No More Lacunas

Cultural appropriation of Indian Culture in Music Videos

By August 17, 2014 Culture, Music
Iggy Azalea Indian Bounce Video

I just got around to watching Iggy Azalea’s video for the song “Bounce” (I’m very late on this). And then read this great article by Rohin Guha on TheAerogram, on why Iggy Azalea’s video (and any other video like it) might do more social harm than good, due to its casual use of Indian culture and Bollywood clichés.

But I disagree with this perspective. I think a mainstream video that showcases Indian culture in a positive (or even neutral) way can actually have more positive outcomes than negative. Because there are some really important, valuable things that come out of this kind of casual use of Indian culture in ordinary entertainment in the US.

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Single-Cup Coffeemaker for Doctoral Students

By August 16, 2014 Doctorate
Nespresso U for Doctoral Students

Yesterday was the last day of my Orientation & Residency at Johns Hopkins University — and now I will begin the simultaneously exciting & terrifying journey (adventure?) of my Doctor of Education program. During our fantastic and intense residency this week, I got the chance to meet colleagues, hear from fantastic speakers, and perhaps most importantly, pick the brains of the Student Advisory Panel: doctoral students who are now in their second year of our program.

As my colleagues and I asked the panel about the challenges of the first year, time management (the students in our doctorate program continue to work full time!), finding a rhythm, making sacrifices, and studying effectively, one thing became exceedingly clear to me:

I need to buy a Nespresso machine.

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Quotes In Honor of Mandela Day

By July 18, 2014 Personal Growth, Teaching
Nelson Mandela Quotes

Today is Nelson Mandela International Day (Mandela Day)! Mandela Day is celebrated annually on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18th, to honor Nelson Mandela, his legacy, and the values he fought for. It is celebrated through volunteering and community service. Read on for some of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring and powerful quotes. Read on for quotes in honor of Mandela Day.

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10 Things to Start Doing in your Twenties

By May 21, 2014 Culture, Personal Growth
Make the most of your 20s

#10 – Stop being a jerk.

Once you’re in your twenties, there’s no longer an excuse for being insensitive/sexist/cruel. You can’t fall back on immaturity (you’re in your twenties, it’s not cute). People will very quickly lose patience with you. So if you haven’t already learned this lesson (like back in kindergarten), learn it now. And also, “be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” It’s usually true; everyone has their own story. Stop assuming you should just poke and prod at people to see what happens. Plus, karma.

Read on for the other nine things to start doing in your twenties.

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Fueling Your Brain with Food

By May 20, 2014 Doctorate, Personal Growth
Green Superfood

When I was at UVA over the summer, reading and studying constantly, I learned that what I eat definitely influences how much I can concentrate. Obviously, coffee is a vital part of the equation as well if I have stacks of papers to read, but the way I feed my body has an immediate impact on my level of focus. So, here are my tried-and-true favorite foods for focusing.

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No More Lacunas Shop

By May 20, 2014 News & Updates, Teaching
#NOMORELACUNAS Shop art, humor, and items for teachers, doctoral students, and grad students.

While giving a test the other day, I couldn’t believe how many times I had to repeat “please read the directions” (ok, I should have expected it), which made me wish I had a shirt on that said “please read the directions.” But I’ve never seen a shirt that says that on it. UNTIL NOW!

I am very excited to announce No More Lacunas now has a store on Society6! YAY!

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Little Brother, the Trayvon Martin case, and teaching critical thinking

By March 28, 2014 Culture
Little_Brother_illustration_by_Richard_Wilkinson_01

Little Brother (which is possibly the most important book of our time), centers around teenagers in San Francisco who, after being victims of a terrorist attack, end up having their rights violated by the US government, and in response,launch a “secret” war against their corrupt government. But this is also a story about tough moral questions, and difficult critical thinking — a skill most people in our society don’t have. And this leads me to why this book is such an important primer in even knowing how to think about the Trayvon Martin case.

The following isn’t about the Trayvon Martin case itself, or about George Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence. It’s about the fact that Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict left so many people confused on how to feel, and this indicates a bigger problem: we don’t know how to think for ourselves. This is one of the central messages of Cory Doctorow’s book, Little Brother.

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Sagetron – Sid Sriram Original

By March 27, 2014 Culture, Music

Sid Sriram’s coming out with Insomniac Season this year, and this new song, Sagetron, will be on it. And it is amazing.

Just like in his cover of James Blake’s Life Round Here, there’s a definite Indian influence on the music, only this time you hear it within the first fifteen seconds of the song. Serious frisson/ASMR  moments: 1:30 to 1:40.
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Instinct, and other songs that give me feels

By March 27, 2014 Culture, Music

At some point, early in college, I first heard and immediately became addicted to “Instinct” by Karsh Kale (to hear “Instinct” by Karsh Kale, click here to listen on youtube).

While most things that happened in college seemed more monumental than they were, the memories I have of hearing this song really do feel significant. Or at least unusually memorable. Especially the ones of late nights summer nights, driving back to my dorm from work, windows down (which I might be overly nostalgic for now since it’s March and it’s 16 degrees outside). But I remember one time, while listening to this song, having this thought like – I’ve come home.

At any rate, “Instinct” isn’t the only song that gives me feels, there are others (lots!), and some of my favorites (besides “Instinct”) are listed below, with explanations of why they give me feels, after the jump.

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Stay Inside – Raleigh Ritchie

By March 26, 2014 Culture, Music

My friend Anuja recommended “Stay Inside” by Raleigh Ritchie, touting it as the perfect song to celebrate my introversion.

The song is from Raleigh Ritchie’s album, The Middle Child EP.

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