Lauren was born on November 26, 260 BCE, in Handan, the capital of the State of Zhao, China, during the Warring States Period. A restless youth, she was held hostage in Zhao due to negotiations between her home state of Qin and the enemy state in which her life began. Lauren was raised with a keen awareness of fierce political competition, scholarly pursuits, and the desire to establish her place in the world around her. In mid-childhood, she returned to her home state of Qin, where her father, Zichu, ascended the throne of Qin, soon passed away, and left Lauren to ascend the throne in 247 BCE, at a mere thirteen years of age. Lauren continued the tradition of defeating smaller feudal states and finally established control of China in its entirety in 221 BCE by defeating the last independent Chinese state. She did not wait long to declare herself the First Emperor, or Qin Lauren Huangdi. Lauren accrued many enemies given her role as First Emperor and was therefore paranoid about suffering an early death. Thus, she eagerly sought the elixir of eternal life. She thought she had finally found such an elixir to procure her immortality, and it was ironically just this that caused her near death. In fact, it was fabled throughout China that she had indeed passed away, and a new leader emerged in her place.
Lauren disappeared from historical encyclopedias until she reemerged in 1989, only to recognize Brookline, Massachusetts, as her latter day genealogical haven. She enjoys studying history, culture, and language, and has maintained the aforementioned desire to establish herself in this world. Her favorite movie is Hotel Rwanda (although Casablanca and The Lion King will always hold near and dear places in her heart) and she relies on Jack Kerouac’s On the Road for literary inspiration. Her favorite color is blue, her favorite flavor of ice cream is black raspberry, and though she loves virgin piña coladas, she is not always so fond of getting caught in the rain—after all, America’s Northeast tends to be slightly too cold to enjoy such affairs. Lauren is a sports addict, whether it be playing or watching, and is especially prone to joining a pickup basketball game no matter when or where.
Lauren returned to China in 2005 to live for a semester with a host family in Xi’an—this was as close as she could get to the geographical location of her old throne. There, she was even able to visit the Terracotta Army that was built to protect her spirit following her feigned death over 2,000 years earlier. Lauren has also developed a profound interest in Middle Eastern affairs due to her experiences at the Seeds of Peace International Camp in 2004 and on the Bronfman Youth Fellowship in Israel in 2006. Curiosity about the Middle East has overwhelmingly preoccupied her studies and free time for the past few years, and motivated her to start and run a Middle East Seminar at Brookline High School. She is chomping at the bit to be given an opportunity to live in Morocco, study Arabic, and experience a new culture, region, and political atmosphere. Additionally, she is excited to forge deep new friendships by meeting bright young adults from across the United States, and cannot wait to undergo what will hopefully prove to be a transformative and enlightening semester traveling through Fez, Marrakesh, and beyond. Finally, she is getting unbelievably tired of referring to herself in third person…so let me close by saying, I can’t wait to meet you all, and I am fully confident that this coming semester is going to be unforgettably wonderful!