Archive for May, 2005

May 22, 2005

To Do List

I think makings lists is in my genes(have you met my mother? ๐Ÿ™‚
Anyways, this is more for my benefit so I can remember what I have to do

  • Re-read Harry Potter series before my pre-ordered 6th book comes
  • Read ALOT (suggestions welcome)
  • Make a website for my SAS voyage
  • Buy a laptop (HELP!)
  • Buy a digital video camera ( again, help!)
  • Watch documentaries (one a week w/ the Ab wheel, right Jilna? haha)
  • Go to the gym- yeah we’ll see about this one…
  • Learn how to swim properly(Parth?)
  • this is currently in progress

  • Go white water rafting
  • Girls trip (to NY? or to see Shawn!)
  • Do more USINPAC stuff
  • Pick up sitar again and keep with it- thank goodness I’ll have a single in commons so hopefully I can practice (CSPAC is so darn stingy with their practice rooms)
  • Take a trip to Salisbury once Meera comes back
  • Research SAS trips for independent travel (please please please give me suggestions- look at my itinerary in the entry below)
  • Get my Visas
  • Play more board games! (like MindTrap and Trivial Pursuit the GENIUS edition)
  • See more performances at Freer/Sackler ( they really have some amazing ones http://www.asia.si.edu/events/performances.asp)
  • Go to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Who’s coming with me? http://www.folklife.si.edu/center/festival.html
  • See Preethi perform at the Kennedy Center (June 11th-Millenium Stage-BE THERE)
  • Go for more walks
  • Go to Georgetown, Adams Morgan, etc. more often…basically take advantage of being close to DC.
  • Organize all my pictures, videos, CD’s(real ones, not digital)
  • Learn how to french braid my hair (any takers?)
  • See Scott..my long-lost FUSYE buddy!! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • finally i can cross this off my list! today was AWESOME…7 hours of nothing but FUN (and an envelope covered with Hong Kong sightseeing tips) i miss you already….

  • Stop playing Snake on my phone

Anything else? besides “get a life” or things of that nature…

May 20, 2005

last day of sophomore year

So I’m sitting in Van Munching trying to study for my 1:30 Business Law exam and it’s not working at all. As interesting as this material is, it’s my last exam and I’m at the point where I just want to be DONE (actually, I think we all reached that point last night in the lounge when Sanket optimistically told us that none of us were getting A’s on our last finals).

I still can’t believe how fast this year flew by. I don’t even know where it went! I feel like I spent all my time studying…I’m not saying that college isn’t fun, but during the year there’s always some assignment or project looming over your head. It’s hard to forget about all your work. I guess I’m not making much sense…oh well, it makes sense in my head!

I can’t wait for tonight though! It’s been such a long time since we’ve all hung out TOGETHER. Unfortunately, I think we’re all going to be EXHAUSTED by this evening (well at least the people who had exams today will be) from prolonged lack of sleep. I’ll try to stay awake for girl’s night ๐Ÿ™‚

May 19, 2005

Post-SAS “Visited Countries” Map

There’s not enough red on this map in my opinion!


create your own visited country map
or check our Costa Rica travel guide

May 16, 2005

A fitting fortune for once

How many times have you opened a fortune cookie only to find the most ridiculous fortune ever(most of the time they’re not even real fortunes but statements). Take today, for example, Chris’s fortune said something about gardening being his new passion and enhancing his life. With that in mind, I opened mine expecting to find something equally random. Here’s what it said:

” Traveling more often is important for your health and happiness”

I love it! Just in time time too…SAS stuff is slowly falling into place. I got my course registration last week and I signed up for Global Studies ( a requirement), Anthropology of Food, Literature of Travel, and Philosophy of Film. Hopefully those will cover my core Advanced Studies, HA, HL, and UL elective. If they don’t, I don’t think I’m EVER going to graduate. Other than that, I booked my flight to the Bahamas (thank goodness for Jet Blue’s cheap rates)- I’m flying out of JFK on August 27th. I also just booked our room in a youth hostel in the Bahamas- the Towne Hotel. I finally found 3 other (awesome)people to room with- Amy, Jed, and Shane- really looking forward to meeting you guys! It’s good we’re flying down on the same filght so if we find out that any of us are too crazy we can work it out then….lol just kidding.

We also received our final itinerary:

  • Nassau, Bahams– Depart August 30th
  • La Guaira, Venezuela
  • Salvador, Brazil
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Mombasa, Kenya
  • Chennai, India– I’ll be in India for my birthday!!!!
  • Yangon, Myanmar-formerly known as Rangoon, Burma
  • Singapore for bunker- I don’t think we get to leave the ship
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Hong Kong
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Honolulu, Hawaii – we’re here for one full day, not a night
  • San Diego, California– December 7th- My parents are meeting me in CA and we’re traveling around for a while. I should be home by the middle of December.

ahh i’m so excited! how can i concentrate on studying this week???
Anyways, good time in the brown lounge tonight…too bad we didnt’ find out about it until this week! We could have been using it all year long. Oh well, it’s probably better we didn’t. I can’t believe how many old school songs we listened to tonight…flashback to elementary and middle school. Our playlist was so random; Mariah Carey with thugs, N’Sync, the RealMcoy, Aarti, bhajans, le bouche, garba for like 10 seconds, LFO, savage garde, all-4-one, ace of base, aqua, old hindi songs, and on and on. Jess and I even made a list of songs that we have to find and download. I want to H-O-L-D hold your H-A-N-D hand and T-A-K-E take you to the P-A-R-K park!! Actually wait i don’t want to ever touch Roshan’s big hands…he “uses them” ๐Ÿ˜‰
AND the best part is we actually got some studying done!
I’m really going to miss this next semester ( not the studying, but the people)

May 15, 2005

only one more week left..

Can you believe that at the end of next week we will have finished our sophomore year? These two years went by way too fast. Next year we’ll be juniors and counting down the days until graduation!

Time is a strange thing. It passes by much too quickly exactly when you don’t want it to. Take this semester for example; in more ways than one it was a semester of “lasts”

<ul>
<li> The last semester we have to spend with Meera, Kinj, Ruby, and maybe (but hopefully not) Shawn. Fortunately, Meera and Kinj will be in Baltimore but Ruby will be all the way up in Boston! It’s going to be so strange not to see you guys everyday… </li>
<li> It’s our last semester on North Campus. Next year everyone will be all over and we won’t be just a 5 second walk from each other. I think we really take it for granted how close we live to each other! </li>
<li> It’s our last semester of DINER FOOD!!!! I think the only things I might miss are Taco salads, scallopped potatoes, stir fry, cookies, oh and that crazy ranting lady from Sprouts.ย  </li>
<li> It’s my last semester here before I go on Semester at Sea!!!!! Hopefully I’ll be able to see all of you this summer before I leave (oh yeah go mark August 6th on your calender- i’m having a big picnic). </li>
</ul>

These past two years have been so awesome that I can’t even begin to sum them up.
Meera, Kinjal, Ruby- just know that you will be missed!

May 4, 2005

Tunnel of Oppression

I meant to get started on my pile of work right away but I just had this urge to write about the Tunnel of Oppression that went on today in the Colony Ballroom. For those of you who didn’t get a chance to attend, here is my spiel from doing briefings today: basically the Tunnel of Oppression is a student-led initiative to raise awareness about oppression in today’s society. It was conceptualized, created, and built completely by students, both undergraduate and graduate. The tunnel was not exactly a tunnel but more like four connected rooms.

The first room you went into was the Oppression against Women room which included such things as a wage calculator to show the difference in wages between men and women (want proof? take a look at the salary schedule published by the Diamondback a few days ago), a huge model of a Barbie complete with “accurate” measurements that showed that a real person with such a big bust and such a tiny waist wouldn’t even be able to stand up straight, videos and statistics about rape, a wall about genital mutilation, a really interesting display about drug trafficking and how women will swallow rubber packets of drugs to transport them (if the rubber bursts the drugs get into their system and cause some serious medical problems- if they don’t burst guess where they retrieve the packets from…?), and abortion and the like. There was alot more than that but that’s all I can remember for now.

The next room was one of the most hard-hitting rooms; Racial Oppression. They had exhibits about the gas chambers used in the Holocaust (they even used a fog machine), the Black Panthers, Rodney King, racial profiling, KKK, lynchings, Sudan, caste system, etc. They also had exhibits about the recent articles in the Diamondback op/ed section dealing with race, and the recalled Abercrombie and Fitch shirts that said such things as “Two Wongs Don’t Make a White” and “Let’s Wok n’ Bowl”. I’m REALLY downplaying this room because I was inundated with so much information that I can’t even begin to remember all of it.

The next room was the Oppression against LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender). They had some really interesting murals about the cost of MTF OR FTM surgery (male to female, female to male) and how transgender people are forced to choose between a binary restroom system. They also devoted a large part of their room to Matthew Shepard, a 21 year old student who was beaten to death because he was gay. The room also highlighted some very derogatory statements made by very prominent people (Mel Gibson, high ranking religious officials, etc.), and how some people take offense to “gay people acting too blatantly” when heterosexual people can act as outrageously as they want in public with no consequences. I thought this room was awesome.

The last room was called Tools of Oppression and they showed the different ways oppression can be conveyed through means such as the media, legislation, and widely-accepted standards. The first thing they had was a recording of the VERY offensive “Tsunami Song” that aired on a public radio station in New York City called WQHT-HOT 97. Here are the lyrics:

There was a time, when the sun was shinig bright
So I went down to the beach to catch me a tan
Then the next thing I knew
A wave 20 feet high came and wash your country away
And all at once, you can hear the screaming ch*nks.

And the no one was safe from the wave.
There was Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away
You can hear God laughing, swim you b*****s, swim.

So now youโ€™re screwed, itโ€™s the tsunami,
You better run and kiss your a** awake, go find your mommy.
I just saw her float by, a tree right through her head.
And now your children will be sold in child slavery.

(Imitating Micheal Jackson)
“Oh on, please not the kids. I’ll pay for all the kids.
all the little Indonesian kid, the little Asian kids, the Chinese kids.
the black, oh well, not the Black kids.
the White kids, the Puerto Rican kids.
I love them all. I’ll pay for everything.
I promise I won’t touch them.”

Ugh just reading those again makes me so angry. I don’t understand how you can mock such a devastating natural disaster that killed over 300,000.

The next part of this room showed how our culture has trained us to believe we live in a man’s world. They had you fill in the blanks to phrases such as:
If your house is on fire who comes to put out the fire? the FIRE____
Who delivers your mail? the MAIL___

I think this is more of an issue with the evolution of language than with gender discrimination, but that’s just my opinion.

They had a big exhibit about the food pyramid and how it is racist in that it fails to take into consideration that approximately “90 percent of Asian-Americans, 70 percent of African-Americans, 70 percent of Native Americans and 53 percent of Hispanics” are lactose intolerant. Just something to think about. One of the most interesting things they had was a computer program that simulated what life would be like under a government that infringed on our privacy rights to the greatest extent (Patriot Act anyone?). The program showed how a simple thing like ordering pizza could turn into an ordeal when the person taking your order has access to any and all information about you including your recent purchases, medical records, preferences, police records, etc. There were alot more things in this room but I can’t remember them right now.

OK so after this last room you walked out and there were huge sheets of mural paper taped up to the wall to form a sort of “Relfection Wall” where everyone wrote down their thoughts about the tunnel and what they felt. I was reading through the comments when we were cleaning up and most of them were really insightful and really made me think about the purpose of the event. One of my favorites was ” I liked the tunnel but the people who really need to see it aren’t going to be here.” This is definitely true and something we need to take into consideration for next year.

If you’re interested in helping out with the Tunnel of Oppression next year ( I know I am!) just let me know and I’ll put you in contact with the program directors. I wish I had found out about this earlier and been able to help with the rooms and such but there’s always next year!

Oh yeah I learned about two other really interesting organizations:

Did you know there is an organization in the DC area for the LGBT South Asian Community and its allies? Check out their website: http://www.khushdc.org
One of the things I can’t stand is intolerance for alternative lifestyles, so it’s good to see that there is a strong community organization in the area. I feel like “coming out” for South Asians is still so taboo and it’s just recently that such groups have been popping up. After being suppressed for so long it’s great to see the beginnings of solidarity and support for them not only in the area, but nation-wide.

Another amazing effort I learned about recently from an Asia Society Event in NYC:
http://www.breakthrough.tv/
“Breakthrough is an international human rights organization that uses education and popular culture to promote values of dignity, equality, and justice.”
Some of there more recent action items include reducing the risk if HIV/AIDS for women in India and dealing with unjustified detentions and deportations of immigrants in the US.

yeah so that was a really long entry but I just had so much going on in my head that I had to get it out before I could start my work!

Again, comments (regardless of relevance) would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!

oh last thing, kind of going along with this whole theme:
Watch this Sarah McLachlan video- it’s really profound (more like my new SAS theme song….)
http://www.badmash.org/videos/videos.php?v=crow.mov&t=World%20on%20Fire

May 1, 2005

chattin with Xtina

so Christina and I had a nice chat tonight…she gave me some very interesting things to think about. (Christina- I hope you don’t mind me putting your ideas out there!) Anyway, so the most interesting thing we talked about was state-sanctioned suicide. I never really thought about it like this…

Basically, Christina was saying (correct me if I’m wrong) that if someone really wants to commit suicide there should be a procedure for allowing them to do so. If they express interest in committing suicide they should report it to the state and they would go through a LENGTHY approval process including thorough psycoanalysis, career planning, and every type of counseling possible to deter the person from doing it. However, if a certain number of years have passed and the person is still feeling depressed and suicidal the state should allow them to administer their own lethal injection. Her main point was that when someone commits suicide they are limited in their means; gun, knife, pills, or rope. Now imagine the person who finds their friend/relative in the resulting state….bloody, lying in their own feces and vomit, hanging from a door frame, etc. Inevitably they would be traumatized for life and they wouldn’t be able to erase that image from their mind for as long as they live. Seeing something like that would affect them in immeasureable ways.

I realize that this is concept is really depressing, sombering, and controversial but I thought it was an unconventional take on the issue and an expansion on the physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia debate. However, I think I’m too much of an optimist to agree with it. I am a strong believer that all people are inherently good and that they are a product of their surroundings and upbringing. The optimist in me tells me that there will always be another way to solve your problems; one that doesn’t include suicide. The optimist in me refuses to believe that suicide could be someone’s last resort. I guess since my life is relatively void of pain and suffering (thank goodness)I find it hard to relate to such feelings. My problems seem so petty compared to the problems of many others, but then again it’s all relative.

(I hope i didn’t offend anybody with anything i said. I know suicide is not a joking matter and my intentions were not to trivialize it in any way)

comments appreciated!