Long time ago, a colleague of mine told me about an activity they liked to carry out on the first day of class. This activity consisted of asking students to "tell me something unique—and interesting—about you," writing their answers on scratch paper.

I decided to adopt this activity, and was immediately amazed by many of my students' answers. As a matter of fact, I'm still fascinated to learn something about them that I would never guess otherwise. Here's a small collection of what they've told me since 2016.

I left home at 17 to become a bassist in a punk rock band. I still play music daily and low-key dream of being able to do it professionally.

I used to run a music performance space, everything from heavy metal bands to classical music to theatre productions.

I am a writer focused on themes of latin American folklore, magical realism, and latino social issues.

Something unique about me is that I have been writing in cursive since 3rd grade.

I am a writer by passion. A big part of me finishing my degree is so I can have more professional and financial stability in order to continue to write my poetry, write what I hope are many successful novels and be published all over the world.

I enjoy reading and writing fiction about people's day-to-day lives where nothing dramatic or high-stakes happens, and the characters are pretty happy.

I'm really interested in journalism and writing. Recently, one of my friends got me a typewriter and I'm learning to use it to write. It's much different than a computer, but I love it.

One thing that interests me is exhibits and museums. I find them fascinating. I really like art, it tells us different meanings and histories.

I love swimming. It's more of my hobby but also a place where I go when I'm stressed out or feeling bad.

I have been to Tanzania three times and I'm currently learning Swahili, the language most widely spoken in the country.

I have never left California and have lived in the Bay Area since I was born.

I am a mix of Filipino and American, and was born in the Philippines.

I lived in a van that I remodeled as a camper van for a year and a half. I traveled to over 35 states and spent most of that time living in national forests. During that time I decided to go back to college. So here I am!

I am a half-Korean, half-Irish lover of languages. I am currently studying Spanish and Japanese as well as on-going practice of Korean, my family's language.

I was a double bass performance major before deciding to switch to philosophy. My favorite composer is Shostakovich, with his piano trio no. 2 being my favorite piece by him.

I have two published papers on cleaning energy topics with my lab instructor and three other groupmates. My plan is to major in developmental genetics.

If I can't sleep at night, I wake up and dance for a while. Then I am able to fall asleep.

I wake up at 5:30 / 6:00 am to run at least 2 miles almost daily. I have two dogs, both adopted from the streets. I think people need to drink more water.

I'm not quite sure what my first language is because I grew up back and forth from Brazil to here. My thinking flip-flops from Portuguese to English depending on the situation.

I graduated as a dentist but I realized that I enjoy a lot to be working in a lab instead of being in my private practice. That's why I decided to start over with a "new" career as a scientist.

I was born and raised in Southern California before moving to Indonesia for 6 years and then to the Bay Area.

I didn't know I had a middle name until 7th grade since my parents never called me by my full name. I eventually found out when I found my baptism invitation.

I enjoy brewing my own beer at home. A coworker taught me how to do this about 8 years ago. It's a lot of work but a very rewarding hobby. My favorite styles to brew are IPA's and stouts.

I'm always happy and laughing. I like to laugh and made other people happy.

I have two kids. Both are girls and I love them very much. One child is 9 and the other is 1 years old. I also love and make music. I skateboard when I get a chance.

I am a huge space nerd and intend to go to Mars or the Moon when such becomes commercially viable.

I come from a long line of politicians. My father and grandfather both were involved in politics at a local level, both ran for congress/state assembly. I may minor in political science as it's something that has always interested me.

My great grandfather was a famous bookmaker and one of his books sunk with the Titanic and it is estimated that the book would be worth over a million dollars.

My father and my grandfather were math teachers. Unfortunately, I think I haven't inhereted their genes ... but I have a good memory.

At some point in my life I plan on joining the armed forces, maybe the Navy, for just a few years to get the experiences and the feeling that I did my part.

I can speak English, French, and Russian and I am a 2nd degree black belt in Judo. Have competed in junior olympics at 14 years old.

I love reading and due to that love, I taught myself how to read backwards, forwards, diagonally, horizontally, and vertically.

I love to read. Mainly just romance and young adult books. But I can only read with headphones blasting really loud music or where there is lots of people talking.

I am a makeup artist. I really enjoy doing special effects makeup on myself.

I play guitar, uke, piano, and I also sing.

I play in an alternative rock band that I formed after quitting my previous band because I didn't have freedom to write my own songs.

I play 5 instruments: piano, 3 types of saxophones, and cello, and I also sing.

I'm a music producer and I've been making beats since I was a little kid. I'm also a photographer; I love cars so I started taking pictures of them.

I love music and just anything to do with the music industry in general. I plan on working in either public relations or law in the music industry.

I went to four different highschools. I started a house cleaning business with my best friend. I currently support myself by cleaning various homes for cash.

I enjoy film photography (using 35 mm) instead of digital.

I am currently a co-owner of a photography company. We specialize in portrait and event photography.

I make jewelry! I worked at bead/jewelry store for a few years and learned that skill set there. Usually, I make necklaces with wire wrapping techniques. Right now, I love turning small, found objects into interesting pieces.

I've been part of a student activist group for the last 2 years of high school. We've helped organize sevearl rallies to speak about political topics. This group is what made me interested in my major (politics). I am also ambidextrous.

I love cattle ponds, the more disgusting, the better! I'm currently running a study for the State Fish and Wildlife testing a new type of trap to be used to manage invasive American bullfrog populations.

I have lived in 4 different countries since I was born. I grew up in South Africa. I then moved to Belgium, England, and then California. I moved here when I was 12 and loved it ever since.

I love horse back riding. I started riding when I was 11, and it honestly became a form of therapy for me and a positive distraction.

I have had 3 careers so far in life. 1) From 5 years old until 26 years old I worked in my father's restaurant business. 2) Since 18 years old I have worked in the construction business operating my own small business for nearly 20 years. 3) I have been an in-home care taker for 3 different people for a total of 15 years.

I would love to be able to foster children in the future to be able to provide a safe and loving home every child should experience. My big heart, loving, and patient personality with the willingness to help children is what makes me unique.

I have an identical twin however, we do not share the same birthday. He was born after midnight, so we each get our own day.

I'm a Kansas City Chief football fan and occasionally watch the Jay Hawks. My favorite hobbies is going out to experience new restaurants with my adopted sisters. I was the only girl growing up and always longed for a sister so the Lord blessed me with many adopted ones.

I'm half Indian and half white, with four parents and two stepsiblings. I like to dance, act, and direct both for theatre and for film!

I love to dance. I like dancing because is another way to express yourself and lets you forget about what is happening. Also, it takes you to a different world.

I studied Hotel Management in my home country, which I didn't like it (I realized too late). I really enjoy art; paintings from the Renaissance to the Cubism period; I enjoyed gardening as well.

I used to do standup comedy. I went to a standup comedy school in San Francisco.

Painting is my hobby. Every time I paint, I feel a sense of calmness and relaxation. My favorite part about painting is seeing one of my visions come to life!

I love video games like "Overwatch" and "Red Dead Redemption", and I hope to get my associate degree in animation and get an internship at some big studio (e.g. Pixar).

I modded video games for a long time. One of the projects I contributed to helped raise charity for Trans Lifeline.

I ran three LA Marathons between 8th grade and 12th grade. It was through a program called Students Run LA and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Out of highschool I planned to work in film, intending to move to LA, which I eventually did at the age of 25. Before moving to LA I traveled around the world for nearly a year filming about comedy and the function/expression of humor in cultures around the world as well as here in the west.

I practice a martial art called Eskabo Daan, which is a Filipino martial art. It's allowed me to connect to my culture on a higher plane of spirituality than I've ever experienced before. Eskabo Daan is a compilation of other martial arts such as silat, eskrima, kali, jeet kune do, etc. and is focused on combat self-defense.

I'm a self-defense instructor. More specifically, I'm a Krav Maga instructor. I like Krav Maga because it is a cool way for people to find confidence in themselves.

I played a lot of sports. I was a gymnast for 5 years, swimmer for 7 years, played tennis for 3 years, soccer for 9 years, and jiu jitsu for 3 years.

I've played tennis for the past 6 years and in every tournament that I've played at I've been the only latina girl.

Some years ago I damaged my spinal cord while scuba diving off the coast in Southern California. I have what continues to appear to be permeant neuropathy on my left side. It's become a part of life, but some days it weighs heavier than others.

I have been training in boxing for more than 6 years. I would like to major in psychology because I love to learn about human behavior.

I am a huge fan of horror games and more particularly, psychological horror games. I really enjoy the atmosphere because while the games are supposed to be scary and stressful, I feel very calm playing them.

I grew up in Michigan in a family that loved sports, especially ice hockey. However, at that time there were no girls' teams, which was a huge disappointment to me. I would watch games with my grandfather, collect trading cards, and even played on piles of snow that the zamboni driver dumped outside the rink.

I'm into a table top role playing game called Dungeons & Dragons. It's real nerdy, but I enjoy it because its something that I can do with my friends on a weekly basis that isn't sports or going to a bar. It gives us the opportunity to goof around and use our imaginations.

I did cheer in high school for a semester. I joined for sports credit, and to spend time with friends. It was fun to shout cheers, but my major stunt involvements for the most part were climbing on someone's shoulders and running around the field and spotting, catching someone in case they fall during a stunt.

I read quite a bit of fiction, predominantly fantasy and sci-fi. I think it is an interesting way to discuss the future, the past, cultural norms, and societal complexes. It also provides simple decompression and space for clarity.

At night, after cleaning up dinner and doing my chores, I go into the garage at my house, and I just sit and listen to podcasts before I go to bed. I usually stay there until 1am, and then go straight to bed.

I work at a local grocery store. I know that doesn't sound super exciting, but I state it more as a learning experience I've been through for about four years and counting. Working there has taught me so many different things, like certain interests in studying human behavior and even experiences regarding relationships, platonic or not. It's an inciteful place that I have learn a lot from and has a lot of story to it.

I work part time at Starbucks and really enjoy it. I love my coworkers and the work I do. My go to drink irght now is Chai Latte & brown sugar, vanilla sweet cream cold foam lt ice cinnamon powder on top.

I worked on the set of a movie a couple of years ago and that's when I decided to pursue my love of film and television as a career.

My mom is from Germany, so I was raised bilingual. I took a gap year after high school where I traveled with a friend to many countries in Europe for about 3 months. Being bilingual was very useful for that trip.

Something unique about myself is I speak a Guatemalan dialect (Qyol Mam) not many kids my age can speak it anymore so I think it's pretty unique that I can speak it perfectly.

I am from a country in the east coast of Africa. It shocks me to see ambulances in the U.S. that actually work; in my home country you have to carry someone to the hospital.

I decided to move into a camping trailer instead of an apartment to save money and try an affordable method of moving out of my parents home and live independently.

I learned English in a year and a half because I really wanted to go to college here in the United States, and I was getting old to go to college according to my family, so if I wanted to come here, I had to learn ASAP.

My grandpa was in the Marines and got stationed in Japan, where he met my grandma. My grandpa didn't know any Japanese and my grandma didn't know any English, so it is beyond me how they communicated.

I have been working on music for the past 5 or so years in a band with a couple of friends. We've been soundtracked in art films and have all of our music on different streaming services.

I really enjoy cooking and baking, whether it's new recipies or traditional Mexican food for myself and others.

I like cats because I get along with them very well. I don't get along with dogs as much since they are very loud and obnoxious. Cats are more quite and gentle; I actually have four cats.

I like to design and draw clothes. One of my dreams is to create a runway show.

I am a comicbook fanatic with an interest in becoming a digital artist, and learn graphic design.

I was a burlesque performer for a few years before I went back to school. I made my own costumes and came up with my own choreography. I am very passionate about it.

I am able to learn to do a lot of things quickly. In one hour I was able to learn how to sow and knit. I also learned how to do acrylic nails and make up in a very short time. I learned how to change a tire and fix scratches on cars. Unfortunately, I also lose interest in things very easily.

I served in the Coast Guard for 12 years. I worked on drug interceptor boats and traveled all across South America. At 30 years old I am nervous about going back to school.

This is my final college course in almost 10 years; I've spent a lot of time attempting to develop myself and interests. My ultimate goal would be to start a multimedia company.

I used to work for the Oakland A's as a usher.

I got rid of and changed the mascot at my high school. My friends and I believed that our old mascot was disrespectful, so over the course of a year and a half we were able to change it.

I was born and raised in Georgia. I am 31 years old, retired from the Army. I moved to California because I love nature and I want to hike all of its 9 national parks.

I dropped out of school when I was 14. I didn't go to high school, so I haven't been in a school setting since then. I obtained my GED over the summer. I have mental and behavioral problems that held me back in my teens but am getting treatment now and doing much better.

I've had a learning disability since 2nd grade and I think because of it I have a really huge sense of humor, to kinda compensate for my disability.

I lived in Idaho for nearly 20 years before moving by myself to California for no particular reason. I had no money saved so I took the first job I could get. I also love reading, I read 21 books last year.

I lived in Thailand when I was 11 years but I'm not Thai. I'm half-filipino, half-white.

I grew up in a small town in Montana about an hour away from Yellowstone national park. I am used to being close to nature. City life is a big change.

I moved to Southwest Wisconsin for a year because I met my boyfriend while visiting my close friend who I shared a bunk bed with at a summer program in my home state.

My family is from Brazil. When I was younger I hated goign there because I couldn't do much and I got lonely, but now I love it and can't wait to go back.

My parents are from Mexico City. I've gone there several times to visit family members; I love the culture and food!

I collect vinyls and records. I have an Audio Technica Lp 120, and I'm always hunting for rare records.

I am interested in politics, psychology, and public speaking. I also enjoyed video editing and bike riding. I hope to be able to immigrate to Spain one day.