I like Facebook but hate all the tagging and super-poking and whatnot. So I'm posting this here instead.
25 random facts about me:
1. When I first saw “Star Wars” in the summer of 1977, I spent the rest of the summer pretending I was Luke Skywalker, despite the fact that I was the only person I knew who actually had the hair (dark brown, extremely long) to pull off the Princess Leia style. I would like to be able to congratulate myself for not wanting to be the princess, but in retrospect I am more irritated that I didn’t have the good sense to want to be Han Solo.
2. I knew the founder of Burt’s Bees products before she got started - our families were members of the same semi-hippie food co-op in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine.
3. Despite the fact that I love to cook, and can make tricky things like hollandaise and aioli, I am completely hopeless at making Chinese food, except for jiaozi (dumplings) and congyoubing (scallion cakes).
4. I cannot bear to keep a journal, since the thought of voluntarily increasing my quotient of navel-gazing appalls me. This blog is my attempt at journaling in an outward-focused way.
5. I have an underdeveloped dress sense. One of my fantasies is to somehow win enough money to buy a lot of different clothes so I can finally figure out what the hell I really like to wear.
6. In 1985, I came in second in the National Spelling Bee. As a result, I was grand master of the Fourth of July parades in both my town and the next town over. I think that was my 15 minutes of fame.
7. I do not care for classical music. Medieval, Renaissance, even Baroque, yes, but not classical.
8. In college, I was an NCAA division 1 athlete (downhill skiing). I lettered, and still have my actual official Harvard letter sweater. This makes me absurdly happy despite the fact that we were the comic relief of the division, and the pinnacle of my career was coming in 35th in a race.
9. I think the human voice in harmony is the most beautiful sound on earth.
10. When I was about eight, a friend’s mother took a bunch of us for a picnic in the woods on their land, and we got lost in a bog for three hours. As a result, I have an overdeveloped sense of direction because I pay compulsive attention to where I’ve been and how to get back there. I have never been really lost since.
11. I love being Jewish. Discovering Judaism was like finding a missing piece of myself.
12. I believe we must teach the students we have, not the students we wish we had.
13. Of the many things I have learned (in the academic sense) over the years, I am proudest of my ability to write, and the fact that I am fully bilingual.
14. My Chinese handwriting looks strikingly masculine to most Chinese people. By contrast, my Japanese handwriting looks gender-neutral to most Japanese people. I can’t quite figure this out.
15. On my 21st birthday, my friend Mindy bought me my first miniskirt and my first margarita, thus cementing our friendship forever.
16. I am unimpressed by realism in the arts, whether it be in literature, visual arts, or performing arts. Representing things as they are is not art, and anyway, I get enough reality as it is.
17. I love harsh or desolate landscapes, like deserts and snowcovered fields, and I think winter light is the purest and most beautiful there is. Naturally, therefore, I live in the tropics.
18. I like making things and enjoy most domestic work. As a result I have an uncomfortable suspicion that if I’d been born three hundred years earlier I might not have minded being a woman.
19. I am struck by the fact that my version of this list is mostly about my preferences and experiences, while my husband’s version is mostly about his beliefs.
20. I am a poor on-the-spot judge of social situations, and often only figure out the dynamic long after the fact.
21. The ability to speak assertively as a woman is something I learned first in Chinese, then transferred to English.
22. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m going to end up doing a certain amount of academic administration during my career. I seem to have a distressing knack for it.
23. I love the English language for its delightfully, pointlessly large vocabulary.
24. I prefer beer to wine.
25. I believe that if I can teach my students to say what they really mean, I will have done them (and the world) a great service.