The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Selected Student Profile: Salma Siddiqui

Senior+Salma+Siddiqui+goes+in+search+of+food+samples+at+the+Tsukiji+fish+market+in+Tokyo.+Photo+courtesy+of+Siddiqui
Senior Salma Siddiqui goes in search of food samples at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Siddiqui

Q: What languages can you speak?

I’m fluent in English, conversational in Mandarin (from immersion preschool and high school) and Hebrew (from elementary and middle school). I can also read and write Arabic (from Sunday school) and Urdu, but can’t speak either. Since I can understand Urdu, I can also understand Hindi.

Q: Since you have grapheme-color synesthesia [involuntary association of letters and words with colors], can you explain what color your name is?

‘Salma’ is pink, teal and pale yellow in diagonal pinstripes.

Q: Does the visual change by the language?

Actually yes! The colors are different in Mandarin because my Mandarin name sounds different: ‘盖쁜’ (Song Hui) which is pink and like burnt orange. And it’s a lot more blunt. In Arabic, the colors are the same — still pink, teal and yellow — but now it’s like marbled. But in Hebrew, my name ‘שלוה’ (Shalva), because of the sounds, is pink, yellow and then pale-green instead of teal.

Q: What’s your favorite trend?

I’m not a trendy person… just kidding! I really love the bows on everything. It reminds me of my first horse show when I was 10 where I wore these really big pink bows in my hair.

Q: If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it—

A hedgehog! But they’re illegal in California.

Q: Did you look that up?

I did look it up. Because they’re legal in Oregon and people smuggle them through the borders. I once met this guy on Castro who was playing his guitar and sitting next to him was a hedgehog. And I was like, “How do you have a hedgehog? They are illegal in California!” He goes, “I have a buddy… he drives a minivan… I can give you the info….” And then my parents said no.

Q: Would you rather serve on the Supreme Court today or have helped write the Constitution?

Helped write the Constitution. Having a woman of color involved in writing our founding document would have been amazing and could have altered the course of history in many ways.

Q: What’s your favorite sport?

Formula 1 and equestrian. One thing I really like about riding is that it’s one of the very few sports that’s super female-dominated now even though originally it was all male. I’m hoping Formula 1 will get there someday.

Q: If your life was a movie, who would you want to narrate it?

I think Zendaya would do a good job. Also, though, Taylor Swift: I want to hear what she thinks. I would give her full creative liberties, and it would be a musical and she would write songs which I could sing.

Q: What’s a motto you live by?

“If not now, then when?” I find it applies when you’re scared to do something. I find that it helps to remember that you only get one life — but not “YOLO,” which I think is not a good way to live your life. It’s like “do it for the plot.”

Q: How would you distinguish the three?

I would say “If not now, then when?” is Gen X, YOLO is millennial and “do it for the plot” is Gen Z.

Q: Do you identify as Gen Z?

I’m firmly Gen Z. I am very anti-millennial culture. But I would say that I am both Gen Z and Gen X. My quarantine hobby was crocheting.

Q: Farmers markets or museums?

Farmers markets because free samples.

Q: Speaking of food, what are you allergic to?

Like, avocados, cherries, artichokes, tree nuts, apples, and nightshade (so tomatoes, eggplants). Some of these are very minor — like I’ll still eat avocados because I like guacamole but it makes my tongue itchy.

Q: Do you have any superstitions?

I always listen to the same song before a mock trial round. It’s “Jealous” by Nick Jonas. It puts me back to freshman year when some of the seniors would play the song before a round. The song has just played at important moments in my life… and I don’t particularly like it.

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About the Contributors
Amber More
Amber More, Creative Director

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 1

Favorite aspect of journalism: watching everything come together from the first draft to print

Interests outside of school: rock climbing, Pop Culture, and Formula 1

Class of 2025

Geoffrey Franc
Geoffrey Franc, Co-Editor-in-Chief
 

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Telling people's stories and learning about the world through them.

Interests outside of school: history, running, and Mock Trial

Class of 2025

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