10 Questions: Tim Chavez (’84)


Have you or anyone you’ve known said they’ve seen or met your doppelganger? If so, who did they say was your double?

Chevy Chase. Based on movies like Caddyshack and Fletch, many college friends adopted the nickname “Chevy” for me. I get the feeling that not only the general look of the guy but his humor was at play, and it was an easy adoption.

What do you take with you everywhere?

My love of travel and food. Whether you consider it a curse or a blessing, my parents instilled a desire to travel, and one thing that is common wherever you go is food. I find it fascinating to experience different places and different cultures through their food. Wherever I am, I like to reach out (with my fork, fingers, or chopsticks) to taste what is around me. From menudo, haggis, vegemite, schnitzel, machboos, quiche, to nasi lemak… You name it, and I’m going to, at least, try it.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

13. Clearly, I haven’t been able to give up my teenage boy humor that often gets me into trouble as the “World’s Greatest Farter… oops, Father!”

What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?

I’m not sure that I can answer this question… because I am, like, 900 years old, one year does not make a significant difference in my capabilities. If you were to ask what I can do today that I was not capable of 10 years ago, I’d have to point to skills I have developed and continue to develop; 10 years ago, I couldn’t design a Lidar-guided robot or use a CNC machine to mill 3D objects. It is always a goal of mine to continue to learn; the downside is simply time – it never seems to be enough time to do all that I want to do.

If you could choose one book as a mandatory read for high school students, which book would you choose?

“The Hobbit,” by J. R. R. Tolkien. It presents a good lesson for many of us Third Culture Kids (TCKs). It takes Bilbo from a comfortable place (his home/culture of birth) through a journey of growth and experiences through foreign cultures. He comes through it with a better understanding and acceptance of those beyond his hobbit hole at Bag End.

What’s your number one piece of advice for current seniors as they approach adulthood?

Enjoy each and every day; Live, Love, Laugh, Listen, and Learn (L^5). While I do not desire to repeat my youth, I share with my kids that they should stop and enjoy the events and people around them. That is not to say that they shouldn’t take things seriously (like grades, relationships, work, etc.), but to remember that this time in their lives is precious and doesn’t last that long. Remember this for the “ups,” it’s not always awesome, and for the “downs,” things will change.

What was your favorite class in ISKL and why?

Ummm … too many to choose from – perhaps Art. I enjoy being creative and learning new things. Mrs. Lau and Mrs. Chin were always excited about teaching their craft; fortunately, ISKL had the resources to allow us kids to truly learn hands-on.

What is one ISKL memorabilia that you still own?

My ISKL Student ID.

What was your favorite part of the ISKL campus you attended, be it the Istana, Melawati, and/or Ampang (Jalan Kolam Air Lama) or Ampang Hilir location?

The Pool and/or the Theater. I worked as one of Mr. Goh’s lifeguards for four years (I actually had to pull a kindergartener out because no one told him he didn’t know how to swim – he was told to jump in, and the boy did; he went straight to the bottom).

And then there was the theater. Because my parents, Alex and Virginia (Ginger), were faculty responsible for the Fall Drama and the Spring Musical for ten years, I was involved with nearly all of them. Usually running lights and sound in the light booth or, occasionally, managing the stage from the back. Much of my existence during those years was actually on campus.

What was your first and last day at ISKL like?

No idea – I’m really, really OLD and have trouble remembering what I was looking for from one room to the next.

Tim is a Senior Technical Specialist for Ground to Space Communications with Peraton and is based in Williamsburg, Virginia, in the USA. He is currently working on a project for the “Space Defense Agency” a sub-agency of the United States Space Force) where they are trying to launch experiential satellites. If you want to get in touch with him, you can find him on our Alumni Portal at https://alumni.iskl.edu.my.


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Written By: Farena Cooper and Tim Chavez.

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