Tuesday, January 17, 2017


After taking a relatively long holidays in Canada (which was full of personal pressure and drama), I am back to Boston now. I have registered to ImprovBoston class titled "Introduction to Standup". The class is taught by Dana. I had missed two classes before, and attended the 3rd one last night. The class involves about 15 students, and I am the only non-American student there. The assignment for the class was to prepare a funny 2-minutes writing about myself so that I can read it while sitting (what is called 'dry workshop' by Dana as opposed to 'wet workshop' in which you stand and move, etc.).

Here is what I had:

Well, I should tell you that I am a Computer Scientist from Iran. Is it funny? I think it is! But let me continue. As you might guess my mother tongue is not English. In the last years of my primary schools I was good in all courses except two courses. Two courses that I was almost **** in! These two were English and Introduction to Computers. The two worst things that I remember from my childhood are red alarms (I was raised during a long war), and English dictation by an angry teacher  (I just checked the spelling of 'dictation' when I wrote this). The only good part was that our teacher's English was not that good either.

Thanks to `god', I ended up living in English-speaking countries and working with Computers as my job. You might say why? Before answering this question, I should say that, after 15 years, I love English and Computers (well, that is a certain type of `love'). Although, as you might guess (again!) my English is not that good yet, and so might be my Computer skills. But, why did I do that? I did very poorly in the Entrance Examination of Universities. Among 50 choices that I made for universities, I was admitted to the 37th, and it was Computer Science. And among 40 students admitted in my university my rank was 40th!  You might ask why I migrated to English-speaking countries. Well, I just followed my brother. If you think he knew what he was doing, you are wrong. His English and Computer skills were always worse than mine (he also does Computer Science!).

I still follow the same pattern of taking random choices in life. For example, a year ago I had a job interview in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If you wonder where it is, it is north of North Dakota! I was there for a day and a night. The weather was around -40 degrees. When I was there, I wondered why the job interview is scheduled in January; it surely does not encourage any one (well, except polar bears) to take that Job. However, I got the answer when I accepted a job offer from them a couple of months after. 

I had used the R-word (replaced by **** here). I was gently reminded that it is offensive and should not be used. After each student red their story, others would comment and critic the performance. One common mistake is to say a joke and pass it without 'cooking it well'. Many jokes have potentials and should be developed (instead of jumping to another one).

It is a totally new experience for me to attend this class. It is true that I belong to a 'minority' in Canada and US. However, I have been always surrounded by people who also belonged to minority groups. In that sense, we were 'majority' always. This class, however, is totally different. As expected, there are cultural references that I cannot get. I have difficulty understanding some jokes. This issue makes the class more challenging and more interesting. I look forward to future classes.