Hello reader. If you have read my previous blog(s), you will
not realise that this one comes thousands of miles away from where they used to originate… In easier, layman’s terms: I’m in college!
There is too much to talk about in this one blog which I am writing the night before a Monday morning (the Blues… I know.) But from now on… I WILL BLOG EVERY DAY. Yes, I said it! With my newfound independence, I find myself more organised and planned and now I have scheduled half an hour everyday to this blog of mine. Before, when I would put up things once in a week or two, each post would garner at least a follower or two! Being so oblivious to this fact when I was home, I recently came to a self realisation: I Must Blog. I find it the most extraordinary way to communicate about my life and sort-of release my feelings/opinions. So, all the excuses aside; Let’s get this show rolling!
Well, the change from India to USA is.. umm… Huge. Like the first thing that hits
you me is “Where is the health faucet to wash my…? wait, WHAT!! They don’t use water here??? WTF!!”. I admit to a 20 second long existential crisis, after which I cried to myself (in my mind of course, not out loud) “Intellect over mind!!” and I got over it. Toilet paper definitely got some getting used to. However, on the other hand I will give the Americans props for the “rim cover dispenser thing”. Basically, in a public toilet, to avoid hygiene issues and/or disease spread, there are disposable papers in the template of the toilet seat. So you don’t feel all ‘yucky’ inside and instead feel a sense of security from the ‘unhygienicness’ (I can tell from the red squiggly line that that is not a word, but you get the feel of it. I’m sure.) And it flushes in along with your excreta! So cool for the ‘foreigner’ I was at the time I learned this.
Yes, this blog does go into almost unnecessary detail about the differences in living in India and USA, but for me these were indeed the things that got me first, so stay with me here.
Next, though rather small compared to the previous one, was the peace. While driving from the airport to our destination, the whole atmosphere was just quaint and peaceful. I’m used to the hustle and bustle of Bangalore City on a daily basis, so the absence of blaring car horns and all-around chaos was a shock for me. It made feel sort of happier inside, the feeling of the city was just how I imagined it (the imagination, of course, was the result of movie watching-breaking down-analysis, and perceptions of the Western World built over time). So I was initially excited about the prospect of living alone in a place of my dreams! More shockers include, but are not limited to:People being excessively social (Being the sort-of-introvert I am, this actually helped me break the ice more often and just start talking to random people. And I use the word ‘excessively’ to emphasise on the difference between here and the South India I am used to.), professionalism amongst everyone you meet:from retail workers to baristas to the janitors and of course, the professionals (bankers and the likes)… There are many more, but according to my schedule I don’t have much time before I have to get to bed to get enough sleep and wake up on time tomorrow, so I’ll bring up more of these differences in tomorrow’s blog and beyond… Next topic
If you know me, you’ll know how much I’ve ranted about how bad the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education, the system under which I went to high school in India) is and how its so messed up and blah blah… It was only on August 28th, the first day of my classes, that I discovered that all my hatred was actually justified. On that day I had a Fundamental Physics lecture (the course is called Physics for future Presidents, and its pretty cool!!) and it made me love physics even more! Not because of the subject matter itself, but because of how involving the course was structured to be. We would be having assignments every week based on the chapters read, and besides lectures, we are broken into smaller groups called discussion sections and we meet separately from the lecture timings. It is in these places that our participation is judged by the GSIs (Graduate Student Instructors) who run the sections. (And participation is a pretty big chunk of the final grade in most classes, around 15-20% for most). So, even if you aren’t into the subject, which I am, you are forced to get into the course and deliver on your assignments and section discussions. We have nothing close to this back in school;Its just curriculum prescribed by the Board and then exams based on them. You don’t even need to go to class, let alone concentrate. You can just wait till a couple of weeks before the exam and mug it all up and you will still get the marks! The involving nature and structure of the courses can be a challenge to international students who have just graduated high school under a system similar to the CBSE, but luckily it was something I was aspiring to get into. I never really ‘felt’ the CBSE, but US college? Its “legit hardcore” in American slang-talk.
Okay, I’m going to do a bit of reading up for tomorrow’s class, seeya TOMORROW people! (I feel so great I can say TOMORROW!