Archive for February, 2014

The First Time You Meet the Text

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Experience is like that river that can’t be stepped in the same way twice. Just as college discounts and college savings are perpetually in a state of motion, so is a text.

The experience of reading can be split into three sections based on time; the first reading of the text, the aftermath and residue, and the rereading of the text. Each reading is particular, while the general text stays the same. It’s like that line in the song from Pocahontas, “You can’t step in the same river twice”. But instead of just the water flowing and changing, the reader is constantly changing and becoming, and because the reader is constantly changing, their constructions of the same text change as well. After reading a text, the direct effects and impressions begin to fade, but when a text profoundly affects the reader, the relationship that the reader forms with the text will change the reader. It’s like meeting a new person, falling into a deep and complex relationship immediately, and then having to say goodbye to them, because they do not exist without you. There will always be the memory of the experience, and you are changed by that memory from that moment on.

The first reading is just like meeting someone for the first time. And different books inspire different first impressions. The first time I read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, I could not put it down and stop reading until I had finished—roughly fifteen hours later. The words on the page pulled my eyes and my mind in to a point where my eyes could not keep up with my mind wanting to ingest every last morsel on the page. When I had finished, it was as though I had donned glasses and every particle of light that hit my eye was refracted by War and Peace.

I read novels quickly, preferring to absorb the novel as rapidly and intensely as possible rather than dragging the experience out over months. This applies especially to nineteenth century novels, mainly Russians works. I’ve been able to read War and Peace, The Brothers Karamazov, and Crime and Punishment in a single sitting because once I’ve stepped into the world I cannot bear to leave it until it had come to fruition.

On the other hand, when I read The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett for the first time, it was necessary for me to put it down and take a day or two before I picked it back up. It took me three separate sittings to finish it because of the physical toll it would take on me due to the overwhelming nature of the novel. His novels have always plainly spelled out the undercurrents of my own thoughts, and watching them be thrust to the surface and spelled out in language made me need to take a step back.

The beauty of these first readings is that when you look back at them, you realize that what struck you in the first reading is what you held as a priority when you first read it. When I spoke with Ilja Wachs, a teacher of nineteenth century literature at Sarah Lawrence College, he related his experiences reading Anna Karenina for the first time. He noted that in his early readings of Anna Karenina, “whenever Levin came in the scene, I’d say ‘Get out of here, I want my Anna!’ Anna was beautiful, Anna was hot, I was in love with Anna, really”.[1] As a young adult, the vibrant and lovely character of Anna was what drew him, and his reading was centralized around Anna. Now when he rereads, “every time Anna comes in the scene I feel depressed, ‘Get out of here, I want my Levin’. I want Levin mowing, I want Levin in the spring. You get there real changes”.[2] As a grown man, now in his 80s, he is no longer attracted to Anna’s tragic beauty; instead he wants the collectivity, universality, and “grounded substantiality”[3] of Levin. “I can no longer stand Anna, now I want Levin on the scene all the time”[…] the way he extracts meaning from work, I mean, I think that’s very fundamental for me, and wasn’t then”.[4]  As his priorities and way of looking at the world changed as he grew older, so did his readings and experience of reading. He compares it to a “wonderful mirror”,[5] reflecting back at you your values. As one changes, so does the readings of the text; the text initially offers a plurality of possible readings, and the reader ascribes to one and reconstructs it for oneself. The reader “relates the different views and patterns to one another [and he] sets the work in motion, and so sets himself in motion, too”.[6] This is why the definition of the text is not in the text itself, but in the experience of the reading and the actualization of the interaction between the text and the reader.


[1] Wachs, Ilja. Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2013.
[2] Wachs, Ilja. Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2013.
[3] Wachs, Ilja. Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2013.
[4] Wachs, Ilja. Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2013.
[5] Wachs, Ilja. Personal interview. 18 Apr. 2013.
[6] Iser, Wolfgang. The Act of Reading. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978. 21. Print.






Marina Manoukian, Sarah Lawrence College

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Change your habits, change your self

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Consider the following quote, which is commonly attributed to M.K. Gandhi:

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

If there’s anyone who had insight about the importance of thoughts and actions in turning our dreams into reality, it would be Gandhi. The man made non-violent action a habit of his, and his legacy became his radical use of non-violent action to achieve political change.

The above quote acknowledges that thoughts are fundamental in leading us to whatever end goals we have. Without believing that we could achieve anything, we’d be paralyzed. Even rolling out of bed in the morning takes a certain amount of belief––some days require more belief than others, to be sure.

But right now, I’d like to suggest that a way to kick-start the process of shaping your destiny is to take actions that convince yourself that you are already whatever you want to become.

In essence, I’m endorsing the “fake it til you make it” method of achieving change.

By donning a dinosaur suit and acting like a terrifying and ever-powerful T-Rex, you will become exactly that. Image credit:

According to this interesting article on Brain Pickings, “reverse-engineering psychology” is a fancy way of describing the “fake it til you make it” mantra. It’s a process we can use to change our habits and, eventually, the very essence of who we are.

The article summarizes psychology research and personal anecdotes from the likes of Ben Franklin that suggest something remarkable: our actions inform our beliefs. Of course, believing that you can become a certain way is the first step towards doing it. But the actual process of coming to believe that we are whatever we think we are results from the rationalization that we go through when observing the actions that we take.

Let’s make this idea more concrete by way of an example.

You go to a party where you know there will be tons of interesting people you haven’t met. You’re notorious for being the “quiet one” basically everywhere you go, but you’re dying to change this. So this time, following the “fake it til you make” it mantra, you decide to do something a bit different.

The first step is to hold firmly in your mind whatever you’d like to be: for tonight, you want to be an amicable person who has no problem interacting with others. The second step––which is arguably more crucial because it will make you realize that you already hold the potential to be the aforementioned person––is to act accordingly.

So, perhaps primed by a glass of liquid courage or two (but no more than that––you don’t want your technique to be sloppy), you discard all self-doubt and simply begin colliding with other people. If you act like you are thirsty for good conversation, good conversation is what you’ll get. You move about the room, hopping from one individual or group to another, and by the end of the night you realize that there’s not one person in that room you haven’t introduced yourself to.

After leaving the party, your brain begins to rationalize what just happened. As you ride the train home, your mind replays scenes from the party over and over again. Your brain has to find an explanation for what just happened––that’s what brains do––and it eventually concludes that you’re not so shy after all. In fact, you can be the life of the party. You were the life of the party.

But perhaps you’re convinced that this was just a fluke. The only way to fully convince yourself, then, that you are actually as confident as you acted at the party is to repeat the experience over and over again––in essence, make it a habit of yours. Now that you have this party experience under your belt, it will be much easier to repeat it next time and perform even better.

By continuing to be the life of the party wherever you go, even if you’re just faking confidence at first, it will get easier with time to perform accordingly, and your brain will eventually become convinced that you are the life of the party.

Let’s take a look at a more sober example.

You have a presentation coming up. You’re nervous about it even though you’ve rehearsed it a ton and you clearly know the material inside and out. Before you get up there, stop, breathe, and empty your mind.

When it’s your time to present, turn on your charisma switch. But, wait, how do you do this if you’re convinced that you don’t have a switch? It’s quite simple. You emit confidence through one of the most powerful tools of persuasion that everyone has at their disposal: body language.

You want to basically emulate everything that charismatic people do. Stand up straight. Let your hands rest at your sides rather than clutching them in front of your crotch or your stomach. Gesture freely. Speak loudly and clearly. Make eye contact with your  audience.

If you do this successfully, the audience won’t know the difference, and neither will your own brain after a few minutes. You’ll eventually begin to genuinely feel the confidence that you were only faking at first. You’ll become, in essence, a self-fulfilling prophecy simply by imitating the qualities you’d like to possess.

If you wear this button and act like a doctor, people will likely treat you like one. Warning: This is not a good idea. Becoming a doctor requires a series of actions that do not involve wearing this button.

If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be an artist, make art. If you want to be a crappy customer service representative, dole out crappy customer service like your life depends on it. If you want to keep getting the same things you’ve always gotten, keep doing the same things you’ve always done.

You already contain the person that you want to be (and all of the people that you don’t want to be) inside of you. It’s just a matter of acting accordingly in order to bring out the qualities, and therefore the people, that you’d like to bring out.

If you change your actions, you will change your habits. If you change your habits, you will change the way you think about yourself. In turn, you will change your life.

Trust me. I’m a doctor.


Amanda Fox-Rouch (Hunter College)

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Planning Ahead

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The most important thing a traveler can do before a trip is to plan.  Planning beforehand allows for the optimization of options and efficient use of time.  Taking out two minutes of the present can save hours of hardship and disappointment in the future.  Two essential steps of planning are having goals and being able to properly prepare.


Although sometimes it is fun to mindlessly wander around a new and foreign area, I found that the most rewarding feeling came from checking off something from my to do list.  Having an idea of what to accomplish during a trip creates the sense of fulfillment and duty.  Simple things like taking a picture with the Hachiko statue in Tokyo, spinning the big Cube in Astor place or taking a stroll in the botanical gardens in Singapore can make for a great story down the road!  Even simple things such as using up a coupon booklet can be something to work with.  Unlike those dreaded bus tours, creating a personal itinerary won’t have people staring into the air for hours.

When writing goals, two big questions should which should be asked are what do I like and what interests do I have? 


I cannot begin to convey the many hours I have wasted because I made the mistake of traveling without being properly prepared.  When I travelled to Japan, I made many small mistakes which could have been avoided had I properly prepared for the trip.  In fact, I had to walk aimlessly in the humid town of Chiba for three hours because I forgot to print out the address of my hotel.  Had I took ten minutes out of my life to print out a piece of paper before I journeyed to Japan, I would have not only saved three hours of my life but also avoided the blazing heat of the sun.


     With proper preparation and research, savings can be had on many expensive things such as Broadway shows!  Did you know that certain Broadway shows hold lotteries and have discounts on certain days and times?  Another example of how research can help increasing savings while traveling can be seen through the admission fees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  Upon entering the museum, many people examine the admission fee and pay $25.  However, did you know that the admission fee is actually a suggested donation?  Small little tidbits of preparation and research can open up amazing new routes and doors for the voyage ahead.


Of course, knowing where to look for information is a very vital part of the planning process.  Although a Google search can provide many possible locations to visit, having a second point of view on an area provides a lot of valuable insight for planning.  Always cross reference and visit more than one page about a certain location in order to get all the details.  Sites such as Yahoo Travel, Yelp, Trip Advisor), or even one of these travel blogs can help you find out if a place is the perfect fit.  By doing this, more developed opinions can be made by using past experiences of other people.


Gary Chen Stony Brook University

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Film Critique

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

The Film Critique

Now that I’ve discussed the comics, I want to discuss the manifestation of the comics – the movie. Because this piece of writing will be focusing on the impact that “The Avengers” has had on my generation, the progression of thought moves to the film. “The Avengers” was a huge success, and the audience was predominately people who had either limited exposure to the Marvel Universe (those who had seen the origin movies i.e. “Iron Man”), or none at all. So what was the appeal? Was it the beauty of all the actors? The witty dialogue, which in all honesty was a surprise? Or perhaps it was the character development, and a reemergence of an action movie that actually has a workable and dynamic plot line.
            Every facet of this film drew the audience further and further into the storyline. While characters like Iron Man, Thor, or Captain America (played by the actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans, respectively) had origin stories already laying down the foundation of their characters. I am ambiguous in the function of “The Hulk” recasting the main actor, but references to the destruction of Harlem, which had occurred in the Edward Norton reincarnation, led me to believe that the first film was also an origin story.

As imagined by the Deviantart creator.

The Black Widow (played by Scarlet Johanson) is relatively new, and had only appeared sporadically within the “Iron Man” trilogy. And HawkEye (played by Jeremy Renner) had an action sequence within the first “Thor.” But aside from those cameos, these character’s were mysterious in the audience didn’t know much about them. The one disappointing aspect of the movie was that I was so drawn in, that I had wished for more character background.

In this point of my analysis, I want to quote Neil deGrass Tyson, “If Thor is strong for mystical reasons, he doesn’t need big muscles. They could make him scrawny and he’d be just as powerful.”

So that raises the question of why, why is it the necessity of have characters like Thor who have both inhuman abilities, and ethereal beauty? I would say it is to set Thor, and by extension Loki (but he will be discussed later when villains are brought up), apart from the other mortal members of the Avenger’s team. But what does this incur in fans? Do little boys look at the muscular Hemsworth who is the hero, and see Hiddlestone, the intellectual villain, and decide that masculinity equates to appearance, instead of intelligence?

This is written by Francesca Ciervo, Freshman at NYU.

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You not only have to be there, you have to act there.

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The idea of participation comes to us at an interesting time, especially since the idea of individuation seems to have flooded the mindsets of all college students. And that’s just the thing; college discounts and college savings won’t just come to you. Participation is required.

When thinking of the readers of a text, there are two discernable readers; the ideal reader that the author conceived of while writing the text, and the plurality of actual readers that encounter the text. However, neither one of these actually exist in a single construction. The ideal reader does not exist outside the mind of the author, and is, in a certain sense, useless. The ideal reader would have the exact same understanding as the author, “and identical code to that of the author”,[1] and would share the intentions of the author as well. If this were the case, the act of reading would be superfluous because any meaning or idea to be conveyed would already exist in the mind of the reader[2]. There would be nothing gained or changed by the act of reading. The other reader that exists is the actual reader of a text, and the experience of this reader is specific to that one reader. One may attempt to generalize texts in regard to how they affect readers, but every reader reads a text at a time, state, and mentality that cannot be replicated, not even within the reader himself. The response and construction of the text that is produced is based not only on the text itself and its possible constructions, but also the different values and moods of the reader. This is why readers can describe two entirely opposing constructions of the same text. Because of this, the phenomenology of reading can only be described by an individual, most often in regards to a specific text; it is much harder to generalize.

It is also in this way that it is somewhat superfluous to try to grasp what the objective world is, behind the veil of sight. If one saw the world as it were, so to say, intended, there would be no point in participating in the world; you’d already know everything. Instead, it seems to be more useful to focus on the relationships created by the participation, just as a text is only as much as a reader constructs it to be. Participation and action are the most important parts of the formula, because if one chooses to exist solely in the world of thought, he/she essentially wants to obtain all the knowledge without the actual action of obtaining. He/she wants to be a god; to pick up a book and know what it is about without going through the actual process of reading it and putting all those letters and words together through one’s own lens.

One’s entire life can be boiled down to the importance of participation. Certainly, if you are spending time with your friends, it is easy to sit back and watch the conversation and exchanges happen around you. You’re there, but you’re more of a spectator than an actor—a spectator in a play that you should be playing in. The best reality is one that is created by you, and creation can only happen through your own actions. One cannot dwell in the realm of thought forever. Otherwise you’ll end up like Hamlet.

[1] Iser, Wolfgang. The Act of Reading. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978. 29. Print.
[2] The Act of Reading, 29



Marina Manoukian, Sarah Lawrence College

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The Avenger’s Influence on Generation Z: A Brief History of Comics

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

A Brief History of Comics

When I started this endeavor, I was a superhero enthusiast and was faced with the endeavor of writing about something that had depth. Do comic books have depth? With a glance at the cartoonish drawings, and the speech bubbles that peppered each page a person may be quick to give a resounding no. But why then have comic books been the source of entertainment for generations?
Entertainment, many fans agree, has both complexity and a real humanism about it. But isn’t that a curious thing to think about; the fact that even though most comics have superhuman characters, and otherworldly qualities there is something strictly realistic- even human- about the universe and characters that have been constructed.

Perhaps to understand the influence comics have on modern American society, I must recount the history behind them. Comic strips paved the road for the rise of American comic books; the Funnies (comic strips) appeared every Sunday much to the amusement of the 1930’s American. With this newfound creation, the combination of words and images connected people of all ages and intelligence level.

Comic strips grew so popular that the publishers began to reprint collective groups of comic strips in book form of which the first was the Famous Funnies (Stephen Krensky “Comic Book Century: the History of American Comic Books).[1] Cheaper than fighting for the rights to print already printed material, artists and writes began to form collective groups that created original material, of which the formation of Marvel stems.  In the coming chapters I will be focusing on Marvel’s The Avengers in particular. The history of The Avengers is a bit more complex and will be delved into throughout the book. But for a little background, the series started in the 1960’s has transformed from a cult following to a cultural phenomena. While the rotation of characters is too varied to list, the famous battle cry of “Avengers Assemble” is one of the constants about the series.

I have a few theories on why comics (and their subsequent movie creations) have such a great appeal. One, and perhaps the most obvious, is that it is a form of escapism. Comic strips were originally created to ease the depressive moods of unemployed workers during The Great Depression in the thirties (Krensky). That legacy continues in allowing today’s people a realm of hi-definition CGI action scenes and intense character development. My second theory is that there is a very human desire to be recognized, and seeing superheroes garner that recognition gives people hope that they too can do the same.
My driving question will be to investigate whether The Avengers has depth, and further, what effect it may have on today’s society. In the pages that follow, I will share my research and observation of comic book’s influence on my generation.

[1] Krensky, Stephen. Comic book century: the history of American comic books. Minneapolis: Twenty-First Century Books, 2008. Print.


This is written by Francesca Ciervo, Freshman at NYU.

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Giving Back When You’re a Poor College Student

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The worst type of guilt trip is the one that slowly layers ever so sweetly on your shoulders piling more and more until it’s all you can think about. When Natural disasters strike, we see the hotline number at the bottom of our TV screens and immediately feel the burden to donate, but instead click past the channel, not wanting the weight of feeling pressured. Or those dang commercials, where the SAME SONG whispers through the speakers, triggering your memory. At first you don’t remember what it’s for but then BAM, puppy eyes stare from behind the bars of their cages begging to be adopted. “With just one dollar, you can…”- change the channel. Between the struggle of scavenging through your couch –if you’re lucky to have one– for change to buy textbooks, or your 5th day in a row of mac and cheese dinners, it’s easy to ignore the ads.

"In the arrrmss of an annngel"


Yet, as often as we apathetically stroll by the ads on the subway or avoid the homeless begging between transfers, there is a guilty feeling that creeps into our souls.


As a former college student, I know how easy it is to dismiss these feelings. Trust me, I have used every excuse in the book. Speaking of books, “yeah I don’t have any money to give bro, sorry, I need to save for text books…ya know, English major and all.” Oh and if you don’t think that worked, I was a student finishing up college AND getting married mid-semester. Forming excuses based on money and time can be very easy. However even as these excuses grew, my desire to help people pushed through and emerged.


So I did something about it.


I started with the little things, like helping my mom around the house, to gradually getting involved in different groups mentoring young girls. As my giving grew, my passions grew stronger and expanded to different fields. I began to experience life in a different way, seeing it from a different viewpoint and understanding its true meaning.


My cute students and me in Haiti circa 2009. Being an adult, clearly...

I am writing this eBook with the hopes of encouraging you to be open to a new way of life. A life not focused on the little aspect, called “me”, but focused instead on the good of mankind. It can seem to be overwhelming at first, but I assure you that with a little direction, and self-actualization, you can become involved in your community and experience a greater life than you ever expected.



Samantha Bringas

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Defining who you want to be in a commodity-fetishizing society

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

In life, we are forced to make sacrifices. We do things we don’t necessarily want to do because we have to do them. What are some things you do because you feel like you have to?

Some actions, like earning money to pay for shelter and food, are necessary in order to achieve and sustain a comfortable lifestyle. But think about it: beyond this, not much is necessary. So why do we often feel like we’re lacking something, even if our most basic needs are fulfilled?

I believe that this constant drive to do more and be more is a result of the ideological apparatus of our society, which the mass media and we ourselves are agents of.

Tyler Durden from Fight Club may have captured it best when he said:

“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.”

Eccentric philosopher Slavoj Žižek has applied psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s frameworks to cultural and ideological analysis. Žižek is one of many thinkers who have argued that the dominant ideology in modern society conditions us to rationalize, idealize, and endorse certain actions and ideas without even realizing it.

Slavoj tellin' it like it is.

For example, people often ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

From an early age, without even realizing it, we push kids to define their future selves in terms of the type of work they see themselves doing. “An all-around nice person” is usually not the type of answer we seek when asking this question.

As subjects in a given society, we are conditioned from childhood to allow the dominant ideology to shape our innermost values and desires. We are taught to define ourselves according to certain standards which we usually consent to and perpetuate without even realizing it.

In effect, we often find ourselves inadvertently supporting the powers-that-be through things we do and say every single day.

When we are faced with one of life’s many obstacles which prevent us from realizing a goal, it’s not uncommon to have an emotional breakdown and feel like it’s all our fault, rather than realizing that society has taught us to fetishize certain things that despite the advertisements for these products and experiences telling us otherwise, cannot actually rectify our inherent emptiness.

Given this seemingly untenable situation, what is to be done for those of us who still manage to dream about living up to standards that we consciously define? I believe that, to an extent, we can try to reclaim our agency and become self-defining subjects.

But how do we do this?

The first step is to become conscious of those things you do out of compulsion because you’re told that it’s the “right thing to do.” Demarcate the border between these actions and those things you actually value and want to do and have.

Michel Foucault was a scholar who challenged taken-for-granted conceptions of power and "normality" through his histories of prisons, biopolitics, and sexuality, among other topics.

“But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?” — Michel Foucault

Treat your life as a work of art–pick and choose the qualities you would like to embody, and start doing just that. Realize that some of the ideas that you value and perpetuate in your daily life may have been influenced by societal forces, and weed them out with a vengeance if they do not serve you. Constantly strive to become someone you would admire. Transcend societal-imposed standards to the fullest extent possible, and begin living on your own terms.

Now that we’ve laid out the problem that we’re dealing with (as I see it), the rest of a book will be a guide to living up to our conscious, self-defined values and standards in a stupor-enducing culture.


Amanda Fox-Rouch (Hunter College)

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Identity: A Crisis or an Adventure?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

By Serrana Gay

“Identity is an individual’s self definition that focuses on enduring characteristics of the self.”

As humans we are constantly asking the question: Who am I? This is a seemingly unanswerable question, yet we spend most of our lives struggling to answer it. We seek to find what it is we think about the world, what resonates with us, and to understand how these things define us.

There are many theories on how identity develops, and while these theories touch on what truly makes us human, they attempt to make it concrete, make it something that science can define. Identity is not something concrete. It is an abstract term we use to try and describe our sense of self.

Despite the fact that “enduring characteristics” are part of the definition of identity, I believe it is constantly in flux. It grows and shifts and morphs, much like an octopus does as it camouflages itself on a Van Gogh painting. Just like the octopus, we adapt to our surroundings, and grow and change as we encounter new stimuli. But who am I then, if I believe this? Will I ever find out? Will I ever know how the way I view myself defines what I do in this world?

One thing that most studies tend to agree on, is that children have a very limited sense of self and begin to form identity based on role models (Carver & Scheier, 1992), and that what we call “identity” begins to form around adolescence. “Before adolescence, individuals are not capable of the cognitive reasoning necessary in establishing identity” (Brogan). Then as we begin growing from children into adults, we start questioning. As we question we begin forming opinions about the world around us, and thus begins the process of defining “who we are”.  We observe the world, we take in the things we find useful, we note what moves and inspires us, and we discard the rest.  And it is through this long and torturous process that we begin formin what we call identity.

Personally I have noticed that my relationships: romantic, platonic, familial and otherwise have shaped me more than anything else. The ways in which I have chosen and learned to relate to other people has largely affected not only how I behave, but also who I am and how I see myself as a human being in this world.

This and my  posts to follow are an examination of the many and varied interactions I have had and the ways in which they have affected the shaping of my identity; as I understand it now, and as it is still changing as I grow. I would love for it to serve as a forum for discussion for others as well. If you would join me in my examination, I would love to hear what you have to say. How you my dear readers identify yourselves, and the ways in which the world and your interactions have shaped you as the humans you are, and are becoming.





Starting a New Adventure

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

For the past decade, tuition across the spectrum has been increasing every year globally.  Over the past three years alone, college tuition has increased on an average of 3% a year! Although many college students are saving all those pennies and quarters to pay for their college tuition, it doesn’t mean there should be a ban on globe-trotting.  Travelling is one of the best things that a young adult can do for themselves.  As people get older, settle down, get a job and have more commitments to fulfill, traveling becomes harder.  Young people should seize their youth and travel to their heart’s content; many articles have shown that one of the biggest regrets dying people have is that they never got to travel while they had the chance.

College Funds can even be found in cookie jars!

Every inch of this earth holds an experience of a lifetime that can help meld one into their perfect future self.

Travelling to foreign lands can be a real eye opener to all the different things the world has to offer.  Like being tossed straight into the fire, travelling throws people into the heart of culture hotbeds different from home and forces them into new situations.  Finding new friends, uncovering new flavors, and scaling mountains higher than skyscrapers are only some of the situations which might be encountered!  Such experiences are memories that many travelers hold dear for the rest of their lives, even to their deathbed.

Having been a poor college student myself, I know the very troubles that might come along with travelling.  Accommodation, food and travel costs can take a heavy hit on a college student’s wallet.  On top of that, with the heavy course load that comes along with being a college student, students may be discouraged with their ability to travel.  In the end, these problems are nothing more than excuses.  With proper planning and guidance, traveling can be done without breaking the bank.

The process before traveling can be as daunting as travelling itself.  Still, with hard work and proper preparation, travelling is well within the average college student’s grasp.  These series of articles will show some of the best means and methods I have discovered on my travels to get the most college savings even while travelling the world.  Having traveled to South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan this year alone as a college student, I have learned not only important lessons which to build my life upon but also some of the most efficient ways to travel.


Gary Chen Stony Brook University

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