FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What's your best rock star story?


This is 100% true: I opened for the Swedish heavy metal band Sabaton before they were famous, in a club of less than 50 people. Years later I got beaten up at one of their shows at the Boston House of Blues. Beyond that, I played for some particularly awesome crowds in Barcelona and Toronto. I also served as a wingman for the 2014 winner of Austria's "The Voice" competition in what was genuinely one of the strangest night of my life.




How do you pronounce your name?


For the sake of ease, just imagine the "z" is silent and the accent isn't there: "sen-drow". There is much quibbling to be made about the proper pronunciation but it's not a particular concern of mine. I just really don't like it when people call me "Schendro" or "Suh-zen-dro". While we're at it, my first name is "Brendan", not "Brandon" or "Brendon" or "Braden" or, as a student of mine once wrote, "Jake".




Can I book you to play my cousin's bat mitzvah?


Yes but would you really want to?




Why did you decide to go into political science?


If I'm being honest, I never remotely considered doing anything else. My family has always been deeply involved in politics, one way or the other, and I grew up with a healthy dose of it. My father came to the United States as a refugee from the Soviet occupation of Hungary; his parents were Holocaust survivors. One of my earliest memories is my father taking me to see the bullet holes in the wall of his old apartment complex in Budapest. He regaled me with nightly tales of life under Communism. My mom was a little less bombastic about politics, but from my early childhood days she was a staunch environmental activist. Her own family had experiences with war and genocide that I didn't really learn about until I was older. By the time I was in my teens it was already my main focus.




Why did you decided to study religion and politics?


Religion has always fascinated me. There's a legend in the Jewish midrash that the angels sought to destroy humanity but allowed us to survive because they were captivated by the stories we told. Religions, I think, are the bedrock of human storytelling. I love religious stories, of all faiths. Seeing how humans communicate meaning to each other, and how they pass down meaning over time, feels genuinely exciting.




What are your Autistic special interests?


For those who don't know, many Autistics including myself have "special interests" - subjects that we obsess over. A lot of mine are academic, but some of my casual ones include Bruce Springsteen, the New York Rangers, and the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise. Also for some reason I am fascinated by linguistics. I'm always on the hunt for new things to obsess over so if you have any recommendations let me know.