Nerds of the Month: BFF Edition

Tatie & Martina Pic

This month features Great Books Stanford’s resident BFFs: Tatie Balabanis (Stanford ’19) and Martina Lentino (UChicago ’19). Both Tatie and Martina hail from Miami, and their friendship began in a fated gym class during their freshman year of high school.

  1. Names: Tatiana Balabanis and Martina Lentino
  2. Relationship to Great Books:
    • Tatie: I was a camper at Great Books Stanford from the summer of 2010 to the summer of 2014. This past summer I had the absolute privilege to see the other side of GBSP and was an intermediate PA again at the Stanford campus (I spend 100% of my time here).
    • Martina: I was a PA at Stanford in the summer of 2016 and I loved it!
  3. Life Status:
    • Tatie: I’m currently a sophomore at Stanford studying psychology while completing the pre-med track. One of my favorite classes was a philosophy course called “Can good people like bad music?” which interrogated the objectivity of good music. We also had “the great Kanye debate” which may have been the highlight of my entire debating career. I am also on the rugby team here, a sport which I picked up just for funsies when I started college and I am now competing in nationally.
    • Martina: Right now, I’m an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in Art History and minoring in Human Rights! I love going to the Art Institute of Chicago as often as I can. It’s a really beautiful museum with a spectacular collection, and there’s always something new to see or that I missed in the past. As a student, I get free admission to most museums in the Chicago area, so it’s really great!
  4. What is your nerdy fun fact?
    • Tatie: My roommate brought home a giant pinecone the other day and gave me naming rights so I named him Geoffrey “Spike Jones” Chaucer. She was far less amused than I was.
    • Martina: My nerdy fun fact is that I know the full scores of an embarrassing amount of musicals by heart, and I especially know the “Phantom of the Opera” because in middle school I listened to it so much that it was my ringtone (back when ringtones were a thing).
  5. What’s your nerdiest attribute?
    • Martina: I genuinely have a great time facilitating and being a part of academic discussions, both in class and in daily life. It makes me really, really happy to talk about interesting things and new ideas with people who are willing to bring more to the table.
  6. Favorite book?
    • Tatie: Catcher in the Rye. I read it in a few hours the other day.
    • Martina: My favorite book is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Highly recommend.
  7. Which nerd in history would you most like to have dinner with?
    • Martina: I would love to have lunch with Laura Mulvey. In 1975, she wrote a groundbreaking text through a Freudian lens about the “male” gaze when regarding women in cinema that helped to condition how we think about many postmodern works of art today. I would love to discuss her research and how she came to the conclusions she did.
  8. Who was your first fictional crush?
    • Martina: He wasn’t my first fictional crush, but it’s pretty embarrassing and I’ll just put it on here because I’m sure many can relate: Four from the Divergent series. What a man.
  9. What’s your favorite thing about Stanford?
    • Tatie: All of my professors are so unapologetically dedicated to their respective fields of study and that just makes the learning process that much more enjoyable. Also, finding out three weeks into the quarter that your professor is a Nobel Prize winner is pretty cool.
  10. What’s your favorite thing about Chicago?
    • Martina: My favorite part about Chicago is the ready availability of visual and performing arts, pretty much always, with countless museums and small professional theaters. And I absolutely adore UChicago because it’s home to some of the most interesting, driven, and intelligent people that I’ve ever met. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t set high standards for themselves. I also have always felt very comfortable at UChicago; whether in being myself at all times around everyone, in my surroundings in the city, or in a classroom setting.

 

 

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