So, I give you QueenTiye!
Da Roolz (as generally put down by Drew)
1. The current OTer of the Week chooses the next OTer of the week and starts a thread in their honor.
2. That person's week in the spotlight runs from Monday to Sunday, after which a new OTotW takes over.
3. To keep this interesting please choose someone with whom you typically disagree here on OT, and also someone you don't know well. We'd hate to see it get clubby.
4. Current OTotW should set about picking a successor within a few days in case the search for a new OTotW takes awhile. And also so that person can prepare and write a brief bio like Bad Wolf did below.
5. Have fun, and LEARN about each other.
And now, to hear from the queen herself:
My given name is Tamara, and my middle name starts with an E. Consequently, at birth, I was also given a nickname - Tam-E. My first name is pronounced TAM-uh-ruh, as opposed to Tah-MARE-ah, which is how most people I encounter pronounce it. Both are right, only one is my name. And, because I've had it since birth, I give permission to people to use my nickname only if they can spell it - and I'm a stickler on these two points.
I suck at biographies, because there's always too much and nothing to tell. I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and spent all of my life there until I was married, upon which, I moved to New Jersey. I lived in New Jersey for a lot of years - 4 years before my son was born, and then 11 years after. The most interesting thing I can say about the experience is how very true it is that different states are, at root, different countries. We are all one country, but there are really subtle differences - I find it hard to explain how happy I was when I moved back to New York State where my son could take Regents exams instead of whatever it is that New Jersey uses to test high school competence.
As a child, I was sickly with childhood asthma. Early in my childhood, that meant staying away from a lot of physical activities. It wasn't until high school that the thinking on asthma shifted, and a stubborn gym teacher threatened to flunk me if I didn't finish a mile, that I realized that I could do more than I thought I could. My son has asthma now, but you'd hardly know it, because he's such an athlete. Anyway, between being shy, and being sickly, I spent quite a lot of time reading. Alas for my misspent youth! As avaricious a reader as I was - I mostly read harlequin romances. So, my list of books read is quite unimpressive. My mother, ever frustrated with my predilection for Harlequins, and my resistance to reading much of anything else (maybe except comic books when she'd let me) insisted on me reading Jane Austen. I was sure I was going to HATE it... instead I've read every one of Jane Austen's novels at least twice, some quite a few more times than that.
I grew up in Flatbush, literally on the corner of Flatbush Avenue, and a nice middle class side street. Such was my life. If, upon walking out my door, I turned to the left, my world was comfortably middle class. If I turned to my right, it was edgily urban - inner-city urban. Consequently, I had a lot of experiences at a younger age, than perhaps most. For instance - I was something of a binge drinker by the time I was 14, and could out-drink most of the guys in the neighborhood, if I wanted to. But also at age 14, I became born-again. I often say, but for the grace of God, and my relationship with the church (United Methodist Church, incidentally) I would have been one of those early teenage pregnancy statistics. All the building blocks of disaster were quite a part of my life, and I was a little bit fresh. Still, somehow, I managed to get all the way to college without actually having sex, and without totally becoming a drunk. By nineteen, with lots of family grief as a catalyst, I sobered up. I had one more binge episode after that, but by 21, I was done drinking for good, and this past October, I celebrated 20 years sober.
I converted to Islam as an adult - that's a long and winding tale that I just deleted 2 paragraphs of... Long and short, my conversion was both a matter of faith and practicality. At some point, I realized that I believed in the tenets of Islam, but didn't have any overwhelming desire to convert - but my then boyfriend considered my non-Islamic status a sticking point. Since I believed, I didn't see any good reason to let that be an issue between us, and I converted.
My personal experiences with Islam proved challenging. At least partially because I had such an eclectic practice in the first place, and because my reading of the Qur'an showed me nowhere where I was wrong in my practice, I strongly resented the various immigrants who always wanted to claim the "right" Islam - and call upon various hadith (stories) to justify their claims. If you're not born to Islam, hadith study is hard - there are so many volumes of hadith, and they are frequently contradictory - and yet, it turns out that any new Islamic movement can call upon some obscure hadith to justify things not found in the Qur'an. I found it offensive, and consequently, had no real religious community to which I could belong. 9/11 had a tremendous effect on me - it was kind of a deadening effect. I know how a 9/11 happens in Islam - ignorance of people and trickery of leaders. I became even more isolated than ever before. It was actually an Ex Isler who once asked me why I belonged to a religion from which I differed so much. My answer then was "I believe in the 5 pillars of Islam." I did then, I do now. But luckily for me, it turns out that there was another Faith - the Baha'i Faith, that enabled me to harmonize my early Christian beliefs and my later Islamic beliefs - when I learned about the Baha'i Faith, I first thought it was something someone had made up. I couldn't believe there was an actual religion like that - I could have written it myself! But a close investigation showed that it had all the hallmarks of a true religion - a divine revelation tested in the fire and all of the rest... and it was therefore a no-brainer that I would convert.
I think that's quite a lot! OH! the only other thing to add is how I come to be a member of this community. At a certain point of my life, I was going through quite a messy home circumstance, and found my life uncomfortably circumscribed. Seeking a way out of the limits that had grown up around me, I started fetching around for something that would be JUST mine. Star Trek fandom seemed to fit the bill. As geeky as it always seemed to me, it also always seemed fun - and I kinda admired the encyclopedic knowledge of REAL fans. So I set out to join a fan community online, and turn myself into that kind of fan, since I was already a casual fan. I think I found myself at TrekBBS, and registered there, but it didn't stick, because the fandom was too big. Somewhere along the line, they announced a new show, Andromeda, and a new web site, SlipstreamBBS. I registered at the new site, and then forgot about it. I was registered there as Queen Tiye, but I never could figure out my password, or what email address I'd used, so I had to re-register... this time as QueenTiye... which I did after the first episode of Andromeda aired. SSBBS was a small community, small enough for me to get in and be a part, and Andromeda was young enough for me to be almost as knowledgeable as anyone else... and the rest, as they say, is history!
I share that last part, to let everyone here know how much this community really does mean to me. I'm very happy that we have survived as a community, and hope that exercises like this continue to help us flourish.
1. Why Queen Tiye (or QueenTiye?)
2. As I recall, you and maybe Cait? used to have very lengthy forum conversations on Nietzcheans in Andromeda, so that leads me to ask what is your absolute favorite (if you had to choose one) Andromeda episode?
3. You mentioned 9/11 - how close were you when that happened? I seem to remember something about you being way too close to comfort?