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20 questions in 60 seconds with Nathan Rogacki

Published April 30, 2020
Employee of month

Employee of month

1. What is your name?
Nathan Rogacki
 
2. What is your official job title?
Hydraulic Engineer
 
3. What section/department do you work in?
Water Management
 
4. How does your job fit into the USACE mission?
My job fits into the USACE mission particularly in the "reduce risks from disasters" component, providing support in the execution of Lower Ohio and Lower Mississippi flood control.
 
5. How long have you work for USACE?
Since June 2018, so coming up 2 years pretty soon.
 
6. What has been your favorite part of working here?
My favorite part of working here has certainly been the opportunity to learn from a great group of people and coming into work every day feeling like part of a big family.
 
7. If you could have any job in the world what would it be?
I've been watching a bunch of music cover videos on YouTube lately and have been thinking it'd be pretty neat to be a famous musician or pop-star or something. Unfortunately, my voice would sooner shatter glass than mend broken hearts.
 
8. Before working here, what was an interesting job you had?
Before working here, I worked briefly as a movie theater projectionist. That was a pretty fun job. I fortunately got to work with the old 35 mm film format before everything switched to digital, so it was quite an experience running the projectors and changing out the reels. There were some great movies and certainly some awful movies. If anything, it gave me a greater appreciation for even the terrible movies.
 
9. You’re hosting a dinner party. Who are the three people, living or dead, who you would invite and why?
I I suppose it would be my grandmother and grandfather on my mother's side and my great-uncle. They all passed away when I was fairly young. Given the opportunity, it'd be nice to talk to them all now as an adult. Whether it just be to show them who I am now compared to who I was, or to receive advice I can better appreciate now I'm more mature, I feel I'd certainly cherish the ability to see those three again over anyone else in the world.
 
10 If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I wish I could learn to play piano. I'm always so impressed when I listen to people play piano and I feel learning it would give better understanding of music theory. I know it's not too late to learn, but it always seems very intimidating when learning something as complex as the piano from scratch.
 
11. If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If I had to eat one meal for the rest of my life, I'd probably choose fettuccine alfredo. It may not be a balanced meal, but it certainly tastes good.
 
12. What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
Outside of work, my hobbies are generally music (listening + playing) and video games. Lately, at least until quarantine, I've been trying to get into more outdoor activities and hobbies - I've especially been getting into geocaching lately. I've been enjoying anything that has been getting me outside and exploring.
 
13. What is the last movie you watched?
Onward by Pixar. I'd heard some good things about it and, having recently gotten Disney +, decided to check it out. Overall, pretty good. Would recommend.
 
 14 What is your personal philosophy/mantra?
 I think one personal philosophy that always helps me is to focus on the things that are in my control and take care of them to the best of my ability, and not sweat the things that are out of my control too much. There is a lot of uncertainty in life and you can drive yourself insane worrying. I've found, though, that as long as you take care of the things you can then things will generally fall into place under that.
 
15 If you were stuck on a desert island but your food and water were already taken care of, what two things would you bring?
I would bring an acoustic guitar and perhaps a fishing rod. Just some things to pass the time and keep my sanity. Hopefully I'd be found soon. I don't think I'd last very long out there in the open elements.
 
16. What type of music/artists/bands are on your current playlist?
On my current playlist, I've been listening to a lot of Tyler the Creator. Igor is such a great album. I've also been listening to a lot of Anderson .Paak, Brockhampton, Rex Orange County, and Steve Lacy. Of course, the playlist always has to have some good older hits so I've been cycling through Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Artic Monkeys, The Kooks, and rounding off the playlist with Weezer - my personal favorite.
 
 17. What was the last gift you gave someone and why?
 I am truly terrible at giving gifts. I tend to forget important events, i.e. birthdays, holidays, et cetera.  I would say the last gift I gave, if it can be considered a gift, was half a dozen Holtman's Donuts. To be fair, it was hardly altruistic and I did walk away with a couple donuts myself.
 
18. What is your favorite quote? Why?
Off the back of Question 15, one of my favorite quotes is "Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." - John Wooden, echoing the sentiments of taking care of the things within your control. I am also quite partial to “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” - Oscar Wilde. It speaks to me, to strive to live each day to the best you can and to make the most of the time you have.
 
19. What are three things on your bucket list?
Three things on my bucket list: 1) I want to run a Tough Mudder competition. It looks like it'd be pretty fun and I feel it is a goal/aspiration that would be healthy just in terms of progression towards the goal. 2) I want to start bee-keeping. I've been fascinated in keeping bees for the longest time. I also enjoy honey, and I think using my own honey in cooking or whatever would be fairly satisfying. 3) Visiting Australia or New Zealand has always been on my bucket list. I think the location doesn't matter so much as the exploration. In essence, I want to get out and experience new things, experience all life has to offer.
 
20. What is your hidden talent?
My hidden talent is probably my ability to play trumpet. I don't talk about it much because it's such a hidden talent that I sometimes forget about it. I've been playing since I was 10 and wasn't too bad at one point. These days, I'm a bit rustier and certainly need a bit of practice. I left my trumpet back in the UK when I moved here to Cincinnati so I haven't been able to play recently; I may just need to go get another trumpet.