MY ELUSIVE ACADEMIC CAREER
Listen. It wasn't always like this. I used to write serious words in long, many-phrased sentences. I graduated Phi Beta Whatever from UC Berkeley with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Theater, and wrote four years' worth of pretentious columns and arts reviews for The Daily Californian.
In the middle of my undergraduate studies I went to Lebanon and the American University of Beirut for a year. I studied Arabic for a solid six years, and yet here I am, barely able to string a sentence together. I can, however, recite some wistful Arabic poems by heart, which isn't that useful, but sounds nice.
After graduating I was a research assistant to the amazing Ira Lapidus, Professor Emeritus of History at UC Berkeley, helping him update his incredibly long A History of Islamic Societies. I got a friendly shoutout in the acknowledgements and everything.
In the two years after Berkeley I also worked in the youth program of San Francisco's Arab Cultural and Community Center, did some unimpressive acting work, and monopolized the pool table at my local bar with my best friend Emily, who is better than me at pool, but only slightly.
After that, I moved to the UK, the sad, rainy land of my birth, and got an MPhil in International Relations and Politics from Cambridge. It was there that I made my first meme, and the rest is history.