Being an international student, I had the honor to be a part of a group of people of different nationality, culture, family upbringing, major, religion, and personal interest. The fact Wartburg College has a small campus makes it even easier. Lunch and dinner conversations are always my favorite: everybody brings their own attributes to the table and because we have such different backgrounds.
One of my favorite conversations happened in Mensa was about wether an Indian friend of mine should be considered Asian. We went into great length to discuss what does it mean to be a part of that continent, is it just a place in which you’re born in? Is it the culture you grew up with? Is it the genetic traits you carry? Or is it even a combination of all of the above?
Which led me thinking, do I still count as a Chinese? I’ve been way from home since I was 15 years old. In the past 6 years, I’ve done my best to immerse myself in American culture: I’ve attempted Mac N Cheese multiple times(despite the fact I’m lactose intolerant); I’ve fell in love with Grey’s anatomy; I’ve witnessed two rounds of election; I’ve went on both hunting trip and youth religion camp; I’ve adapted to the use of OMG and LOL; I’ve been Americanized. I’ve grown into an adult in the American society and accepted it’s values. At this very moment, I might even be more fluent in English than I am Chinese. I’ve always prided myself as Chinese and I always will, but exactly how Chinese am I?
Who am I?
Last year I did something that I never thought I would. I joined a real sport. I was extremely active in just about everything but sports in high school. I was a cheerleader all four years which is a sport, yes, but at my school it was not really counted as one and I do not think we were doing a ton to make it really count. When I got to college I did not really do too many things and I was looking for something to do. A friend of mine was talking about lacrosse and how they needed more players, so I kind of joked about joining. A week later it was not a joke anymore, I had officially signed my life away to Wartburg Women’s Lacrosse. The largest problem with this was that I had never even seen a single game of lacrosse even on TV, let alone actually played before. Nobody in Iowa really knows what lacrosse is so it was a completely new thing for me and my family. I am writing about this experience because it is okay to go out and try new things even though you have no idea what you are doing. I have made amazing friends being a part of this team, and I have fallen in love with a sport I had barely even heard of before last year. I have always been too scared to really go try anything new and actually trying something new was probably the best decision that I have ever made. I really want to encourage anyone that might be thinking about doing something new, or joining a group that they are not sure if they should or not, or anything like that to go for it! What could you lose? When you’re little you’re always told to go try new things, it’s never too late to try.
Another RICE day event I went to was the STEM poster session. I found one pretty interesting because it brings attention to the hormonal changes in a female’s body during different times of the month. Emily Laudner’s and Aksha Upadhyay’s poster was titled “Differences in Visual Sensory Memory Between High and Low [Estrogen] and [Progesterone] in Young Women” They tested young women between the ages of 18 and 22 to see if their memory was different during different times in the month due to their hormone cycle. To participate in the study, the participants had to have been on birth control for at least three months to make sure their hormones were regulated. They showed the participants a group of letters for 0.5 seconds and had them recall what the letters were in the order that they remember seeing them. They found that the women performed better on the 11th day of their cycle than on the 25th day of their cycle. They tested the participants in two different groups, one group was tested on their 11th day before their 25th day and the other group was tested on their 25th then their 11th. They found no significant difference between the results of the first group and the second,
meaning it wouldn’t matter which order they are tested in, just the day. I think that this shows diversity because nobody really thinks about the fact that a female’s hormones are changing everyday and that can affect a lot more than her mood, like people have a tendency to make jokes about. It can actually affect how a female learns things on different days. Emily said that even though there isn’t much she can do about it, it’s nice for her to know because she is going to be a teacher when she graduates and it is nice to know that this could actually affect learning capabilities on some days.
With the recent departure of the 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi an extensive search for the next Doctor Who has gone underway, and I feel that I have some suggestions as to who could play Who. Although the series has been, for the most part, becoming more diverse I feel that it is time that said diversity was extended to the Doctor. Thus, I feel I have found a potential candidate for who could play the next Doctor: Sophie Okonedo
Sophie Okonedo is an English actress who first appeared in the Doctor Who series as Elizabeth X who was the Queen Regnant of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland when Earth was devastated by solar flares in the 29th century in The Beast Below. I hold that Sophie would be a major diverse step to take in the casting of the Doctor as not only will her history in Doctor Who would make her becoming the Doctor quite the interesting storyline; but, casting the Doctor as a black, female actress in this day and age would differ greatly from the Doctor Who norm but i feel would ultimately appeal to a wider range of audience because of the difference.
Plummeting from space just above Earth where the Doctor had managed to position the deteriorating Tardis; the Doctor thought to himself “after all these years, I’ll die alone” when with the last jilt of energy the Doctor propelled the Tardis through to a small isolated ally in the streets of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he was flung out of the Tardis in what could’ve been a crushing death for the Doctor. Sarajevo that day was quiet for the most part except for a parade of some sort in the distance but the Doctor had other things to worry about; the Eye of Harmony had been severely damaged. Desperate to restore the Tardis from its condition after the landing the Doctor sped across the street in and out of nearby allies in hopes of finding iron sheets and pipes to repair the Tardis until he turned into an ally where he bumped into a man, knocking the wind out of him and causing him to fall over and reveal his pistol. Apologetically the Doctor helped him up and dusted him off as the fall had been a rather serious one and the man was bruised on his arm and shoulder. Although the doctor noticed his weapon he thought nothing of it and walked off while the man picked up his pistol, put it in his coat pocket and leaned against the wall behind him to catch his breath. As the Doctor walked off, a Gräf & Stift touring car typical of the 1910 to 1915 passed him heading in the direction he just come from with 2 other vehicles following close behind and a few moments after the Doctor turned the corner he heard 2 gunshots being fired.
From the moment I was taught the word “diversity” I always automatically associated it with predominately racial and ethnic differences; however, I have begun to notice that knowledge and practice of understanding and acceptance of diversity should be extended into the home as well as while families might have many similarities, the differences are even more important. Every individual is different in one way or another in a family, be it a small difference in that they may have red hair or that they may be transgender, but that difference is the very thing that adds to the identity of that individual. Identity in a collectivist nature is important in that for everyone to be able to accept each other, they themselves need to accept their own identities and doing that becomes hard if others voice that your characteristics aren’t ideal. Doing this in the family is beneficial to every person as it creates a support system for its members in situations where one would need support.
During this year of RICE day, unlike the previous years, I got the chance to present my biology senior research project: Capsaicinoid Concentration in the Carolina Reaper Peaks at 40 Days From Fruit Set and Declines thereafter. Don’t worry, this blog won’t be scienecy whimey since most of my audience is not going to be biology major. Which brings me to my point: diversity in audiences.
Although I’ve already presented my poster to the peers in my class, presenting during RICE day was a whole different experience. To sum it up the best, I’m going to use Dr. Bousquet as an example. Unlike other professors, before he listened to our speech, he gave us a parameter: time and target audience. We needed to be able to explain our research to a “high school history teacher”, “under 5 minutes”. Not only did we need to condense our information, we also need to explain it in simpler language to avoid science jargons.
Most of us speakers have a very comprehensive understanding of our research, but most of our audience have different level of understanding. Just like we each have different background in terms of culture and knowledge in diversity. Sometimes it takes a little extra attention and effort to accommodate the difference.