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Toronto ON, M5S 0A1
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Final Exam

Photo of Hamza Haq.

The Doctor is In

Hamza Haq, the star of Transplant, shares how a drama teacher helped him find his calling — and why he regrets not paying more attention in physics class.

Describe yourself in elementary school in three words.

Inquisitive, jolly, energetic.

Describe yourself in high school in three words.

Arrogant, insecure, lazy.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Drama. I mean, that has to be obvious, right?

What was your most challenging subject and why?

History. It was difficult to get my head around what was deemed relevant when so much was being left out.

What songs take you back to your school days and why?

"Fallin'" by Alicia Keys, my first slow dance in Grade 6; "My Sacrifice" by Creed reminds me of getting together with the boys to watch wrestling; "Hey Ya!" by Outkast was the song I used as the background in the first movie I made in Grade 8. And anything by Linkin Park.

What books are you currently reading?

The entire collected works of Rumi and Night of Power by Anar Ali.

What do you wish you had been taught in school but weren't?

Taxes and fiscal responsibility.

My most embarrassing moment at school was …

I bought four candy grams on Valentine's Day for this girl I had a crush on in my math class who also sat next to me. The following day she requested to be moved to another seat.

In school I struggled with …


Most important life lesson learned at school?

Hard work trumps raw talent.

Fondest school-related memory?

Performing Beowulf at the Sears Ontario Drama Festival Showcase in St. Catharines in Grade 11.

Quality you most appreciated in a teacher?

Listening to a student's concerns.

Which subject do you wish you had paid more attention to and why?

Physics, because my mom always beats me in physics-related Jeopardy! categories!

Best advice that a teacher gave you during your school years?

I wasn't the best actor in drama class, but I got better parts in the plays because my drama teacher told me that hopefully if other brown kids got to see me acting and having fun, maybe they'd be interested in trying it as well and discovering it was meant for them. It was a huge lesson on the importance of representation.

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