"I have now got a pestilent doctorate thesis to explore, when I would rather be doing something less useful..."
--J.R.R. Tolkien, from a letter to Naomi Mitchison (8 December 1955)
I'm in my mid-twenties and currently working on my Ph.D. English is my first language, but I am reasonably fluent in Spanish and teach it (as a TA) at the university I currently attend. I have also formally studied (in descending order of fluency) Italian, Portuguese, American Sign Language, French, and even a tad bit of Assyrian. Life as a graduate student is incredibly hectic and makes for very little free time, but I love it, and I can't imagine doing anything else at this point in my life.
I am a very proud Lord of the Rings/Tolkien geek: any excuse to mentally visit Middle-earth is a good one, in my opinion. I've read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings so many times I've lost track, as well as The Silmarillion, The History of Middle-earth, The Book of Lost Tales, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Atlas of Middle-earth, as well as any other Tolkien-/Middle-earth-related pieces of literature I can get my hands on. George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead are other favorites of mine (I'm also a fan of the TV shows); and finally, the Harry Potter series will forever hold a special place in my heart, as will Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and anything by the Brontë sisters or Jane Austen.