Imagine being in a roller coaster that’s on fire, adrift, going full speed.
Stepping away from India into the US led me to a stage where I was frantically searching for some semblance of my culture to hold on to.
Aullaqisaqtuq – It is the beginning
Iḷisaguuruŋa Iñupiatun MIT-mi. I study Iñupiaq at MIT.
I was very surprised one day to realize that I had developed a single callous on the pad of my right thumb. I can’t remember the last time I got a callous: I don’t rock climb, play an instrument, or do extreme sports. I don’t even take classes anymore, so I rarely write with a pen. Then it hit me: literally the only thing I do with my right thumb is pipetting. It was a pipetting callous.
I love helping people learn.
I first got a taste of this at the military academy where I completed my undergraduate degree. I taught new cadets and new Airmen about marching and other aspects of being in the military. Later, I worked an obstacle course where I had to teach safety and proper obstacle completion technique. It was one of the few activities where I found myself smiling while doing it.
Fast forward to my first year of grad school.
"Let us choose for ourselves our path in life,
and let us try to strew that path with flowers."
– Emilie du Chatelet, Physicist
I love dresses and bows, face masks and makeup.
When I get ready for a day in lab, I avoid it all.
I arrived in New Jersey to attend graduate school two years ago. I was mostly nervous and a little bit excited. This was the first time I had flown internationally and also the first time I had flown in an airplane!
Upon arrival I was greeted by the air hostess who apologetically told us that all our luggage had to be left behind in the airport at my home country (India) due to technical difficulties. A check-in bag, my wallet, and a phone without a network was all I had.
If you are a non-native English speaker like me, have you ever felt that your English was not good enough? And worse, did you feel that your English would never be as good as a native speaker’s? I did.
"She's worried you'll waste your degree."
My friend (let's call her Anna) relays this message to me as coming from another friend, but I can tell from her tone of voice that she's clearly worrying about the same potential waste. That makes the question doubly irritating. As if pretending to be merely the messenger could disguise the passive-aggressive way of questioning my life decisions. Decisions which, I might add, I'm pretty darn happy with.
The primary decisions in question are these: