Deliberation Summery

I choose to attend a deliberation on mental health in the workplace. I choose to attend this deliberation because our deliberation was on mental health on college campuses, and I was curious to see if any of their approaches would be similar to what we considered to be possible solutions to address the problem. Overall, I believe the deliberation went extremely well. The first approach that was mentioned was providing employees paid days off from work titled “health days” which an employ could utilize if they needed a break to asses, and work through a mental health situation. Some points many students brought up were that many small businesses could not afford to provide many paid days off to their employees. Additionally, many believed that there would need to be a system in place that ensured that not all employees took a “health day” on the exact same work day. The deliberation group also asked whether naming the days off would remove the stigma of taking days off for a mental health issue. I didn’t think that the name fought the stigma, as it blanketed mental health with a overbearing “health” title, hiding the issue all together. I think to break down the stigma around mental health, it is more important that we address the issue in a way that normalizes mental health issues, rather than making employees feel as though their issues are something to he hidden, and not shared with others.

The deliberation went on to discuss additional suggestions such as hiring an external mental health advocacy group to provide a business’ employees with support, and a way to discuss their struggles with anonymity. Many students agreed this would be a good idea, as long as the feedback was given to the employee’s company, so that changes in the business could be made.

I thought the deliberation brought up some really interesting points about mental health, and how it is addressed in the workplace. I think the group did a good job of introducing a topic that is not often brought up, and providing possible solutions that could benefit employees.

Deliberation Articles

When choosing our deliberation topic, we looked to the issues we felt effected Penn State students, and seemed to be a topic few people choose to focus on when discussing college. Mental health issues are the number one health issues facing college aged students in America, and the number of college students personally effected by mental health issues has been on the incline in the past decade.  Mental health has become a major topic of discussion at many campuses across the country as the numbers continue to rise.  

In this article, the writer discusses how mental health issues are addressed by universities, and the importance of access to mental health care on campus. The article stated that 26% of students who sought help said they had intentionally hurt themselves; 33.2% had considered suicide. For many students, reaching out for help can be difficult, but also very necessary for the safety of the student.

In our own community, and the basis for approach 1 of of our deliberation, this article by Onward State discusses the current program, CAPS, which provides mental health services to students on campus. As mentioned in the previous article, access to services, like CAPS, can significantly change the way a student receives treatment. In the article, the writer discusses how the donation made in 2016 to CAPS would significantly reduce the wait times to see counselors, which at the time was up to months long. For students, accessing help earlier can have drastic effects on treatment quality, and the amount of time each student will need to actively receive treatment. The article discusses how access to resources could improve CAPS services, by funding an increase in CAPS counselors, CAPS would be able to extend its outreach significantly and ensure all student seeking help, do sooner rather than later.

Though the current CAPS program provides extensive services to students, a general lack of knowledge of these services of students, inhibits many from seeking help. The lengthy waitlists also deter many students from making an appointment at all. Penn State, along with other campuses across the nation, must establish better strategies to ensure mental health of students takes a greater precedence.



Klodowski, Katie. “Alumni Association Matches Class Of 2016 CAPS       Donations, Pledges Largest Amount In Class Gift History.” Onward State, 27 Apr. 2016.

James, Susan Donaldson. “Mental Health Problems Rising Among College Students.”, NBCUniversal News Group, 28 June 2017,


State of Mind

Our deliberation topic is the mental health on Penn State’s campus, and is titled State of Mind. We hope to address the issues facing students, as well as the options students currently have available to them for treatment. The approach I am responsible for researching is the role of CAPS in student mental health care. We believe that CAPS, though a great resource, is not reaching students. Many students are unaware of the service CAPS can provide them, and therefore don’t seek help at all. My role is to help research CAPS services, as well as collect data on how CAPS is currently advertised to students. Last class, I send a contact email to a CAPS representative, to arrange a time we could meet, and discuss the services CAPS provides. As of today, we have not heard back from CAPS, and are awaiting a response. Last class, my partner Kate Kirk and I wrote up potential interview questions we could like to ask the CAPS representative when given the opportunity. Below are the questions:

Interview Questions

  • What is the mission of CAPS?
  • How many students utilize CAPS’ services each year?
  • How many free visits are offered to students?
  • What services are most used by students?
  • What is the expected wait time for a student to meet with a counselor?
  • How long can students stay with CAPS?
  • Will CAPS transfer students to outside help?
  • What do you think keeps students from seeking help from CAPS?
  • Do you provide services in locations other than the Student Health Center?

During tomorrow’s class period, we will continue to collect information off of the CAPS website, and compile our general background information. I also hope to discuss a plan in case a CAPS representative does not response before the following class period.

This I Believe

This I Believe

When I was younger, I would spend every summer with my grandparents. I remember laying on the floor of their living room, playing a game of chess with my older sister. As I lay with my stomach on the ground, and my feet lifted in the air, deep in concentration over my next move, my nose suddenly picks up, and my mind is drawn away from the board. A mixture of cardamom, turmeric, and ginger drafted from the kitchen, calling to me. Intoxicated by the warmth the scents brought to my entire body, I lifted myself from the ground, and abandoned my sister mid game. I wondered into the kitchen, to see my grandmother, my Nani. She wore a floral apron to protect her vermillion top, holding a large wood spoon, and stirring a deep pot; the source of the magnificent scent. She noticed me staring at her in curiosity, and smiled slightly, as she added cauliflower and potatoes, the basis of my favorite dish, aloo gobi. The simmering mixture was almost complete, as my Nani called me to the table. She poured a generous helping over rice on a plate in front of me. I quickly scooped a heaping spoonful into my mouth, burning my tongue out of impatience. Nothing had ever tasted so good in my life.

The recipe was one my grandmother learned before she got married, a recipe she carried with her from her village in India, to Indiana Pennsylvania. My grandmother left her family, her friends, her life in India behind, so that my grandfather could finish his medical school education. In countries foreign to her, she would make that dish, and remember the life she grew up with. The recipe did not simply call for spices, and vegetables, but rather the traditions of her father, the love of her mother, the laughter of her sisters, and the pure essence of the country she called home. My grandmother passed the recipe to my mom when she got married, passing with it everything she had ever known, the things she loved most. Through a simple dish, my grandmother insured that generations after her would remember where they came from, along with the culture and traditions she preserved. I believe in the resilience of identity. I believe that we preserve the parts of us that make up our cultural identify in the traditions, or dishes, we share with those after us. Anytime I take a spoonful of aloo gobi, I remember my grandmother, and all the women in my family who preserved a piece of their identity to share with me; a piece I hope I can pass along as well.








TED Talk Outline

Open with an Anecdote about packing for college

  • talk about the abundance of items that I rarely use on a day to day        basis
  • Talk about the wastefulness of such living

Discuss the 1950’s spending culture of Americans

  • GI bill lowered the price of living in suburbs for middle class Americans
  • Economic growth increased do to post war industrial stimulation
  • Technology made the price of goods decrease, by cutting down on labor costs

Discuss Early 2000’s consumeristic society

  • Materialistic dogma created by generations of spending
  • The defining character of the early 2000’s was the opulent spending which eventually lead to the economic crisis of 2008
  • Eventually all that spending caught up to us

20008 Market Crash

  • Opened up the doors for a reduction in spending on goods
  • Reduced investment in material goods

Birth of the minimalist movement

  • The shift from materials defining our success, younger Americans are more interested in investing in experiences, and reducing the amount of material things they accumulate
  • Discuss the modern brands, such as Podshare and Cladwell who are providing to a

Why the minimalist movement best fits the 21st century and has persisted

  • Reduces cost to the individual
  • reduces environmental waste through the reduction in the production of goods.
  • Has given rise to a generation that is not ashamed of shopping at second hand stores, but has made it trend in fashion.
  • Has defined the aesthetic of the decade

Paradigm Shift Essay

For my essay, I want to discuss the shift of the bindi from a religious symbol into one that represents the fashion of the Indian culture. The bindi is first referenced in the Vedas, or traditional Hindu text, were the bindi is thought to symbolize the third eye. Hindu women would place the bindi in-between their eyebrows to acknowledge the third eye, and the power it contains. By acknowledging this power, Hindu women were taking steps closer to enlightenment. However, as India’s culture has become a more secular society, the bindi shifted from a religious symbol, to one of fashion. The Bollywood film industry advertised the bindi as a more orniemental piece, which is used as an accessory, rather than a symbol of the Hindu religion. Women in popular films would wear the bindi, and reinforce the beauty standards for Indian women. This shift has had a drastic effect on the bindi’s use by modern Indian women. The bindi’s evolution from a symbol of enlightenment and purity, has now become ingrained in the beauty standards of an Indian woman.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Pictures have the incredible ability to say more about a situation than any analysis can provide. Through pictures are able to break down the wall which splits what we think we know and what is. Addario knew this fact more than anyone, and through her pictures was able to tell the story that words could not capture. In the book, Addario included some of the most striking photos she captured during her time in the Middle East. Her photos humanized war, and effectively connected her audience to people they have never know, and will never meet.

The first image that caught my attention is the photo of the young boy with bandaids covering his face, as tears fill his eyes on page 220. The photo is extremely moving because it evokes feelings of guilt within the reader. Something about the way he looks at the camera, almost screams “why did this have to happen” without ever saying a word. Images such as these are extremely powerful, especially when along side images of war. I makes the reader question why such awful things happen, and more importantly, the effect war has on those who live through it.


The second image is that of a women with her eyes close, as a single tear rolls down her cheek on page 210. This image was really powerful to me because it captured the idea of suffering in silence really well. From many of these marginalized groups, very few people know what the endure every single day. The image of the women crying in such a soft way communicated the silence in which these people suffer, as well as the silence in terms of the lack of help and aid these people are receiving from other nations. 

Addario used her own images in her book to help the reader understand her writing, and the situations she discusses more clearly. Her photos also provided a humanistic element to her writing, which captured the emotions she described aptly. In my passion blog, I attempt to utilize visuals as a tool of better communication to my audience, by providing a visual of the outfit I as describing. Through the use of a reference photo, my audience is better able to recreate the look with the pieces they already have access to. Photos are an extremely useful tool in helping a audience better visualize the world you are attempting to build with your writing.


In the book, Addario discusses her conflict between her passion for her work, and staring a family. Addario’s predicament is that of many many women around the world, as well as anybody who contemplated sacrificing their passion, for something that society expected them to want. Conflicts similar to Addario’s are universally felt, and the tis what makes her writing so relatable to her audience.

I personally have felt a very similar conflict between coming here to Penn State, and pursuing my education, and future, and my connection to my family. I have always been extremely close to my family. I am the type of person who would turn down plans with my friends, just so I could spend an evening with my parents, and two sisters. Without my family, I feel incomplete. Moving four hours away from them has taken a huge toll on my overall happiness. I feel torn between my being here and focusing on my studies, and my life that I lived before, where I was surrounded by the love of my family. Both are extremely important to me, but I can only pursue one right now.

Within my passion blog, I can highlight the conflict between the convention of college comfort and fashion. I think that most students feel that they are not mutually exclusive, but contrary to Addario’s personal conflict, you can have both in this instance. I think that in the world of fashion, conflict is often good, and sometimes a necessity in the creation of new trends. I hope that I am able to reconcile such conflicts within my blog in the future.

In my life, conflict is never something I have wanted. Conflict can feel horrible, and unescapable. However, conflict is sometimes necessary for one’s professional, and personal growth. Conflict can invoke strength, and that strength will lead you to conquer any conflict in your future.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Draft


Appropriation or Appreciation

How Culture Endures in Melting Pot Nation


As I child, I remember my mom getting ready for Diwali celebrations. She carefully would pick out a salwar kameez and then promptly choose a matching bindi, which she would place in between her eyebrows. For me, these traditions have accumulated into what I consider to be beautiful. However, recently, the bindi has become a common accessory at music festival, and red carpets alike. The bindi and its importance dates back hundreds of years. Its roots in indian culture has lead to the outrage of many, and some remain unsure whether the use of the bindi by those of non-south asian descent is appropriation, or appreciation. The root of the disagreement resides in whether the bindi is a symbol of religious and cultural values, or whether it is a decorative accessory.

Body Paragraphs

The bindi is a traditionally worn by women of South Asian descent. The bindi is placed between a woman’s eyebrows, which is thought to be the location of the sixth chakra, ajna, which is thought to be the sight of withheld wisdom. In hinduism, this also referred to the sight of one’s third eye. By focusing on one’s third eye, it is believed that higher levels of enlightenment can be achieved. These roots within the hindu religion has lead many people to feel that the use of bindis by people of non-South Asian descent is disrespectful, and a form of cultural appropriation.

The bindi’s presence in western culture can be traced back to the early 1990’s. Gwen stefani appeared in multiple of her music videos bearing a bindi. The bindi then made a resurgence when Selena Gomez appeared in her “Come and Get It” music video wearing a bindi, and again in her MTV performance of the same song.  With the popularity of music festivals such as Coachella, to burning man, the bindi quickly became a pivotal part of “festival fashion”. Though the bindi does have a history based in religious values, the bindi has become more of a fashion choice is South Asian countries as well. Additionally, Priyanka Chopra, a woman of Indian descent, commented saying that Selena Gomez’s use of the bindi helped bring attention to Indian cultures, while others felt the use to be disrespectful.


So what quantifies appropriation versus appropriation. And, as a member of a minority group, who has the authority to state whether it is true. The line between appropriation and appreciation is very fine, and in our current political climate, where we know are more vocal about the respect of the cultural traditions of various groups, it has become increasingly important to discuss the parameters of which we share our cultures, and how they are translated to our country as a whole.

Artifact Speech Draft

In 2007, my grandfather took his American Citizenship test. I remember my mom taking photos of him standing, and reciting the pledge for the very first time as an American Citizen. My grandfather, a man who grew up in the most illiterate state in India, who stood before me as a successful cardiologist symbolized my America. The following year, he participated in his first presidential election. On his tweed suit jacket he proudly placed his “I voted” sticker. For my grandfather and hundreds of thousands of people who become U.S. citizen each year, that sticker represents the ideals and strengths of our nation. The I voted sticker holds the common place that our country is one “for the people by the people” and is civic in it promotes Americans to do their civic duty of voting, while also inciting conversation about the political climate of our country.

Body of speech

  • discuss its origin based in the 1980’s
  • in 1987 developed by Janet Boudreau as a way to help remind Americans of Election Day, if they were to see someone else wearing one
  • The design has a waving American flag on it, which often incites feelings of pride and honor for our country, and is very persuasive in making Americans vote
  • Discuss how the sticker is civic because they can start important conversations. When someone sees someone else wearing a sticker, they might ask them if they voted, why they voted, or even who they voted for. This creates an opportunity to have open conversations
  • The stickers also create the sense of community that voting is suppose to create, because the sticker is nonpartisan, but simply unites all Americans under the same waving flag
  • Also, the flag uses pathos by invoking those feelings of pride and love for ones country
  • Discuss how younger voters will often use the sticker as a symbol of Election Day, and will use it as a platform on social media to discuss their views
  • The sticker is also representative of the struggle that many minority groups in America had to endure to receive their right to vote


For some a sticker may not seem like much, but the I voted sticker has developed into a powerful tool for inspiring civic participation. Additionally, the stickers symbolize the common place that most Americans have that voting is a right that all citizens have, and through that vote, they are able to actively effect their government. For Americans who historically were refused the right to vote, the sticker represents the adversity they had to overcome in order receive their rights. And finally, for Americans like my grandfather, the sticker symbolizes the journey as old as our nation, of coming to America, in search of a better life.