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Take Five With Rep. Mark Takano

It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time for Take Five, when HOH catches up with a member of Congress over five fun questions. This week, freshman Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., shares the similarities between being a teacher and being a member of Congress, and he tells us what he misses about his sunny California district.

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Q: You were a public school teacher for 23 years. Are there any similarities between being a teacher and being a member of Congress? A: The biggest similarity is that you’re never really “off duty.” As a teacher, there are always papers to grade, meetings with parents or after-school activities. Being in Congress, it’s pretty much the same. If you’re not in the office, you’re meeting with constituents, working on legislation, in committee hearings or attending some kind of event.

Q: What’s the one thing you miss most about your district when you’re away in Washington, D.C.? A: In addition to the weather, by far I miss the people the most. I grew up in my district, went to high school there and worked there for the last 25 years. Even though Riverside has a population of over 200,000, it has a small-town feel to it, where the people are incredibly kind.

Q: What’s your favorite classic novel? A: Jane Austen — “Pride and Prejudice.”

Q: Has there been anything you’ve found difficult to get used to about life on the Hill? A: The most difficult thing for me has been finding time to eat. The schedule can be so hectic that I forget to have lunch!

Q: BlackBerry or iPhone? A: My work phone is an iPhone, but I still [have] an Android that I’ve had for years.

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