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As Seen In The Hallways: John Nathaniel Gertler, Environmental Studies


Photo via Nicky Lim Ka Lan

Interview by Solmaz Salehi


Is it hard to balance school, Green Earth Club and basketball?

My whole life I’ve enjoyed being busy. Sometimes I put too much on my plate and regret it. But I also like being part of different communities. I hate being put in a box and being like “You’re an athlete!” or “You’re an environmentalist!” or “You’re a student!” I like keeping people on their toes. I like discovering. But also, like, you know, you only live once. Why not get involved?


Why did you get invested in the environment?

I’d say it comes from values my parents passed on to me. From a young age, I've always appreciated nature. Even in elementary school I was involved in the green team. There was a point where my focus shifted. Some of the smartest people in the world are telling us that we need to act now to have a future on this planet. Of course I’m going to do everything I can so we can have a future. I love people and the planet. I think everyone does, just not everyone makes that connection in their head. The other thing I would say is that in the summer of 2017, I went on a trip to the Arctic and I actually saw melting glaciers. I was with people who are feeling the effects of climate change. I put a face to the problem. There’s stuff that's happening now to people everywhere, not only in the Arctic, or in the islands in the Pacific, you know. That was a lot.


What's your favourite cartoon?

Cartoon? I like Big Mouth, the new show on Netflix. It's ridiculous. Maybe something more classic… I didn't have a cable growing up. I had bunny ears so I watched CBC and CTV cartoons. There was this fire one called Pinky Dinky Doo.


And the most controversial question. Do you put milk first or cereal first?

Obviously cereal.


I do the opposite. If you put the milk first and then you add the cereal, you know how much you have to add. 

No, but either you drink the milk that’s left over or you just add more cereal. 


But then the bowl would run out of space and there wouldn’t be enough milk and the cereal would be too dry!

I never thought about it this much. You know what’s a thing I haven’t done yet but I want to try… putting the milk right into the cereal bag. 


What if there’s a hole in the bag?

Well, then it wasn’t meant to be.

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