Xpat Interview 2: Paul Slocombe, Former Director, American International School of Budapest

  • 8 Mar 2016 11:00 AM
Xpat Interview 2: Paul Slocombe, Former Director, American International School of Budapest
1. What’s been happening at work and at home since your first Xpat Interview?

Click here to read his first interview.

We’ve been focusing on a number of different areas of school life. Our Early childhood program has undergone an extensive revision; we’ve increased access to and student success in our IB program and scores. We’ve introduced a series of educational tests to help us monitor student progress, and we’ve hosted a number of international educational conferences, which have been very successful.
Home life: I became a grandfather twice, a boy and a girl with one son. The other one, a jazz musician in LA released another CD.

2. On a scale of 1 to 10 how happy are you with your life in Hungary, and why?
10 – school is thriving, I’m very pleased with what we are accomplishing and I’m enjoying my non-work time, enjoying all that Budapest and the countryside of Hungary has to offer. Non work: wellness, spas and I enjoy the culture. Recently I went to Műcsarnok at Hero’s Square to see Steve Mccurry’s Exhibition. There is so much going on in the city and I enjoy it.

3. What’s the best party you’ve been to while in Hungary, and why?
I don’t go to many – but all the XpatLoop parties I've attended have been great.

4. What’s your favourite drink?
Depends on the occasion. Mostly I prefer single malts, red wine and American IPA’s.

5. What hidden talents do you have?
Car/motorcycle mechanics – I can solve most problems. I used to put motorbikes together when I was younger. Started learning how to do it after a mistrust in mechanics. I put a Morris Minor car together for my wife as a wedding present.

6. What was the most interesting travel trip you have ever taken?
Any number of Surfing expeditions – trying to find the perfect wave and beach.

7. If you were given a wish that could come true, what would you ask for?
End terrorism worldwide

8. What’s the last book you read, and movie you watched?
Revenant was the movie last weekend. With books, I read a lot mostly professional technical and educational works, but for relaxation down time, I enjoy action adventure novels by Patterson, Child and Baldacci. I read one roughly every three weeks.

9. If someone wrote a biography about you, what would the title be?

10. What is the perfect pizza toppings combination for you?
Pepperoni, chilies and peppers.

11. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, real or fictional, with whom would it be?
Cannot really think of anybody. It would be interesting to see a doctor dealing with the stress, traumas and the joy and despair in their every day life.

12. On a scale of 1 to 10 how unusual are you, and why?
6 – because compared to many people, I’m pretty normal. I would give myself a 6 as I have worked hard to make opportunities happen for me. I’ve also led a somewhat adventurous life – surfing big waves, martial arts, skydiving, motorcycle racing which perhaps puts me a little toward the unusual end.

13. What’s the best website you’ve ever visited, and why?
Besides XpatLoop.com and the AISB website, which are a given of course! I like the news websites – like the NYT or BBC, MSN as they quickly and visually provide an overview of World / American news in a quick and easily accessible way.

14. Who do you admire the most, and why?
My partner Carol, because she’s an amazing woman and she puts up with me!

15. What do you like best and least about living in Hungary?
Best – the culture, the people, the atmosphere of the city and the wonderfully rich arts and recreational opportunities.
Least – the driving. The road infrastructure, particularly in the countryside (and probably because I’m used to the US) is a little scary. Plus I find the driving temperament of some drivers is dangerous!

16. What has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
Many things – I’ve worked with amazingly talented people (teachers tend to be multi-talented, smart and personable) that have helped mold me as an educator to life changing events. Caring for my dying wife for a number of years is probably one of the biggest impacts one could have. You find out a lot about yourself and others during these times.

17. If you won USD 30 million, what would you do with the money?
I’d invest some in my son’s music career, I’d put some in trust for my family and friends, and I’d buy a nice car, boat and a vacation home on the beach on a tropical island.

18. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
Louis Armstrong “What a wonderful World” Live life to the fullest – it’s short!

19. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
There are lots of places I could enjoy living. For now, it’s Budapest.

20. In ten years from now what will you be doing?
Hopefully, I’ll be healthy and semi retired or retired, enjoying the rewards of a lifetime of hard work! Likely to be in the US because of the family, however there are two top destinations for now: Columbia and Panama.

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