Like many of you, I've been noticing how everyone I know on Facebook is making a list of 25 things about themselves. Even the New York Times has done a story on it. Here's my list of 25 things about me you may not have known before.
1. I’m proud to be Persian! It’s amazing to inherit the world’s oldest civilization, a rich culture, and a beautiful language. I feel like Iran is this amazing woman who is held captive by a bad husband so no one can see how great she is and she can’t reach her full potential. I believe that it’s my duty as an expatriate to keep her spirit going, so I often happily take on the role of ambassador of my culture and try to learn as much as I can about Persian history, literature, etc.
2. My biggest pet peeve is ignorance. While there are obviously a lot of misconceptions about Islam and Iran, people are also ignorant about a lot of other things. I think it’s important to be educated about politics, other cultures and faiths, and other disciplines. A lot of scientists don’t know about liberal arts, and vice versa. When I lived in Washington, there was a lot of ignorance about Texas and Southerners. I think a well-rounded education is really important.
3. I love literature. I majored in English in college, and it’s the smartest thing I ever did. I was in a great program at SMU, and I learned a lot about myself and the world around me in my classes. My specialty is British Literature, particularly Romantic poetry, Victorian novels, and Modernist poetry. I consider myself to be a Feminist literary critic, but a lot of my analysis is also seen as “post-colonial” because I interpret things from an “eastern” perspective. I really like either of these labels, but they are part of the discipline. For example, my senior thesis was on Pride and Prejudice, and I included a lengthy discussion about how this book is much more relevant now to those of the Third World than it is to modern Westerners, citing Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran and the film Bride and Prejudice.
4. I hate high-fructose corn syrup. I wrote my masters thesis on it at Georgetown. If you knew all of these horrible things it causes, you would hate it too. It should be banned – don’t eat it!
5. I love teaching! I teach MCAT Verbal for the Princeton Review (it’s the best MCAT prep class!) I really love teaching premeds because I see myself in them, and I have a great opportunity to expose them to literature. My students have done really well in the med school admissions process, and I’m so happy to have been a part of their success. I just got contacted by Princeton Review’s marketing team, and they want to feature me in MCAT brochures nationwide. So I could be the new face of MCAT for the Princeton Review!
6. I’m a fan of mocktails. My favorites are Shirley Temples and Virgin Mojitos.
7. I’m a big fan of Doctor Who. I think it’s such an amazing show, and it’s been on since 1963. It combines my favorite things: doctors, time travel, and Britain. When I find a fellow Whovian, we both get giddy and talk about it. I want my own TARDIS.
8. I was born in England. It’s something cool that people don’t expect. I like a lot of things about England – they also have a long history and produced amazing works.
9. I was born on February 29, Leap Year Day. It’s a great icebreaker. When I was a kid I thought it made me special, like a day had been created just so I could be born. It’s strange to not have a birthday every year, and everyone has an opinion on when I should celebrate mine. For the record, I use February 28, and I think it makes the most sense to me.
10. I broke my collarbone when I was 4. I was climbing a big dresser playing King Kong, and it fell on me. I didn’t break another bone until exactly 20 years later when I broke my wrist in DC tripping on a manhole.
11. I’m addicted to TV. I hate most forms of reality TV (except The Hills and Kardashians), but I watch lots of sitcoms and dramas. Name a show, and I probably watch it. I watch shows via the Internet so that it doesn’t interfere with my school/study schedule. I also watch shows from England (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Robin Hood, Merlin) and Canada (Little Mosque on the Prairie, Degrassi).
12. I love my sisters!! They are my best friends in the whole world!
13. I love tea. I drink it constantly. I use to think it was weird that my parents drank so much tea. But when I moved to DC, I started drinking it all the time, and I still do. I have different flavors to match my moods.
14. I don’t understand how everyone on Gossip Girl seems the same age…and that age is not high school-aged. And Chuck Bass is hilarious
15. I’m loving med school much more than grad school, even though I study the same things. I have a really great group of friends. My three main girls and I really remind me of Sex and the City (without the sex…or the city); we really are there for each other, and I feel like I can count on them for so much. I also think I’m a lot smarter now than I was in grad school, and I can handle things better.
16. I’ve been trying to find new music. Right now, I’m into Farez, Adele, and Jhanvieh. If you have any recommendations, let me know.
17. I love singing and dancing. I used to perform a lot more when I was younger. I hope I’ll get some more opportunities in the future. People still come up to me and ask me if I was that girl who sang “Ey Iran” at the Nowrooz show all those years ago.
18. I like checking out new technology on C-Net. Whether it’s new cell phones or computers, I like knowing what’s out there. Right now, I like the G1, but I’m hoping a G2 will come out when it’s time for me to update my Dash.
19. I check bestweekever.tv every day. It’s my favorite blog, and it’s so funny! I also follow Persianesque, Madam Secretary, and Michael Moore’s page.
20. NPR is the best radio station. I hated listening to it when I was a kid, but I started listening on my own when I was studying for the MCAT. It’s been four years, and I haven’t stopped. I love Everything you ever wanted to know, Fresh air, Think, and A way with words.
21. I think Mehran Modiri is a genius. He creates, writes, directs, produces, and stars in sitcoms in Iran. They are so funny and clever! Bamshad is the greatest character ever. I also think Bebin.tv is very clever, and both these entities are changing the face of Farsi-language TV.
22. I’m an officer for three clubs on campus. I’m most proud of being my school’s delegate to the American Medical Association. I went to the Texas Medical Association conference last weekend in Austin, and we won Chapter of the Year for the second year in a row. I’m so proud of my school, and I’ll do what I can so we win a third time.
23. Apparently, all of my friends think that I can pass for a white American girl. I’m trying to digest this new information, and I still don’t really believe this is true.
24. My favorite band of all time is The Monkees. Forget what you think you know about them, their music is amazing!
25. My favorite drink at Starbucks is a grande, soy, sugar-free vanilla latte with two Splendas. It takes a while to order, but it’s so good!