Peter Tokofsky is an education specialist at the Getty Museum and an adjunct faculty member in the department of German at UCLA. Before moderating a panel at the Getty on how people reinvent spaces, he talked about his biggest weakness (punctuality), the biggest surprise in his life (fatherhood), and his favorite German word (which is somewhat unpronounceable for non-speakers) in the Zócalo green room.
What is your biggest weakness?
Probably punctuality—or lack thereof.
What surprises you most about your life right now?
That I have a 1-year-old daughter.
What’s the last board game you played?
I was introduced recently to Settlers of Catan. It was pretty fun.
What’s your favorite German word or phrase?
Streichholzschächtelchen. A little box of matches.
What’s your most prized material possession?
Since my home was burgled two days ago, I’m working on not prizing my material possessions.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Usually cereal, but I do mix it up. Occasionally I have a bagel or some eggs.
What’s the greatest live performance you’ve seen?
It was probably Return to Forever, at the Berkeley Community Theatre or something like that. 1984.
You have a Ph.D. in folklore; if you could be any folk hero, who would you choose?
Tom Thumb. He’s kind of clever and mischievous.
Who or what do you root for?
The Golden State Warriors.
What’s the first book you remember reading?
The Phantom Tollbooth is coming to mind. But it must have been fifth grade, so there were things before. I just don’t remember.