Name: Klaus Theis
Where from: Columbus, Ohio
What is something you're scared of?
Death, loneliness, not being understood.
What kind of student were you?
I waited until the last minute to study for tests and write papers - not a good policy unless you like pulling "all-nighters" and forgetting most of what you "learn" after the test!
Can you tell us about a misadventure you had while travelling?
While visiting Russia (in 1988 when it was still the Soviet Union) I was nearly arrested by a policeman who thought I was lying to him when in answer to his question from him, I answered in Russian, "I don't speak Russian." Apparently my accent was pretty good!
What is your favorite place?
In my bedroom listening to my favorite music.
Who do you most admire in the world?
Nelson Mandela for not giving up (despite many years in prison) on his dream of eliminating apartheid in South Africa.
What is your favorite food?
Mint Chocolate Chip Rice Dream.
What was the saddest or hardest time in your life?
Feeling awkward as a teenager.
What would be your first advice to young people today?
Don't give up when adults tell you that you are being too idealistic in trying to solve the world's problems. Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve. As the German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) said: "all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
What is an event that changed your life?
In February of 1998 the Clinton Administration sent its top foreign policy and national security advisors to Columbus, Ohio as part of the CNN Intenrational Town Hall Meeting to sell the American public on President Clinton's plan to bomb Iraq. I was refused permission to speak at the event, and when I insisted I was dragged from the hall by undercover police. But I didn't give up. Eventually I got back in, interrupted the meeting, and said my piece (or should I say, "peace"). My statement recveived international press coverage. In the end the US did not bomb Iraq. Someone who saw me on Canadian TV told me about The Odyssey. Otherwise I wouldn't be part of the World Trek.
What are you not so good at?
Speaking French, dancing, playing chess.