Gerardo Rangel Sanchez (called “Dude,” “Trouble,” “Corruptor” and “Mr Darcy” by his friends) is an academic advisor and graduate assistant in the Department of Philosophy. A product of the UC system, Sanchez has been at UCR since 2003. He fills us in on what philosophers really think about.

On the daily grind: As an academic advisor, my job is to promote student success by helping students become responsible, knowledgeable, self-motivated scholars. As a graduate assistant, I assist the graduate faculty advisor in promoting the success of our graduate students and graduate program; I act as a resource for graduate students in navigating policies and procedures that apply to the Ph.D. program, and facilitate communication between students, faculty, and the Graduate Division.

Things to know about me: Born and raised in San Bernardino, I’m the youngest of 11. Most of my siblings still like to call me their “little brother.” I earned a B.A. in philosophy from UCSC. I’ve lived in New Zealand, South Korea, and Mexico; the first as a student, the second and third as an ESL teacher. I returned to the Inland Empire in 2003 when my father’s health began to decline and have remained here since.

Why I love my job: I love working in an environment full of people who are passionate about ideas, learning, and education. Having a sincere love for the discipline of philosophy, I feel fortunate to work in the department. It affords me the opportunity to discuss philosophy with students and faculty — who are kind enough to allow me to audit their courses.

On my POV: Working in philosophy I’m occasionally asked what my philosophy is. Unfortunately I don’t have a clear answer. Whatever my philosophy is at any given moment, it’s influenced by Catholicism, American Transcendentalism, Romanticism and Pragmatism. Not exactly the easiest set of ideas to harmonize, but as each of them offers something that resonates with me, I’m unwilling to let any of them go.

In my office: My desk and cabinets are draped in black velvet, 10 skulls sit facing my visitors, spiders hang from the ceiling, 15 drawings by Max Ernst decorate the walls and shelves, a Gothic Mad Hatter outfit hangs in the corner, and a crow stands guard over my tea set. I suppose these items reflect an attraction for the macabre, my love for Dia de los Muertos, and the thought that a love and celebration of life is inseparable from an acknowledgement of death.

Off the clock: Reading is probably my favorite hobby, with my favorites being philosophy, religion, literature, erotica, and poetry. Aside from learning, entertainment and a personal belief that it can help me transcend myself, I read for the same reason C.S. Lewis gave: to know I’m not alone.