Meron Langsner, Acting class teacher
Mona was a student of mine in an acting class about 7 years ago. She was the first (and only) person to ever successfully complete a certain language exercise meant to be nearly impossible on the first try. And furthermore, to do so flawlessly. Every time since that I have taught that particular exercise, I brought up "a linguistics major who was the only person ever to do this in one try." No one has ever done it since.
She was insightful, kind, and always a positive presence. I wish her family peace and strength, and I hope that the words of those that she touched can provide some comfort. May her name be a blessing.
The exercise is called "Unpunctuated Text." When it was first taught to be, I was told it originated with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Essentially, the students are handed monologues that have had all punctuation and capitalization removed that they keep face down, and as we go around the circle, they turn it over and start reading. The moment that what they are saying does not make sense because they are not putting meaning into the words, their turn ends and they put their page face down and the next person starts from the beginning. (This is also used as a rehearsal technique for actors to help themselves get new insights into their work) - Most people do not get very far, some get only a few words in, others a handful of sentences.
Mona was the first and only to ever just turn the sheet over and read the monologue in its entirety with complete comprehenstion the whole way through. She said it was because of her understanding of linguistics.
After the first session of class she pulled me aside and confided in me about her condition of not being able to understand facial expressions and asked if she could still take acting (obviously it was not an issue as far as I was concerned). I think the only other person she told was her scene partner Geneviève (I found out about Mona because Geneviève posted on the page). I can tell you that with few exceptions I would never have known.