture a passion for travel that continues to this day. I'm so fortunate to still keep in touch with both of them!

Q: What's your favorite family tradition?
A: We named our son Nicolas after the historical Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of my ancestral home of Bari, Italy. Every Dec. 6 we celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas. We eat a meal of traditional southern Italian foods, spend time together as an extended family and give thanks for our many blessings, the greatest of which is our son Nicolas.

Q: If your life were a book, what would it be titled?
A: I hope it would be called "Eclectic Wanderer," and not just because it's my Instagram handle! I've tried to live my life meeting as many different peoples and having as many different experiences as possible, and I hope to be able to continue living that way for a very long time.