Re: oops...

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Posted by Lilly from libsci111.library.Vanderbilt.Edu ( on Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 2:54PM :

In Reply to: Re: oops... posted by Nahrain from DNab4078e2.Stanford.EDU ( on Thursday, June 13, 2002 at 12:56PM :

xxx Nahrain, you are such a sweetheart!

: I'm from Kalamazoo, Michigan.

xxx Sorry to interupt, but Kalamazoo is such a cool name.

: I have lived there since I was in 5th about 11 years old. I lived in Kansas for about 4 years, London for about 6 years, and I was born in Baghdad.

xxx You're very lucky to have been born in Baghdad - have you ever heard that song by Fairouz ("Baghdad" I think) - every time I listen to it I cry, only I don't know what she's saying. She has such a beautiful voice... I think she's Assyrian, too, but she sings in Arabic. Please correct me if I'm wrong about this.

: My father is a physics prof. at Western Michigan University. My mom went to school Iraq and got some sort of agriculture-business degree that is not applicable in the US I guess. She went back to school when I was in middle school or so and got an associates...she works at a bank downtown doing accounting-type stuff. I went to Kalamazoo Collge and majored in chem. (I lived on campus though so my experience was pretty cool). I have one younger bro, 19, and he's living at home (hated the dorms at WMU) and is taking classes at the comm. college and WMU. Both of my parents are Assyrian which you probably figured out already. We were the only Assyrian family in Kzoo so my only interaction with Assyrians aside from chat rooms/forums (that I started in late 97/early 98) was with family in Chicago where we frequent a lot, my parents more so than myself. I think that's everything :)

xxx You know, I feel like you do - Huntsville, AL doesn't offer much Mid Eastern diversity... actually, I went to high school with this kid whose Jordanian mother wanted to marry the same man one of my father's cousins married... I believe that's the story. We used to take annual trips to Houston to visit my dad's parents, sister, & brother, but we stopped doing that as of 1998, when both of his parents passed away. I had a friend or 2 there, but Muslim, not Christian, & some of my dad's extended family resides there or close by.

: So you are of a science background..Sweet. UT Austin--heard its an amazing school. The girl that roomed with me during my visit here was from there (she decided to go to MIT for neuroscience instead!!)

xxx MIT is wonderful. So is Stanford. But I state the obvious.

: I remember you saying you were in a biomed sort of program? Were you a chem undergrad?

xxx Yes to both questions. I hated orgo, but loved p chem.

: I never took biology at K...most of my friends were bio/pre-med. I didnt like bio even in high school.

xxx Funny how you say that, but it's kinda the same for me. I hated my intro bio class on cellular stuff in undergrad but really loved my immunology class... & I've always loved ecological bio, too, because it's what my mom taught me all about when I was growing up. I took an environmental field studies class in high school, & now I know how to assess water quality just by looking at the bugs/larvae under rocks in streams & lakes. I LOVED that class. I like cellular stuff now. I just needed a better introduction to it - I think a lot of these intro classes are too general, not enough explanation for the real beginners. Kinda like taking an intro physics course - it makes sense if you're used to thinking that way already & you've tinkered around with car parts & electronic gadgets, but it's difficult for people who haven't been trained to think that way. It's kind of weird, though, because being an intro course, you'd think the profs would be better at explaining things for true beginners.

: I think biochem would have been interesting--cause its really just ochem but applied (its the only chemistry class I didnt take!)

xxx I liked advanced orgo & biochem, but not orgo - advanced orgo & biochem was less vague to me... plus the professors didn't have such wretched coffee breath for those 2 courses - in orgo, I think I spent a lot of time joking w/ a friend about the prof's breath... we sat on the front row in class right up there with the stink (my friend was ultra competitive, so he liked looking like a "nerd" & kiss ass sitting there on the front row - it's kinda funny because he's in the same grad school program I'm in, here at Vanderbilt).

: Most people thought I was pre-med for a long time. Never really had an interest. I like more inorganic/materials side of chemistry..not really the biology.

xxx I'm impressed!

: Cali is so different. I like somethings about the weather and the people but its just too busy and expensive. Its very diverse! There are many "others" here unlike Kzoo. I have some friends and some family here which helps me out a lot in terms of keeping me happy. My closest friends, naturally, are still back home. Its difficult to find very good friends, and I'm trying to branch out of chemistry but its tough..

xxx I know what you mean... I hated Nashville when I moved here - I'd go every weekend to my undergrad (only 2 hours away) just so I could go hiking on some really pretty trails away from the city. But I made a few good friends through my classes, & one of them invited me to an Indian (East) potluck lunch - that's where I met my famous boyfriend, & I've gotten to know more people through him - so that added some diversity to my life & made me happier w/ Nashville, the sprawling suburb that it is. Other ways I'd meet people would be in coffee shops - here strangers come up to you & chat all the time - so when I'd feel lonely, I'd go to a couple of interesting cafes where the kids behind the counters were musicians (they talk, too). & then the people in my apt. building are pretty interesting & diverse - 1 writer/ex-journalist, 1 prostitute (for real), 1 accountant for a news paper here, 1 midwife (nurse), & a couple of med students I know from campus as well...

: I came out to Cali in 99 and stayed with family one summer while interning and I liked it so I came back. Stanford's a really nice campus and I like it here so far. At times I wish I would have gone to U of M to be closer to home, but this program is really good and its worth being away for a bit. I'm trying to find Assyrians on campus..I know there must be some but they're hidden. I have met some students from UC berkeley kids..

xxx Have you tried local churches? I went to this Greek Orthodox church here twice to see if there were any Mid Eastern Christian kids here my age... only Greeks my age from the med school, as far as I could tell, & I'm too shy to ask around about people's ethnicities when I don't know them at all. There'a a Coptic church here, but I don't know Arabic, so I wouldn't understand the service... which would look bad, I think... I'll try going to the Coptic church when I start taking Arabic. It would be nice to have a few friends here who were of the same ethnic background as my dad. But most kids in college don't go to church, anyway, either... so going to churches may not be the best way to find more friends like that...

-- Lilly
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