languages: As a native of Guatemala, Spanish is my mother tongue; however, my passion for languages began in elementary school. After almost failing in English in second grade, my mom helped me to develop a passion not only for English but for learning in general (presently near-native speaker fluency). During school vacations, my grandfather taught me French (speak and read fluently) and basic Esperanto. Later on, I learned Italian (speak and read fluently). Once in graduate school and after completing my credit hours requirements, I took German lessons (intermediate level). Eventually I would like to learn Kakchiquel (a Mayan language spoken mainly in the northwest of Guatemala.)
books: Still struggling to “read books” on a screen, I prefer reading physical books. I find biographies and history books truly inspiring, some of my favorite ones are (in no particular order): Einstein, His Life and Universe (Walter Isaacson). The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (Walter Isaacson). Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (Margot Shetterly). Open – An autobiography (Andre Agassi). The Outsider – A Memoir (Jimmy Connors). Other books include: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (Richard Feynman). Crossing the Threshold of Hope (John Paul II). Les Vrais Penseurs de Notre Temps (Guy Sorman). Intellectuals. And Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties (Paul Johnson). Don Camilo (Giovanni Guareschi). Don Quixote (Cervantes). Les Misérables (Victor Hugo). La Divina Commedia (Dante Alighieri). The Devil’s Alternative (Frederick Forsyth). Los Nazarenos (Pepe Milla). El Señor Presidente (Miguel Angel Asturias).
music: Def Leppard, Pink Floyd, U2, Police, Journey. Juan Luis Guerra, Alux Nahual. Classical Music, my favorites are Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, and Requiem. Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, and Mesiah. Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Requiem, and Piano Concertos 9-17. Beethoven’s Fur Elisa, and Eroica. And of course Brahms’ Requiem.
sports: I love sports, and enjoy playing soccer and tennis. Back home in high school we won a national championship in baseball—I used to play shortstop. During grad school I played cricket a couple of times with my friends from India.
other stuff: After attending a home football game at Texas A&M, I became a hardcore Aggie fan! I also like the Dallas Cowboys, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern, but mostly Juventus!