How We Met


If it wasn’t for a shared love of neuroscience, it is unlikely that Arash and Becky ever would have met. Just about five years ago, while he was finishing his final year at UCR, Arash’s interest in radiology led him to start a research project with Dr. Ashwal and Dr. Obenaus at Loma Linda University at the suggestion of his undergraduate mentor, Maggie Curras-Collazo. Becky, not knowing what to do with herself after college, applied for a research fellowship at Loma Linda University for the summer to continue her study of neuroscience. If only Dr. Curras and the committee granting the fellowships knew how they would change the course of two lives! Arash would say it was love at first word (he loved Becky’s soft voice), while Becky would insist it was love at first sight (she loved Arash’s fancy professor glasses), when they first met at a lab meeting, early one Monday morning.



It took him a full month to muster the courage to ask her to go salsa dancing. Becky, having two left feet, quickly offered the fact that her roommate, Janelle, was practically a professional salsera (it being really her only connection to salsa dancing, aside from the occasional cha-cha with her roomie, Marie, in college). “Whoops! That was supposed to be a date…Crap!” she thought, as soon as she said it. So the “date”, chaperoned by a still unknowing Janelle, was set for the weekend. But by Thursday he had cancelled (she still can’t remember the excuse).


Facebook, the root of all evil, was to blame for this delay of their incredibly adorable relationship. Arash had “friended” Becky at the pleading of his friends after much ado.


Becky hated updating her facebook (she would later develop carpal tunnel and hate her computer as well) and had pictures of past boyfriends posted as her probile pic (she now understands the significance of removing facebook photos) and her status as "in a relationship". Arash also couldn’t help but notice that, when he asked what she did for the fourth of July, she said she saw fireworks with “my best friend (Erica) and MY boyfriend.” (She really said “my best friend and HER boyfriend,” but somehow this was lost in the incessant bleating of the MRI scanner.) Being the nice guy that he is, Arash quickly cancelled so as not to infringe on another guy’s girl.


Luckily, Becky was a bit shameless and invited Arash to go salsa dancing with her and Janelle on Saturday…while out shopping on Saturday. Arash had two choices: 1. Be cool and pretend like he already had something to do or 2. Take a chance, possibly look like a dork, and just go on the date already. Fortunately for him, Becky loves dorks (just kidding!) and they had a great time – he danced with her all night and even held her hand once (!), but no kisses were to be had – he was still unsure of her facebook status. Oh nice guys…



It took three dates – the second: a very romantic air-conditioner themed frat party (the house had just gotten an air conditioner…) where he (finally) asked her if she had a boyfriend (she didn’t), the third: concluded with Arash being forced to ride a mechanical bull in Hollywood after wearing his well-loved shell-top adidas and preventing Janelle and co. from getting into a salsa club – before they were to share their first, very perfect kiss atop a balcony overlooking LA.


From there, it was history. They kept their relationship a secret from the lab to remain professional (the whole lab knew) and managed to persevere through four years of long distance (2609 miles, to be exact) as medical school took Becky to Baltimore (you can’t turn down Hopkins) and Arash signed on for a PhD in neuroscience at UCR (he was already one year ahead of his peers!).



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