The nostalgia is real

At the beginning of this semester, around February when it was bitter cold, and in March when I had midterms and projects for 3 weeks straight, I was hype for this semester to be over, but now that this is my last passion post, the nostalgia has started. It’s crazy to think that a whole year of my undergraduate career has finished.  (And to be honest, what have I accomplished…I feel like a potato). As much as blogging was a hassle this year, I am SO glad I have this website to look back upon chronicling my freshman year. I always dread any assignments because I really hate the idea of a number value being assigned to my work, but I appreciated blogging because it took me away from reality for a little so I can research something, or talk about my own perspective. In light of perspective, I am going to deviate on this post a little bit and reflect, because you don’t get a lot of time for that in college and I think “last blog post of the year” in college – when everything is semester based – merits that much.

Anyway, I tried to make sure that each one of my posts was inspired by something going on in my own life, and while these are subtle hints to me, this blog is somewhat of a timeline of my experiences with the immigrant life in my freshman year of college. In fact, I just scrolled back through this semesters posts and I can remember exactly why I posted each one. Furthermore, I am happy to have switched to this RCL section, because I made friends with more Schreyer freshman so much so that my roommate for next year is in my blogging group! S/o to blogs. S/o to the random group generator. I have also been able to work with yet another fabulous professor and I can see the changes in my rhetorical developments just through my blog. I looked at last semester’s posts and cringed a little bit.

Coming to college with all of the GPA pressure, and pressure from my family members was a little difficult at first. I’m not gonna lie, I still find it really hard. Each semester is like a marathon! You’re always finding a balance between your health (sleeping, partying, fitness), grades and your social life. Today I’ve slacked realll hard on the fitness part, but my car broke down so I’m just going to give myself a break. Either way, it’s been a pleasure blogging with you all this semester.  I can’t believe how much I’ve grown since move-in day till now.

TBT to August 20th! I remember saying bye to all my friends just the night before. Little did I know what being a student at Penn State Schreyer Honors College even meant...

TBT to August 20th! I remember saying bye to all my friends just the night before. Little did I know what being a student at Penn State Schreyer Honors College even meant…

S/o to my parents though for helping me get here. I guess my dad's a lil too happy for me to get out of the house tho.

S/o to my parents though for helping me get here. I guess my dad’s a lil too happy for me to get out of the house tho.



Creoles are a fascinating kind of people for me.  Famous literature was based on them, and many celebrities are of creole descent. Creole is a word derived from the French and Portuguese words créole and crioulu. Both are connoted by “descendent” and “to raise” these descendants overseas. Creoles are not only a racial melange, but they also represent a mixing of cultures through colonists and their native colony people. Contrary to popular belief, Creoles are far more than what New Orleans is known for. Mixing actually happened relatively quickly in Spanish and Portuguese colonies. The “mixing” is attributed to the fact that there was a lack of Spanish and Portuguese women in these colonies, and there was a Crown policy promoted mixed relations to create loyal colony populations.


Spanish colonization of Americas

Spanish colonization of Americas


There are a crazy amount of ethnic groups associated with being “creole”:

  • Afro-Brazilian Ciroulos (Central South America)
  • Sierra Leone Creole (North West Africa)
  • Aku Krio people (Muslim of Sierra Leone)
  • Belizean Kriol people (Central America)
  • Criollo people (Those of confirmed latin descent in Mexico)
  • Haitian creole (Caribbean Island)
  • Afro-Honduran Creoles (Central America)
  • Liberian Creole (North West Africa)
  • Louisiana Creole people(Southern US)
  • Mauritian Creole (Island off Madagascar – East Africa)
  • Nigerian Creole (North West Africa)
  • Seychellois creole (Island North of Madagascar).

And here is a collage showcasing most of these differentiations:




They are of mixed descent with African, native American and European. Those originating from Spanish colonized places are of Latino descent, but those in other colonies are of French descent. The French colonized parts of Africa as well as Louisiana in the US. NOLA is like its own little enigma, and I feel like only NOLA natives understand its culture. And what bothers me a little bit is that this “multi culturalism” that the Crown was hoping to instill resulted in this beautiful ethnic group. I mean when you think about it, European settlers and explorers invaded locals’ land but I suppose they found a way to get along. I really liked making the collage above, though, because you can see the Latino and African genes coming together in making these beautiful freaking people. Snoop Dogg on some reality show was told that he’s 23% Native American, which is a pretty big percent! Creole people fascinate me because it’s more than just being a European mut of genes. There are races mixing here, but when looking back on the history of colonisation, I have a feeling that this was a result of somewhat crass imperialism of European colonies.

“The Awakening” by Kate Chopin is a classic American novel written from the French creole perspective. She writes about the difficult life that creole women had to face being “caged in” like a bird. The book is just a long-ass metaphor about being a caged in bird. Her perspective, however, is from the white creole perspective, as in a nationality or ethnicity, and not a racial definition. There is also that interpretation of Creole.

I thought for my last civic issues post I would explore multiculturalism in history, and I feel like the vast mixing of races in creole people is something people over-look all the time. I only knew of it in context of NOLA, but I had no idea that this existed all around the world! In fact, the criollo people I had mentioned above actually used their specific Spanish descent as a class system, meaning that if you’re a native of Mexico and you can trace your Latin descent, it makes you less of a mut than others I suppose, and puts you higher up in class.

When you think about it, at this point, “Creole” can be anyone. Even Nicki Minaj is part indian, african american, trinidadian, etc. National Geographic actually has a beautiful look book on “the changing face of America” which has all these mixed people with naturally amazing photography.  I bet in the future creole will become extinct, because mixed marriages are more and more acceptable in society now.




Kama Sutra explained

There’s a lot of ancient hindu texts that have been studied for their philosophy. The kama sutra is so sensationalized but apparently it’s way more than a sex guide. “Kama” means desire, one of the four goals of a Hindu life (dharma – ethics, artha – wealth/livelihood, kama – pleasure, moksha – liberation). Sutra means “thread”. In reality this is a text written as sanskrit prose and poetry about their understanding of the nature of love and relationships.

There is an uncomfortable chapter on sex positions…but the other parts are just plain weird! The sections that stand out are those on “acquiring a wife”, “privileges of the wife”, “other men’s wives” as if there is some sort property or ownership. Sometimes it speaks of a chief wife, etc.

When I searched hard about this on the internet, I couldn’t find very many scholarly articles, but wikipedia seemed to cite a few. Because it was written so long ago, it is hard to say what dynamic in society inspired such a text. It is estimated to have been written in 200-400 B.C.

It first became famous in Western culture when explorer/geographer Richard Burton published it in English. He liked to dabble in international affairs. Either way, that original translation is what made it out to be some sort of sex book. Upon further research, it’s kind of just a weird interpretation of what a marriage should look like? For example, it tells you that you can’t marry a women who smells bad, a leper or a fortune teller. The fortune teller one seems kind of random…

The Western translation made for very bad comparisons when in reality I think this book may have been trying to explain confusion. I suppose in such a society where kings rule, classes don’t speak to one another, and interaction between people only happens for business, men were just confused? More research on the Kama Sutra actually confused me even more, because really it’s just a book on how to attain pleasure of the senses. It’s not a tale of passion that I thought it was, but is really just a “how to” book.

But, I do see why India is such a patriarchal society. The whole book is written in perspective of what the MAN has to do for “love” (in quotes because the book is weird af and idt it describes love). I really hope Dr. Babich isn’t offended, but for example, a sex position where the woman is in control is called “woman plays man”, as if she’s playing a man’s role! There are some subtle and not so subtle connotations when you get down to the nitty gritty of the Kama Sutra, which explains why it isn’t just some sex book but a book on how the idea of desire fits into Hindu society. So much of it has to do with how a man attains a woman, what kind of woman makes the perfect wife, etc, which gives me the idea that patriarchy was instilled in these people from the WAY beginning.


City culture vs. suburban culture

Lately, I’ve started noticing a lot how different our demographics affect our upbringing. For Schreyer scholars, our biggest struggles are getting an A on an upcoming test, but for other people, their problems may not be bigger but they sure are on completely different plans. For example, when I visit my friends in city schools, a lot of the university towns are similar to any college campus, but as soon as you enter the local community, its so much more different. In cities, people are concerned about their safety, their expensive housing, among other things. When I visit home in the suburbs, I hear my mom talking about how someone asked everyone to bring way too much food to the potluck, and how its unfair for the host to be cooking the least food at a potluck. When I hear that, I think, do these people not have ANY bigger problems in their life??? And then when I see people in the city working at food trucks making their living, I think, how can these people even find a way to live??? I find it overwhelming that we’re approaching real life so soon, and wow, I could not be more thankful that my biggest problem is getting an A on the next test, because that means I’m privy to an education, a luxury that some people just don’t have.

Anyway, it is interesting to see the different cultures, and their problems, and what our eventual contributions to the world will be. I am inspired to write this post because Kendrick Lamar, my favorite rapper/musician/artist just released a new album “To Pimp a Butterfly”, which is about is overwhelming new fame. He came from Compton, CA city south of Los Angeles where a few rappers have actually come from (Tyga, Dr. Dre, Schoolboy Q, N.W.A) and a lot of their music is inspired by the cultural differences between the black and hispanic gangs in this city. Now, I will take the disparity of multiculturalism and boil it down to this city in California. Kendrick’s second album “good kid, M.A.A.D city” is lyrically genius. good kid, refers to Kendrick, a kid with good intentions, in a “Mad city” which makes him do crazy things. M.A.A.D also stands for “my angel on angel dust”, which is PCP, which is apparently the scariest drug on the streets. He finds solace from the crime through God, actually, and is why he refers to angels in the title as well.


I know rap is hard to get into for a lot of people, but if you go on rap genius (explains each lyric) and look through all the songs in this album, its amazing poetry. My favorite is money trees. In Compton, the culture is to be born into your gang, and hate the gang you’re suppose to. It’s a lot like Romeo and Juliet. Kendrick was born into the “Pirus bloods” gang. This whole album is about the struggle of how his gang makes him throw up their signs, and pledge allegiance to its values like drugs and crime, but he finds solace in his actions with his connection to God.In this song, he talks about how they’d “go at a reverend for the revenue”, which means they would mug or steal from a reverend because that’s how desperate they are. Later on, he says “halle berry or hallelujah//Pick your poison…”, because he sees halle berry, or a life of spoils as nothing fulfilling, but salvation in the darkness of compton as impossible, so both futures are like “poison”. This whole song is about stealing money from people with his homies, but he battles this bad with finding salvation through God. In the last verse he says “them serpents lurking [for] blood//Bitches selling pu***, niggas selling drugs, but it’s all good”. This is a play on words referring to the Garden of Eden that serpents are also in Compton tempting the bad out of people, which he explains with that next fruitful line.

City Compton California Considers Bankruptcy oLfdkMpOnGKl

Can you imagine living in a place where no other culture but the one you’re born into is respected? Kendrick found solace by writing music and finding inspiration from his predecessors like Tupac and Dr. Dre. I have noticed how vastly different everyone’s problems are, and someone like Kendrick really sheds a light on just how much multiculturalism lacks in low-income places. In this case, it manifests as a fight between two gangs. Who even knew gang culture was prevalent anymore! Rappers do take steps to stop their childhoods from happening to other people, though, because for example in the song maad city, kendrick says how when he’s in the crips’ streets, he hears “yawk, yawk, yawk” on the street as a warning, which he has schoolboy q (previous crips member) sing. Even their friendship is enough of an influence to instill a small change in Compton.

Anyway, this post has run way over, but another one of Kendrick’s moving pieces is Keisha’s song which doesn’t concern multiculturalism much, but it’s about rape and the horrible life that this poor girl has to live to support herself. Listen and read to be moved!!

I’m seriously so confused about the Kama Sutra…

So I’ve been kind of confused about this for a while, because India is a VERY conservative country. I’m sure you have heard about the recent film “India’s Daughter” which was banned from playing in India. It highlights the horrible rape culture that is inherent there in many rural parts. It may have been outlawed because it gives women some importance, but also because it could promote more angered violence against women, for which I see the logic in banning it. It’s mortifying to read what these people wrote. In 2012, the rape case in Delhi was sensationalized, and there’s an infamous interview with the bus driver, Mukesh Singh, who simply kept driving as the boys who dragged this girl onto the bus took turns. Can you believe that? “Took turns.”
Stories like these seriously concern me about this patriarchal, and misogynistic society. I mean, it exists much more mildly than this in America. Recently, the PSU frat KDR’s illicit facebook page of women’s naked pictures posted without consent rocked waves in national news. They are frankly treating women like cattle encouraged by the unfortunate misogyny that has existed forever now (quite literally). Wherever we are in the world, the culture exists. It has changed now so that at least women are able to vote, and women are able to work, etc, but there is a double standard when it come to sexuality.
In the interview, Singh said “You can’t clap with one hand – it takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at night. A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy … about 20% of girls are good.” My only response to this is “WTF”. Yeah, it is unsafe to roam around at night boy or girl, but only a girl has to worry about this act of violation at night. Anyway, this girl wasn’t even alone. They beat up her male friend before they could get to her. I don’t understand what could have motivated a group of people to act so horrendously so much that they had their original goal in mind, that they beat up a friend to get to a girl to drag her onto a bus and “take turns” on her. There has to be some real, messed up logic that can motivate someone to so meticulously commit a crime. I really hope that in the time I’m alive, I can make some change.
In India, this sort of misogyny is instilled in very rural communities from the minute someone is born. Proper education is one way to fix this problem, because in those societies, even women accept their role as “less than man”. Often times the caste system is also enforced in these rural places, and there is some correlation with a “lower caste” and poverty. Therefore, to begin with within the caste system, these people are considered to be of little worth, and with that, women are considered to be value-less. Perhaps its this ideology driving this messed up logic.
So back to my original blog post title. Why does the kama sutra exist in Hinduism (Which 90% of Indians practice)? If women are so degraded, how can sexuality even be safe for them? In my next passion post, I’m going to research this more. I want to see if this patriarchy started, or is instilled, because a religion that promotes sexuality is not the basis for a misogynistic society. That’s a logical fallacy. So, readers, I know this was kind of heavy, but I’m sure the next post will be a little more interesting.

The Festival of Colors

I don’t know if you guys saw, but there was a snapchat story for “Holi” in India the Friday before Spring Break (March 6). Holi is an annual festival, but the date on the gregorian calendar changes every year because Indian holidays go by the lunar calendar. This year it fell in early March, so it was too cold for me to celebrate with friends and family over break, but India had a lot of fun.



Holi is the ancient Hindu festival of colors that celebrates the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships. Holi also has a symbolic value because it celebrates the Hindu legend of one triumph of good over evil.

Courtesy of my Insta from a few years ago

Courtesy of my Insta from a few years ago

Side note – the Hindu religion has many stories, as do other religions so this story is just ONE of many but it happened to manifest as a holiday. I wanted to say this to avoid confusion that the people in this story are the only people involved in Hindu history.

Holi, is short for Holika, an evil sister of an evil King Hiranyakashipu. “According to legend” this kind had been blessed by a spell that made him indestructible, and with his immortality he grew arrogant and commanded everyone to worship him like God, which he was not. His own son did not stand for these evil ways, and was loyal to Vishnu, an actual Hindu god. At one point, evil aunt Holika “lured” the son to “sit by a fire” and somehow ended up burning herself, and at that point, the king was vulnerable enough for Vishnu to get rid of him, making good triumph over evil. The color is for enjoyment and play with friends and family. Really, this festival just means to spread some good vibes! I mean, all of India on one day is literally throwing powdered color at each other for the entirety of it. And no, this is not like the color run, the color run is LIKE Holi. The colors have a spiritual purpose.



The snapchat story pained me this year because I really wish I could’ve played with friends and family! I’ve only been in India once when I was really young, because I had the choice to skip school for a month, but now that I’m in college, it seems the only time I can be in India for Holi is after I graduate. I have spoken before in my blog about how India spreads such good vibes and spirituality, and a day dedicated to playing with color is exactly why I love it so much! Literally anyone on the streets in your neighborhood is your friend, and there’s a cloud of color everywhere. In America, my family friends try to celebrate but it will never compare. However, I am glad to have found such close friends my age who I can share these first-generation immigrant moments with. We love America and the perspective that it has given us, but we love to celebrate our ethnic traditions as well!

Holi in America with my good friends. I miss you guys!

Holi in America with my good friends. I miss you guys!

Reflection on other deliberation

The other deliberation I decided to attend was about high stakes testing and a discussion about if we really need them. It was at Websters last Thursday by students from Cynthia Mazzantes class. To be honest, the only reason I went was because it was the only one at Webster’s I could attend and I figured they’d have good refreshments.

Which they did...

Either way, this deliberation hit home for me because I went to an IB school, and we had NO multiple choice tests. Our process was more valued than our answer (which I think SHOULD be the case!), and it makes me mad how I take 3 15 question multiple choice tests in physics that somehow prove the fact that I do or do not know physics. I had the same frustration over the SATs. I was happy that this deliberation enlightened me on some of the sad truths about high stakes testing. Because I’m a science major, I am very focused on the content of a test, and not the implications. Meanwhile, the business majors in the room spoke to the college board business, and how its been around since 1926! The associate dean of student affairs of schreyer, Mitch Kerschinski was also in attendance, which was a nice perspective when us students started going off on more of a rant than a deliberation. The three approaches were 1) Keep the test, but what can be done in schools to help prepare for it 2) change the use of the test (instead of such a heavy emphasis on admission, it will be a factor) 3) Get rid of it. I had figured something like Webster’s would lend itself to a deliberation but its chairs were very cluttered and it actually made it harder for each mini team to get around. They were flustered to begin with, but I only thought team 1 had a very structured and specific approach. They asked us what we thought the test is used for, and what helps people do well in the test. And from there we discussed how the approach to the test can be changed. Approach 2 and 3 were very practical and focused much less on the implications and more on the execution of WHAT can be done, which I didn’t really like. For example, it was more like “Okay we’ll teach more geometry in high school. Then people will be able to take the test.” I think it made sense to discuss implications first, because in theory each approach is executable. I think the real problem is the TEST and how its worded etc, not the INFORMATION on the test.

Also, we didn’t have a “difficult one” attend ours, but there was one sarcastic member that just did not stop talking about his personal stake, but I do think the moderator handled this well in just simply asking a question over top the rant that was inspired by another question. I did like the deliberation though, because I developed a new perspective on the test. At one point we all shared which test we took (ACT or SAT), which one we thought was easier, and which one we did better on. A majority said that they liked the ACT better but scored worse on it, probably because they “prepped” more for the SATs. Now recently, the SAT has changed the test so that it took out some content but did not change the way it tested the person. The method is still the same. This brings up two points.

First, we discussed how the only time we will encounter SAT-like questions is during prep and during the test, and this speaks to the fact that the SAT is a private sector and most schooling is public, making it easy for the SAT to not test “aptitude” but to actually test students on how specifically they know the SAT. Also, because people like the Act better, they changed the SAT to essentially make it easier, but now that its easier, the bottom of the curve will move up while the top will continue to max out, so perhaps colleges will put less of an emphasis on it. I do agree that colleges need a stream lined way to somewhat get rid of applicants, but based on the approaches, I ended up agreeing with 3 in that the test needs to be changed, in 2 that the colleges can’t put a great emphasis on it, and 1 that if it does change, schooling will help students with the test and reduce the “prep” industry. It was an interesting conversation, and I’m glad I attended.

Indian food!

My mom's mom's side of the family owns somewhat of a farm, and this food is the most natural and delicious it gets. During winter break, I literally watched the people pick the tomatoes, lemons, and wheat off the farm and cook it into something delicious.

My mom’s mom’s side of the family owns somewhat of a farm, and this food is the most natural and delicious it gets. During winter break, I literally watched the people pick the tomatoes, lemons, and wheat off the farm and cook it into something delicious.

I love Indian food, and I miss it so much in college. No offense, but the dining hall food is pretty bland. When I was at home, I did get a little sick of eating the same food every day, but I would honestly take that over anything now. Every time I go home I always bring back food to eat for lunch and dinner because I miss it so much! I was browsing around Facebook the other day, and found an article explaining the “science” behind why Indian food is so good. I do agree that the taste is very bizarre and unfamiliar for people who have never had it, but I guess there is a science to flavor. I don’t cook very much, but it looks hard, because every time I try I have no idea where to start.

There is this nifty chart that explains how certain flavors may overlap, but its really hard to read. Either way, good thing scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur did the research. Here is their actual research. They analyzed popular Indian recipes and all their flavors. They actually found that Indian recipes had the least amount of over lap between their flavors, which maybe proves why they are so delicious, or at least intriguing flavors? Who ever thought you could quantify flavor.

Either way, here is a good example that the article explains. Take a recipe with 4 ingredients: coconut, onions, chile peppers, and spices.

Four ingredients

If you’ve ever taken a stat class, this graph tests the commonalities between the chile and the coconut.

flavor overlap

Basically, they found that if a recipe has a certain flavor, it is very unlikely that it will have another flavor in the same group. Cayenne is a curry base in a lot of Indian food, and based on this study, the curry base would only be created by ONE spice that contains cayenne. Red curry, green curry, and massaman curry is all relevant to a curry base. From personal experience, I have always experienced green curry, and thats just because of where I’m from in India. I’m from the West coast so the food is less gravy-based and more fried and dry. It’s weird to think how usually when making or conceiving an idea for a dish, you would think to combine similar flavors. But Indian cuisine is quite complicated. Apparently the average dish contains 7 ingredients, and based on this study the ingredients don’t mix. Like the other day I ate strawberries and nutella, but I guess that’s not suppose to taste good??? IDEK, I’ll probably go eat more of the combination today. Either way, this was quite an interesting study!

I can’t wait for spring break. I now need to think of all the foods that I want to eat that week. This post has made me FAR too hungry. But until next time!

~~~ Apurva


Being a Schreyer scholar, and being in an honors class, I’m sure many of us have experienced times in college that are extremely stressful. We are under pressure to get all A’s because we can’t eradicate our dreams of med school, or we are under pressure to please our parents, or under pressure to not fail this one class that we are convinced is trying to make us fail, in order not to lose our scholarships. My academic performance literally does not compare to how well I did in high school. I don’t know what happened, but something is not right for me in college. I’m really sad to see myself in this place, and put myself under even more pressure by the fact that I want to please my parents. No, they do not expect me to be a perfect child, but I come from a line of success, and I would hate to disappoint.
My family is filled with geniuses…and its really kind of scary visiting India. My dad’s dad was a professor, so other than the United States where education is so expensive, professors don’t get paid much at all in India.

Brief pause to discuss education — As a side note to that, I think that a majority of our tuition should be going to our professors. I know universities are endowed too, and have income from besides the students’ tuition to pay their employees. Educators are not valued enough, and maybe thats why some so grudgingly treat their students like numbers at a university as big as penn state. These are the people shaping the thoughts of future citizens and by default future leaders of America. The social contract theory states that there is a distinct relationship between the thoughts of the public body and the resulting ricochet of ideas the government produces. Our professors are shaping the future democracy of the free world that is America. They are too often viewed as people who produce people to boost industry, and workers for industrial and corporate America.

Okay back to my original post. My point is that my grandfather was not paid a lot for his genius. I mean, let’s be real. He was born before India was even the republic of India. I’m sure poverty, making a government etc are larger concerns for them than education reform. And my grandpa understood this. He is so insanely intelligent that he understands his place in this world and accepts it with full responsibility that he still has an intellectual contribution to make. And while my description may appear a little idealistic, he approaches it more existentially (like he has no purpose in the world, but he accepts that his being is doing is what he believes). He never felt that his intelligence was put to real use, so as of right now, he is a very simple 80 year old man who writes books for fun, and lives in an Ashram. He has given up every ambition and just basks in his own intelligence. Anyway, my dad was quite the opposite. He knew the steps it took to be successful. He knew that he would have to pass grade school with flying colors, get into the best college of engineering in pune, and then get his masters from the best engineering school in India. Let me explain. IIT, the indian institute of technology, is an extremely well known and difficult to get into engineering school in India. My cousin from that side of the family goes there now, and out of his friend group, everyone went to IIT except for the “less smart” friend…Who went to MIT, in the states. Either way, my dad did all these things and achieved his dream: getting a working American visa. Now he did everything in his power to give me the opportunities that he may not have necessarily had due to his dad’s somewhat bleak approach on the interweb of opportunities, fate, hard work, and intelligence.

So I’ll say this again. I come from a long line of success, and honor. I would hate to ever disappoint my dad in any way. I hope that I can redeem myself here, but coming from an immigrant family also involves a lot of pressure. I cherish the values of honor and culture that I can draw from my heritage, and while I’m eternally grateful for what my parents have done for me, I have no idea how to please myself with such high standards to live up to.

This is my immigrant perspective for this week. I have a feeling that a few other schreyer scholars may put themselves under similar pressure. While it may not have the same roots, I feel you. Hopefully, there is a way to overcome our troubles fellow try hards.

Fusing their way to diplomacy ft. India and Sri Lanka

Do you like my joke in the title? Get it? Like fusion. Like nuclear fusion.

Sri Lanka and India have taken steps to diplomacy with an agreement for installation of russia nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, in the south of India. Sri Lanka is a concern for India’s nuclear plans as well, because it is a mere boat ride across the Palk Straight off the south west tip of india.

Nuclear power is a very controversial topic in today’s world. I’m sure cold war ideology being wary of nuclear power has died down, but I suppose the dangers are still apparent. Although the risk is extremely low for a nuclear fall out, there is a possibility, so I understand people’s concern. Last year in physics I learned a lot about nuclear energy and the exact nuclear reactions that were involved with creating power. The energy efficiency is incredibly high, so it makes sense to combat the world’s obscene energy usage and energy wastage with nuclear power. There is also the concern that fossil fuels are releasing toxic chemicals to the ozone layer, endangering our societies skin. But then again, nuclear power results in radioactive decay which can take thousands of years to be safe to touch again.

There are procedures for disposing of this, and while I already mentioned the risk is very low, Greenpeace France is very concerned with the building of nuclear powerplants and actually launched a campaign against it. Last year, I wrote a letter to Greenpeace France telling them about what I had learned in my physics class. Surprisingly, I got a response. They proceeded to quote my letter line by line explaining why each one was “a lie”. In America, it is more acceptable to use nuclear energy, even though every citizen may not agree.

Globally, the thoughts on nuclear energy vary. I have never heard a specific stance by either India or Sri Lanka. I hope that both countries aren’t just using the building of this power plant as a reason to rejoice. India is very densely populated, and it surprises me that they are so quick to build a nuclear reactor. I just hope that there is no haste because of ulterior motives (diplomacy with Sri Lanka).

I am sure there is tension over who gets monopoly of the waters between the two countries. Most parts of India that border the waters are “warm” year round, so fishing is a big business, which I’m sure is the same for the island country of Sri Lanka. The article I read cited a “fisherman problem”. I really hope that these are the correct steps to diplomacy between two neighboring countries, and not just a hasty way to achieve a convenient diplomacy.