My Unrelated Other Self

My geometry grades have been going down the drain recently (and the 29-year-old high schooler isn’t necessarily helping ((If you’re wondering who I’m talking about, I’m talking about my geometry teacher. I mentioned him in my First Day of School post.))) so I’ve been going after Google search after Google search for some help.

I’ve read some articles in Time before (Nerd Alert!) about Khan Academy and the founder’s vision to transform the education system all over the world. He’s pretty darn ambitious. YouTube videos that sound so natural with his easy-going voice, a website that is like the accurate version of Wikipedia (free!), but actually useful, and graduating from Harvard and being an intellectual hoss.

Halfway through one of his YouTube videos, my ADHD spoke up and asked me, “GOSH, what’s his name? Is he Morgan Freedman’s cousin or something?”

And of course, me, not being perturbed by hearing “voices” in my head, replied right back, “I dunno. Let’s ask Google!”

ADHD and I were instantly blown away. His name is Salman Khan. ADHD and my name was supposed to be Salma, but my dad misspelled it when he registered me as an alive baby. He had a crush on Salma Hayek, but that’s beside the point. I got stuck with Selma instead. I was planned. My name was not. And ADHD is a good speller.

But then it gets weirder. Just like his name was off by one letter from mine, his birthday is a day off from mine. October 11th. My birthday is October 10th. By now, ADHD is taunting my OCD side, which usually likes to hang in the corner of my mind until it sees that a picture frame is crooked.

“Heeeey! OCD! He’s off by one!” ADHD called out. OCD started cussing out ADHD, in alphabetical order.

Then it gets even weirder that I’m starting to doubt if this was coincidence. His parents come from different countries, and he was born in America. He might be racially confused like me.

My mother comes from Mexico, which then made me born in the U.S.

Then ADHD goes, “You’re kind of a good impromptu speaker.”

“True. I hope I sound like him, too. Calm, relaxed, cool, collected.”

“It’s calm, cool, and collected. Stupid.” OCD chimes in.

So he’s probably my unrelated other self. We have some weird, too-similar qualities. Maybe he’s my adult parallel. I always wondered how my life would be if I were born a man (since I am a feminist and I do ponder at gender issues pretty often). I guess I’ll let Salman Khan answer that for me. I would’ve gone to MIT and Harvard, changed education in a positive way, given a TED talk, married some girl (I don’t feel like researching her), and teach knuckleheads school things and save their lives for a while until they find something else to not “get”.

So thank you, parallel unrelated self. You’re pretty awesome.



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