She’s a librarian! She’s a comics scholar! She’s medievalist! Not surprisingly, Karen also has exquisite taste in many things — like film.
How do we know each other?
Via Facebook, through your husband Gene
How would you describe yourself?
I’m endlessly curious about the world, and tenacious in my attempts to learn more. I could say more, but that’s the basic: everything else is commentary.
In what part of the world are you located?
Manhattan, and I can’t conceive of living anywhere else.
What don’t people know about you that they ought to know?
I don’t know if they ought to know this, but people think I’m a happy-go-lucky, confident, gregarious person–and under ideal circumstances, I am–but I’m actually very shy and racked with insecurity.
What’s the most common mistake people make about you?
That I am happy-go-lucky, confident, and gregarious.
What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
Having gone from being a bartender to an Ivy-League librarian in 9 years.
What ambitions do you have ahead of you?
To avoid ever being forced into management.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
I tend to forget compliments after they’re given. They make me uncomfortable. But the weirdest compliment I ever got was when I was 16 years old. I was on the subway with my friend Sharon, and some random guy got up to leave the train, then turned around, dashed over to me, said “You’ve got the greatest lips I’ve ever seen,” and then ran out without looking back. We were speechless. Sharon made fun of me for that one for a long time.
If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?
By calling my friend James.
What’s your best method for coping with stress?
Watching old movies.
What makes you laugh?
What makes you cry?
What do you love?
What do you loathe?
A combination of fun and curiosity.
What’s the best advice you were ever given?
Sometimes it’s better to do the right thing than to be right.
How should people be spending their money?
Which woman/women have inspired you?
Emma Peel. Penelope Johnson (a professor of medieval history and NYU). Michelle Obama.
If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?
Pay off my student loans. Put aside some money for my mom’s senior community rent. Buy supplies, books, whatever’s needed, for the elementary school near our dig in Egypt, where my friend Gaber’s wife works. Take my nephew Mikah to Egypt with me. Take both my nephews to visit my friends in Italy and the Netherlands. Travel around India. Fund a mess o’ projects at DonorsChoose.org. Then just take it day by day.
Thank you so much for being part of this celebration: you are indeed fabulous!