sábado, 24 de diciembre de 2016

FAQ, December 2016 Edition

Last semester I got asked about my classes, but now I got asked a little about my classes and a lot about myself. With Brexit, Trump, et cetera, I'm pretty sure we are entering an era where being open about our identity and beliefs is what's gonna define who we are, so here you go. I am an open book:

1. What's it like teaching the same topic a lot of times? Don't you get bored?

It's a little like this:
And no. Every group is different, so no two lessons feel exactly the same. 

2. Where are you from?

Sinaloa, land of carne asada, iced tea, and insane breakfasts. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not from Monterrey or Colombia. Here is a map of all the places people have asked me if I'm from:

3. Are you gay?

Yes. This one's easy.

4. Are you an atheist?

Not sure. I think Mexicans are ill-equiped to be atheists, because we grow up invoking God for really mundane stuff ("¡ay Dios mío!"), and we do a lot of really religious things (Día de muertos, Día de reyes, tamales el día de la Candelaria, eating fish or white meat on Christmas, etc) without thinking about it. Do I think God exists? I don't know. Like Laurence Peter said (I'm paraphrasing): some problems are so complex, that you have to be highly intelligent just to be undecided about them. 

5. Are you catholic?

Not sure. I was baptized/confirmed/first communioned and I went to catholic schools from ages 3 to 15, so I'm not uncomfortable in catholic contexts (like going to mass for a wedding or following the rosary in a funeral), but I also haven't been to church on a Sunday since 2012. I guess I'm a lapsed catholic or an agnostic, if anything. When I studied abroad in Washington, DC, I used to go to an LGBT-friendly catholic mass by a group called Dignity Washington, and I really enjoyed it, but there isn't anything like that in Mexico City. Dante Alighieri thought people who were undecided about their religion belonged in a special circle in hell, so you know where to find me if hell turns out to be real. I'll have plenty of vegan snacks and k-pop, it'll be great.

6. Where did you study abroad?

I answered this before, but I guess some people wanted more detail in my response. 

In high school, I went to Nice, France. CIV 4ever. The food was good, the museums were awesome, and I snuck out a lot to go thrifting, to the theater, or to museums my classmates weren't interested in (which was most of them). I'm not saying you should do that, sneaking out when you're 16 is a BAD DECISION, but you know. It happens. I also don't have a lot of pictures from this trip, because it happened before selfies were invented and I was alone a lot in high school. My high school experience was similar to "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", but in Culiacán (so a lot more boring), with more musical theater, and without most of the drugs or the serious mental health issues.

In college, I did an intercambio de excelencia in Washington, DC. That basically means you stop sleeping for a semester because you go to school (Georgetown University, in my case) and also do an internship (mine was at the National Defense University). Washington is weird, because most of the people you meet are there temporarily, and it's a small city with a lot of cosmopolitan stuff to do. I highly recommend the chilli bowls, the Ethiopian food, the used bookstores (my favorite is Second Story Books), and the gay churches.

In graduate school, I went to Montevideo, which is why I know Uruguay is a little too calm for my taste. It was winter, and I programmed a lot while wondering what life choices had taken me to a statistics course in freezing weather, in a country where coffee is not easily available. Uruguayans don't drink coffee or tea, and they also dislike partying in the Mexican sense of the word (i.e. they don't dance, talk, or move much), but they do fill up their wine glasses to the brim, have good beer, and eat a lot of meat. Pros and cons, people. Pros and cons.

I also volunteered at Open Books in Chicago (good food and super nice gringos, which is unusual in the U.S.) and did an internship at Yale University (extremely different to what you see on Gilmore Girls) while I was in college. I don't think these count, but my dad says they do because he paid for them. Like RuPaul says: Unless they're paying your bills, pay them bitches no mind. (My dad was paying all my bills, so there you go.)

If you clicked the links with pictures, that's me in Renoir's garden in 2006, me in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2012, me freezing my butt off in Uruguay in July 2015, me melting my butt off in Chicago in July 2012, and me sitting somewhere around Yale (Law School, I think?) in 2013. 

7. What's your zodiac sign?

Cancer. My birthday is June 23, same as Edward VIII of the UK (who's watching The Crown?), the Brexit referendum, Zinedine Zidane (more on this below), the Republic of Moldova's declaration of sovereignty, and Joss Whedon.

8. What's your Instagram?

@franciscogrgz. I post a lot of food pictures, selfies, and skulls (apparently). 

9. Do you have Snapchat?!

Yes, it's the same username as my Instagram, but I don't really use it. 

10. Do you like sports?

Not really. I run and work out, but I find watching and playing team sports really boring. In 2006 I was at a transmission of the final of the FIFA World Cup (France-Italy) in the Paris Stadium, and I was so bored, that I didn't even notice when Zinedine Zidane head-butted the Italian guy. Then Italy won, all the French people were crying (this was in Paris, after all), and I was like "I'M SO BORED, when's dinner?". That night I had pasta for dinner like everybody else, but I'd already forgotten that Italy had won the cup. That's how much I didn't care about the game.

11. Do you like videogames?

I play Age of Empires II, SimCity 4, and sometimes Civilization V (all on Steam), but that's it. I get too competitive, so I'm not really a gamer.

12. Have you finished Game of Thrones?


13. What's your favorite number?


14. What's your favorite book?

Tough question. Honestly, if what you're looking for is a book recommendation, just ask and I'll come up with something specifically for you. Nonetheless, some of my all-time favorites are "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman (fantasy! mythology! road trips!), "The Bridge on the Drina" by Ivo Andric (a mixture of history and fiction that will make you laugh, cry, rinse, and repeat), "The Man Who Was Thursday" by G. K. Chesterton (a good reminder that life is ridiculous), "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen (a good reminder that shit happens and then you fall in love), "Caramelo" by Sandra Cisneros (chicano realness), and "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" by J. K. Rowling (basically my childhood).

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