Monthly Archives: November 2015

How to not be ignorant about the world (Ted) 11-29-15

In a time and age where certain wrongful characteristics of society are presented to the public in a quick and sequential manner, it can be all too easy to let the negativities of the world define how we feel about our own lives. Be it inequality in opportunities between genders in education or inequality in financial distribution, there are countless aspects that are horrendous in this world. The key is to focus on positive aspects in our own lives while continually educating ourselves about the circumstances of the world. This is a far better plan to confront the unjust of the world rather than solely relying on the media as a source for our knowledge of the globe as a whole.

I have to admit that the video caught me off guard. I was expecting for the answers to the questions to be the worst case scenario. This might have been a sense of empathy for us to want to believe that things are worse than they really are. The truth is that we need to seek out our own resources to get reliable information. This is certainly not to say that these atrocities are not present in today’s societies.

What the speakers were able to do was present information that is strangely ironic in a certain sense. Most would not be willing to tell the world that things are not bad as they seem. Whoever claims this might come off as impassive or heartless. Taking this stance is a daunting task in my opinion. Yet the two were able to tackle the problem in an efficient and professional manner. Of course, I can imagine that a significant confidence booster for them was their thorough research for the statements they made.

The video appealed to me in a way that is difficult to put in simple words. After growing up all of these years while being constantly educated in a certain manner, it is definitely satisfying to be afforded such a brand new perspective on the overall situation of the current human population. I am sure that this type of logic can be applied to countless other aspects of societies. While the video focused on general contemporary issues, there are countless “smaller” topics of debate. Without a doubt this video offered me a better perspective on global matters.

Goals for my Education Abroad 11-10-15

Having traveled quite a few times in my life, I have found international travel to be an integral part of myself growing up. Experiencing two distinctly cultures from both my mom and my dad was a head start that I greatly appreciate. However, my plan in college is to take my intercultural understanding to the next level. My ultimate goal is to use a formal education with different perspectives to help people across the globe live better lives. Without something like an education abroad, it can be a bit more difficult to gain the respect and trust of international collaborators or even higher-standards colleagues in the U.S. Those with ideas pursuant to the beliefs of several different cultures are more sought after for any type of work.

My plan as of now is to take all of the next academic year to learn applicable material while gaining a thorough understanding of how culture is related to problem solving. I grew up as the why-kid in my family, sometimes asking that dreaded one-word question until it drove my parents nuts. Sophomore year of high school, my world history teacher was able to put my curious mind to rest. It wasn’t necessarily the most satisfying explanation, but it was a truthful one nonetheless. He told us that the more you learn, the more you realize how little you actually know. In fact, I was able to experience this during my first research internship this past summer. The project steps seemed simple and straight-forward enough, yet somehow many more questions popped up along the way as each proposed idea was confirmed.

I will admit that I do not take “learning” too lightly. I am the type of student that wishes he or she knew exactly why something is the way it is. In a certain respect, college has been the best example of what my world history teacher told us. There are so many subjects with so much content to learn with only 24 hours given to us each day (although while procrastinating we complain that we don’t think we actually that much time to ourselves). I see traveling abroad and being able to learn college-level material first-hand in a different language as the solution of my dilemma of wanting to glean every bit of information from everything I’m supposed to learn.

While some ask me why I am taking off a whole year to study abroad while studying engineering, I am quite confident that getting to know the people of two other unique cultures is by far a plus. Even if this means pushing back my studies for an extra year, I am very willing to make this decision, knowing that all of the great challenges I will face are trumped by a passion to better myself. In helping expand my curricular knowledge with an intensely global component, I am able to tackle cross-cultural questions and challenges with curiosity.