“Pop Quiz” column for May 15, 2013

Each week The Advocate asks a different “quiz taker” for his or her current favorites in pop culture.

QUIZ TAKER: Sharon Tohline, 32, English instructor at Southern University and player for the Red Stick Roller Derby’s Capital Defenders.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: “I’m in the middle of grading finals right now, which means I run Spotify (an online music service) constantly to keep me sane. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Brandi Carlile. She’s playing at the House of Blues this month, and I’m hoping to get tickets.

“When I skate, though, I listen to Janelle Monae. My favorite current song is ‘We Are Young,’ which is technically by Fun, but Monae sings it with them.”

WHAT I’M READING: “I have a whole stack of books on my bedside table, waiting for me to finish grading so I can crack them open. I’ll probably start with Katherine Dunn’s ‘Geek Love.’ I’m also looking forward to picking up Junot Diaz’s short story collection ‘This Is How You Lose Her.’

“When I go for long runs, I like to listen to audio books, too. My recent favorite is David Sedaris’ ‘Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.’ You can’t just read Sedaris — you have to listen to him to get the full effect.”

WHAT I’M WATCHING: “I’m a documentary fanatic, and I’m looking forward to seeing Ken Burns’ ‘Central Park Five.’ If you’re looking for a less nerdy answer, though, I’m the sort of screaming fangirl who will probably watch Baz Luhrmann’s take on ‘The Great Gatsby’ at least 12 times.”

WHERE I’M SURFING (ON THE INTERNET): “I’m a sucker for high quality advice columns, and there’s a great online one called http://CaptainAwkward.com. The author writes advice for nerds, basically, and I’m a nerd at heart .”

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? “Well that whole thing about loving advice columns is pretty embarrassing.”

BONUS QUESTION:

What makes roller derby fun?

“Everything! For me, though, the most fun part is teaching. I’m a veteran skater now; I’ve been with the league for three seasons, which means I’m getting to help teach our newest skaters (shout out to our awesome newbies!) the tricks of the game.

“If you’re new to the sport, though, I think the thing that makes it the most fun is the adrenaline that comes from realizing what you’re truly capable of. Derby draws out the strength in us all, and I think that’s what makes it so fun to watch. Spectators have the opportunity to witness a group of women facing challenges and finding new strength within themselves.”

Kyle Peveto

Advocate staff writer