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MORADI | Tell Me About Yourself

On the first few episodes of ABC’s The Bachelor, when the eponymous character needs to quickly get to know a woman during a cocktail party before deciding whether to kick her out of his romance mansion, he often resorts to a routine command: “Tell me about yourself.” It’s an unsettling and somewhat existential prompt, right up there with “What’s a fun fact about yourself?” though not nearly as awful. (Thank goodness we’ve more or less been removing “fun facts” from the zeitgeist.) And yet, we still have to answer it on interviews, dates, The Bachelor and, worst of all, the first discussion section of the year. I recently re-read the email I sent to the list of fellow first-year spring admits two years ago, where I attempted to sound cool and interesting and ultimately tell these strangers “about myself.” I said I was interested in politics and in my free time I was “usually reading, succumbing to a Netflix binge or excessively snapchatting,” which was all true, I guess, but somewhat grim in retrospect. Watching Netflix and using Snapchat does not a particularly interesting person make, and it sure doesn’t tell you anything “about” that person either. No braggies, but I do things that are more fulfilling than just watching TV or using social media — I’m just extraordinarily embarrassed to announce them to my discussion section or list them in a Twitter bio.

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MORADI | The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’ll be quite honest with you: I’m trying to hammer out this column at the pace I once only reserved for SAT essays and angry-turned-angsty Facebook messages. It’s Thanksgiving weekend, and my family is waiting on me to help put up the Christmas tree. My five-year-old cousin is periodically running into the room in which I’m writing just to ask me if it’s 8:00 p.m. yet, because he really wants to put up the decorations. I can’t let down the world’s most adorable five-year-old, can I? I’m Muslim and I’m a damn nut for Christmas.

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MORADI | The Winter of Our Discontent

I tend to take the opinion that banality is beautiful. Where columnist Kelly Song ’20 rejects the stability of suburbia, I often revel in it. I love my suburban home, my little white neighbors with their little white dogs, the purple minivan that I drove semi-embarrassedly during high school, cutting up oranges for soccer games, the whole schtick. Life isn’t as full of ups and downs as sappy aphorisms would have you believe; it’s mostly steady lines. As I’ve written about before in some form or another, delighting in mundanity is wonderful.

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MORADI | A Revision on Romanticization

I am nothing if not inconsistent. I’ve written about romanticization and authenticity a few times, mainly on my frustrations with the urgency of nonchalance in college and the somewhat paradoxical burden of sugarless sincerity. My point stayed more or less the same: Romanticization and its sister, coolness, are harmful to how we experience life. Earlier this month, columnist Paul Russell ‘19 wrote an upbeat defense of romanticization on social media. “Sure, it’s artificial,” says Russell, “but so is every painting you’ve ever loved.

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MORADI | One Fish, Two Fish, White-ish, Brown-ish

There’s an old Middle Eastern-American proverb that — roughly translated — goes something like, “I’m actually technically white according to the Census.”

This proverb, with its awkward adverbs and desperate lust for ethos, has dribbled out of my mouth more times than I am proud to admit. I am, after all, the product of two white American frontiers: the sweetly benevolent whiteness of Treasure Valley and the abstruse, nebulous whiteness of the Virginia piedmont. As would most little girls with black frizzy hair and a funny name in towns 92 percent white, I fell to official racial classifications when I had nothing else that could back up my claim to sameness. I’m not white. Sorry, U.S. Census, CommonApp and my loyal following over at the neo-eugenicist website (that once republished one of my columns) Prometheism.net!

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MORADI | In Response to Your Inquiry on How I’m Doing

Well, I just stress ate a good third of my friend’s leftover birthday cake. I haven’t gone on my daily run in several days, and my period is a good four days early. I’m not pregnant, but what if I wanted to be? Gah! I haven’t finished updating my resume from this summer.

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TEST SPIN | Macklemore — GEMINI

To be a Macklemore fan nowadays is to beget ruthless harassment. Ruthless, but honestly much deserved. With his gauche dad-like demeanor, often bluntly unaware lyrics and ostensibly supra-woke politics, Macklemore is undoubtedly the most uncool artist to have ever graced the Billboard Top 100. Maybe it’s because of my proclivity for irony turning into genuine interest, or maybe it’s because of Macklemore’s charming awkwardness, but I’ve stayed a fan since that fateful day that someone sent me the YouTube link to “Thrift Shop.”

Yeah, I said it. I like Macklemore.

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MORADI | How Do You Like Them Apples?

I recently bought an iPhone after having a Samsung Galaxy for almost five years. I had lamented the lack of iMessage, the terrifyingly janky emojis (Why does the screaming-in-fear emoji have a GHOST coming out of its mouth?) and the front camera that made me look like a cloudy mirage. Tired of being The Girl with the Green Texts, I switched. The iPhone isn’t a good smartphone. It’s not a humane smartphone.

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MORADI | For Happiness, Stop Romanticizing

A couple of weeks ago, I was gazing out at Washington, D.C. from the roof of my friend’s apartment. A few friends and I had spontaneously decided to venture up the many flights of stairs to watch the sun set over the Potomac, the light ever so slightly powdering Georgetown with a touch of rouge. We leaned precariously over the edge, our arms dangling down and the wind whipping our hair in our faces. The air was heavy with humidity. We smelled rain.

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MORADI | Fail Hard

It’s the paradox of writing, or the paradox of adolescence, or the paradox of social media or American east-coast elitist culture or something, I think. Your expressions should be sincere but not saccharine, naked so long as you don’t reveal your hedonism or deep (deep) fears or your interests that have crossed the threshold from quirky to strange. Append an all-lowercase “lol” to all your texts.