“Team@expii” is a weekly blog series to help our followers get to know us here at Expii.


Meet Zora Gilbert!

Zora is one of our Math Content Writers and has been with us since January of 2016. Get to know them in their interview below.


Where are you from? What was your hometown like?

I went to high school in Madison, WI, but I spent the first ten years of my life in Manhattan and I’m fully a New Yorker at heart. I grew up way up on 141st street, in a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood, and I’ve pretty much been trying to go back ever since I left.


What are your personal interests/hobbies?

I’m very much a Comics Person–my other job is at Phantom of the Attic, Oakland’s comic shop, and I edit an anthology of queer historical fiction called Dates. I travel to comic conventions across the east coast a bunch of times a year, and I love being part of the larger conversation about representation in media and the social implications inherent to a lot of publishing practice and widespread patterns in media consumption.

When I’m not yelling about complex literary and rhetorical theory as it applies to comic books, I also like to climb rocks and play tabletop games. My favorites are The Quiet Year and Fiasco–check them out if you like telling collaborative stories!

To my deep, deep shame, my favorite (mainstream) superhero is Daredevil.


What’s your favorite food?

Oh geeze I need tighter parameters for this. Dessert? Street food? Comfort food? Big Fancy Meal food? I guess, respectively, it’d be: apple pie,

genuine New York pizza, baked mac & cheese, and this awesome marinated pork tenderloin thing my dad does, laid over tumeric rice.


How did you get into math, and what do you like about it?

I’m not sure I would say I’m into math, if I’m being totally honest. I’m one of many people in the office who at some point in school decided that math Was Not For Them, but I never stopped loving pedagogy and thinking that inclusive, intuitive, accessible education was important. And that’s why I’m here, really–I recognize how important math is, and remember how much I loved solving the problems before they became inaccessible and confusing, and I want to make the basics accessible and even inviting for kids who don’t have the same resources I did.


What’s a unique fact about you?

I have a whole monologue about how uniqueness can’t be boiled down to a single fact but is rather the confluence of any number of important features that make up a person, but I think I’ll spare you that this time.

I use a lot of SAT words when I’m really tired.


What’s something you’ve achieved?

I published a big ol’ comic book, y’all. Twice.

Dates is an anthology of queer historical fiction, which my friend Cat Parra and I started in the summer of 2015. Volume 1 came out in early 2016, and we just finished Kickstarter fulfillment for Volume 2.  We learned everything we could about editing and publishing from the ground up, and have raised a total of over $60,000 to print the book, pay our contributors, and ship the books out all over the world. I’ve done everything on these books–from selecting the contributors, to scheduling production, even to laying out the books and sending them to the printer.

Dates is my baby.


What’s your favorite thing about Expii?

I love that Expii is accessible. It’s a free platform, open to anyone and everyone to use. One of the things that makes education really hard for a lot of people is that they don’t necessarily come from an environment that makes learning (at least, not the academic learning that schools value) incidental to everyday life, so it’s hard for them to keep up with classmates who have access to lots and lots of conversation about academic topics outside of the classroom. By offering interesting problems and interactive explanations, Expii makes those conversations and that mental exercise possible for anyone, and that’s awesome.


Team@expii: Zora Gilbert