Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reporting from Washington, DB!

Now that I'm settled into school I thought I'd write a quick post. I love GWU for several reasons that pertain solely to GWU, but I also love college as an experience so so much! Washington, DC is a remarkable city and has so much to offer this tiny girl with giant dreams. I love our Thursday tradition of walking to the monuments at midnight. I love my roommates and I love my classes. I love that we're starting to carve our own individual niches and even study spots. I love the "Obama" at Crepeaway. I even love how much alone time I have here.

And just to demonstrate how random my roommates and I are: It's 11:15 on a Wednesday night and we're watching The Prince of Egypt while shouting out random Disney quotes.

Things to look forward to: I am going to New York City on Friday morning! I turn Eighteen on October 4. I'm seeing some of my best friends in the city this weekend. I wonder what my first trip away from college will be like. Will I miss it? On Tuesday I'm seeing Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and my hero Christiane Amanpour live on my campus. Next weekend I'll be spending a second birthday weekend in DC, enjoying finally being legal with my new friends! Things to look forward to? The next four years, I think.
I guess the only thing I don't love is that there's no Mexican food here.
Oh yeah, and I miss my family. And my friends.

Please keep in touch! I love letters =)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It seems

That there are way more motorcycles on the road right now than usual. Is it just me?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I'm the worst blogger ever

But in my defense, I have been in India for three weeks and was celebrating my commencement from high school before that. Anyway, I didn't have time to blog while I was in the Motherland, but my Moleskine is bursting with entries to be posted from my trip. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today, Proposition 8 was upheld.
While I am incredibly dismayed by this decision and frustrated by the reluctance that our state feels toward making progress, I am infused once again with passion for this cause.
The right to marry for homosexuals is this generation's civil rights movement. We must approach adversaries with sympathy-- their closemindedness is often a result of external factors dating back much further than Harvey Milk and peer influences. We must remain persistent in our fight, no battle worth winning is easily attained. Most of all, we must never falter. Today we are faced with a denial of a human right, and through the passage of Proposition 8, the state of California has demonstrated its approval of this denial. This is unacceptable, and a compromise on this issue is a compromise of justice.

Someday soon, this proposition will be overturned. Maybe it will be when we take the offense and not the defense. Maybe it will be when people realize that love is an undeniable and precious commodity. It is rare enough to come by already, I'd hate to see those who are lucky enough to achieve it only be told that their affection is inferior. Because if we don't have love, we don't have much.

Monday, May 25, 2009

This article has me thinking a lot about delayed vs instant gratification.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So today I received a compliment from a friend that meant a lot to me.  I'm not sure whether it was because it sounded so sincere or because it was in response to a seriously existential diatribe, but I haven't stopped thinking about it.  And compliments in general.  What makes some so special, while other times we hardly notice them?  Is it the person giving the compliment?  The tone with which it is doled out?  The situation?  
And what can we do to sustain that sense of wonder and gratefulness toward the world without being "the person who gives out too many compliments so they probably don't matter anyway"?  That said, do people compliment others out of obligation, or lack of other conversation?  I see people recreate that famous "Mean Girls" scene all the time, where Regina Georges coos that she loves a girl's "vintage" skirt, only to trash talk it when the recipient was out of earshot.  
I wonder what compels us to withold some kind statements from people who genuinely deserve them, while other times we laud mediocrity to the skies.
Sometimes, it's a compliment enough to achieve acknowledgement from someone else.  Even if it does not recognize anything specific that is done.

Most of all, I wonder how, if a verbal high-five can do so much good for a person's day, why more politicians don't make simple compliments part of their lexicon, like "so golf's not your game, but you sure did kill me in skiball!" or "Mr. Ahmadinejad, your comedic timing is impeccable, believable almost!"

Friday, May 8, 2009

Minority Report

Thought Number One:

 I recently applied for University, and my college prospects included both private and public institutions.  Much to my frustration, some of my top schools operated on a point-system that reduced their applicants to careful equations, balancing hours the applicant spent paper maché-ing masks with underprivileged youth against SAT scores and class rank in a complex nomenclature that, presumably, would produce the most deserving addition to the student body.  All the point-system did, however, was grant high schoolers a generic road map that, if followed, would land them in the school of their choice.  It allowed our college counselors to sound like the Australian woman on my GPS, because if we deviated from the given track they just had to sigh and redirect our route.  In my mind, the people who championed the point system were creating an even larger point system for the University’s future, though.  They accepted a certain number of science fair finalists bearing in mind that a physics building would be needed for restoration in about forty years and one of the admits may just provide the endowment it needs.  They turned away music enthusiasts, calculating that the number of percussion-instrument wielders in the student body is positively correlated with interrupted lectures and incessant finger-drumming on desks.  We are left hoping that we apply in a year when the people who decide our fate are seeking the specific talents that we have spent years honing.  We simply pray that several external factors have aligned in our favor, and that our time has come.


Thought Number Two:

Today I read this article about who will replace David Souter as Supreme Court Justice.  President Obama possesses, with Souter’s resignation, an invaluable opportunity to hire a liberal supporter of his beliefs into the federal justice system for life (I’m sure whoever is chosen will be equally ecstatic by his/her appointment—who wouldn’t want to have job security for life in this economy?).  While I have my guesses about who will be selected, what really peaked my interest about this article was the caption that prefaced it: “Bloggers debate whether the next justice will be female, Hispanic or gay.” 

Females, Hispanics, and gays—if their beliefs resonate with those of President Obama— could all prove to be vital members of the Supreme Court, and because they have been minorities within the Supreme Court in the past, it may be in O’s best interest to nominate one of the three. 


Now I combine the two thoughts:

Discussions quantifying whether it is “time” for a female, Hispanic, or gay justice is just like the point system implemented by the admissions teams at universities this year.  Obama’s administration has scrutinized and weighed the résumés of several of the nation’s most promising prospects in order to arrive at Justice Souter’s ultimate replacement.  Articles such as this one and discussions that attempt to enumerate the amount by which one minority group deserves to achieve the coveted position over another, however, introduces a previously untouched subject: which minority group has the most points?  Through the passage of legislature, formation of esoteric societies, and advancement of prominent leaders, all three minority groups have acquired several feathers in their respective caps.  I can just see it: immediately after the Hate Crimes Act was passed in last week(!!), an English woman who looks like Professor McGonnagal from Harry Potter descended from the ceiling of the Senate building and barked, “ten points for homosexuals”. 

But can you do that?  Just as the admission process may have resulted in the selection of more automatons than truly well-rounded individuals, does Obama have to choose a Justice based on the minority group that has the most gold stars right now rather than the one who may bring forth a policy most similar to his?  And when did minority groups start alienating themselves from each other?  It used to be that, for better or for worse, various races, religions, and sexual preferences were all lumped together into the category “minority”.  Now it seems like they’ve all split apart and have engaged in a battle to prove themselves the best one.  Does this herald a shift toward structuring policy based on sexual orientation, gender, or race?  Would that shift preclude those people from supporting certain proposals?  And does this all imply that when a white male is elected to a position, he comes with no baggage, that his Caucasian masculinity renders him immune to bias?  Could a homosexual Hispanic woman ever act independently of her gayness, Latina-ness, or femaleness? 

I firmly believe that it is only a matter of time before minorities become fully integrated with society, and they will have corresponding representation in government.  But I also firmly believe that what we are is what we are.  I cannot ever escape my Indian culture and the values that it has ingrained in me.  The fact that I am a female colors my world indefinitely.  But we will truly achieve harmony with every minority when the fact that one group has been raised or tends to steer a certain way is seen as an honest advantage.  We should not just place minorities in positions to fulfill quotas.  The United States has never been so welcoming of diversity.  So call me a Pollyanna, but I think that Obama’s decision—be it a woman, gay, or Hispanic—for Supreme Court Justice will be right because that person will present our nation with cool perspectives and refreshing ideals—just in time for a sticky DC summer.