GHAZI | Cornellians Demand More Than Being Firsts, Who Our Mentors Are Shows

When I started an editorial position at The Cornell Daily Sun, a friend said, “Paris, you might be the first Iranian associate editor of the newspaper.” Minutes before his congratulations, I opened my third email of the week from a reader addressing me as “Mr. Ghazi.” I wondered if he believed my job in an organization was essentially done by making it to a decision making role, and I laughed. No — I cackled. It was an ugly reaction to a well-meaning observation followed by an equally snarky thought: You know, I might very well be the first left-handed person to sit in this chair in Libe Cafe. I might hold the record for the fastest an Iranian at Cornell has trudged up the Slope to make it to her 10:10 because she spent too long choosing earrings that match her mood. Chances are, at a Cornell that looks and behaves differently from the Cornells that preceded it, you too hold the title for being the first of an identity group to do a whole lot.