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Xu Zou



Xu Zou was born in 1986 in Sichan, China. He attended the University of Minnesota and received a Ph. D. in Chemistry. In 2013 Xu married his husband Aaron.




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My name is Xu and I currently live with my husband and our two kitties in Edina, Minnesota. I grew up in Szechuan province, which is famous for its spicy food. I was really thrilled to find out Szechuan food is popular all across the United States and even Minnesota has quite a few authentic Szechuan restaurants.

After spending four years in college in Beijing, I came to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota where I received my Ph.D in Chemistry. I have always been very adventurous, which partially explains why I chose to come to a different country with a distinct culture for graduate school. There is no doubt that I made the right decision to attend the University of Minnesota as it is one of the most renowned academic institutions.

In retrospect, what could even further justify this decision is that I met the love of life, Aaron, who is a classical musician, and whom, I think, lives at the other end of the spectrum of my world of science. I would not have imagined that this type of couple could work out so perfectly before I met him. It is amazing to recall what we have experienced together in the past six years: we witnessed Minnesota be the first state to defeat the amendment to ban same-sex marriage in 2012; we got married on the coldest day of 2013 after the defense of marriage act, DOMA in short, was overturned by the Supreme Court; we bought our first house, remodeled it together and sold it; and we adopted two of the cutest kitties in the world, Chopstick and Toothpick.

Both Aaron and I are in highly specialized professions which makes it hard to find jobs in the same city. We decided to take jobs in different cities and spent 2 years apart flying between cities such as Seattle, the Quad Cities, Dallas, and Minneapolis.

We finally moved back together to Minnesota, which is infamous for drawing its people back. No flying over the weekend anymore, instead we spend our weekend time more wisely at the Room and Board outlet shopping for bargains.

Sometimes, I still feel the sense of nostalgia: being a college kid in Beijing, getting delicious street food with friends at midnight, but suddenly realize I have entered a brand new chapter of my life in the United States, living with my husband and our two feline children, and also sharing my life with so many great friends from all over the world. It has been a fascinating journey and I look forward to many years more in Minnesota.