Manual typewriter with succulents planted in it.
Manual typewriter with succulents planted in it.
Photo by Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the spring of 1998 — my senior year in high school. I had stayed a few minutes late after my first period class, Advanced Placement English, to ask my English teacher a question about an assignment. As I was gathering my stuff and getting ready to hurry to my second period class, my teacher casually told me, “You know you’re a good writer, right?”

My English teacher was notoriously difficult. And the class was ridiculously demanding. It was the sort of class where we’d read two books at the same time (and write about both) — one we’d discuss for a few weeks in class and one we’d read on our own and discuss together for only one class (and we were expected to turn in our writing assignment for that book before that class discussion). I couldn’t tell you what class I had for second period or the structure of the rest of my senior year classes. But the stresses and demands of AP English are forever burned into my brain. …


Noor Ali-Hasan

I’m a UX research lead at Google, where I help teams design and build desirable and easy to use products. Outside of work, I love art, Peloton, and Lego.

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