Intern Intro: Alex

Meet Alex, an editorial intern joining us for the summer. 
unnamedName: Alex Shahbazi
Age: 20
Hometown: Marquette, MI
School attending: Lawrence University, class of 2017
Tell us about your background: As the combination of a physics major and creative writing minor would suggest, I have a diverse set of interests as a result of my diverse background. I started school as a government and economics double major, but as I sat down and looked at those subjects, while interesting, they weren’t where I wanted to be. I found physics to be majestic, describing  the universe’s complexities in elegant simplicity. I’d loved science through my childhood, and had found my way back. My love for physics became matched by a love for writing after I started a blog of my own the winter of my junior year. I began writing about anything I wanted to. Writing provides that opportunity. As someone with an astonishing variety of interest, as well as a love for knowing and understanding things, writing allowed me to both learn about new things and to make sense of them in my own unique way.
Outside of academics, I’m a musician and athlete. I play for Lawrence University’s Men’s Soccer Team, with my third season beginning this August. I’ve also spent much of my life playing viola and piano, having participated in Lawrence’s Symphony Orchestra at times, as well as various orchestras throughout Michigan.
Why did you want to be an intern at FCM?
Having realized my passion for writing, I wanted to get a sense of what writing would be like in a professional setting. Being the classic college student with “no idea what to do with my life,” I saw FCM as an excellent place to gain insight into the world of professional writing. Having already spent my college years in the Fox Cities, as well as making many trips throughout my childhood here for shopping to soccer to shows, I know the region has so much to offer, and I’d like to help tell those stories.
What’s your favorite thing about the Fox Cities?
The wonderful variety. The Fox Cities area provides a wealth of opportunities, from sports to the arts to food to nature. With so much packed into the region, there’s an abundance of things do. A day could consist of brunch at a great coffee shop followed by a game of disc golf, a hike through High Cliff, dinner and then a show at the PAC. There aren’t too many places that offer all that in such close proximity to each other.
The last book you read:
“Round Ireland with a Fridge.” The book recounts Tony Hawks’ (the British writer and comedian, not the American skateboarder) month-long hitchhiking travels around the circumference of Ireland, accompanied by a refrigerator. He undertook the adventure on a bet, but along the way meets many interesting people and experiences the Irish quirkiness and hospitality firsthand, in what turns out to be a life-changing journey.
Last movie you watched:
Spirited Away. I’m a big fan of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki films, and this was by no means my first viewing of the masterpiece. It tells the story of a young girl who becomes stuck in the spirit world after she and her parents wander into a mysterious town. While eccentric and strange at first, Ghibli films (the Disney of Japan) are wonderfully written and beautifully crafted, and tell fabulous stories that touch the heart.
Any hidden talents?
I’ve been able to juggle since middle school, having had to learn for a show. I also do a pretty impressive (if I do say so myself) Edna Mode from The Incredibles impression.
What can’t you live without?
Soccer. Both playing and watching. As a massive Liverpool Football Club fan and obsessive follower of the game, whenever there’s soccer on, I’m watching it. I spent a term abroad in London, and was able to attend multiple professional matches, including a Liverpool game. It was a dream come true, since I consider Anfield, Liverpool’s stadium, to be a sort of sporting Mecca for me.
What’s the biggest risk you ever took?
While perhaps not the biggest risk in terms of the possibility of a detrimental outcome, spending 12 days alone in France was certainly stepping outside my comfort zone. I’d been studying in London, and our midterm break offered me the chance to see new places on my own. While difficult at times, the experience increased my hunger for exploration, as well as teaching me much about myself.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
To let things happen instead of trying to plan and foresee (and ultimately worry about) what’s to come. While giving thought to the future, both near and far, is needed, it’s better to not let that dictate too much in your life. Letting things happen and taking life as it comes leads to a more enjoyable and freer existence.
Describe your perfect Saturday:
Wake up relatively early. Make coffee. Watch early soccer game (noon kickoff British time). Cook breakfast. Watch second soccer game. Lunch. Third soccer game. Bit of exercise, followed with some dinner, and then time with friends in the evening.

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