Today I was able to finally relate to all those people, my dad included, who kept dropping the ‘consumerist society’ bomb on me when I was about to leave for the States. They would endlessly deride the American society for its infamous consumerism-based setting, which I only knew as one of those things people kept talking about. I didn’t fully appreciate the gravity of it at the time I was introduced to the notion, but today I came to learn of it by experience. Math discussion section; Last class of the day in the evening. I walk to the classroom, homework in my hand, ready to turn in to our GSI (Graduate Student Instructor, read my previous posts…). Expecting a normal class about checking out pressing doubts on the homework, working out proofs done in lecture etc. Well, it was exactly that, but there was something weird to me-like almost everything I experience here. Most of the people in the classroom had, and I can’t believe this was actually happening-being that I come from a CBSE school so all of my mutual friends on that subject will show shock as I do now, FOOD!! That’s right, the students in the class had not their notebooks or text books, but food like M&M’s, juice, PIZZA right there in the class room! And, in complying with what appears to be normal culture here, the GSI does nothing. This may be normal for these people, but the concept of being able to, or ACTUALLY, eating food in a class room while class is going on is a very crazy one for me! In more than just the reason of difference in culture… Is it really necessary to satisfy some craving in your stomach right when you are in a math discussion? Unless you are pregnant, and that is also quite normal here and weird for me, it is definitely a luxury. A luxury that Americans can afford thanks to consumerism. Its no joke parents pay a fortune and then some for college education, the least colleges can do is let students eat in class right? No, that is not the case, that was my mind trying to make sense of things when I first saw the thing and sat down trying to deduce a plausible reason for such a thing. It is really the consumerist society that runs here that allows such things to happen. People with earphones stuck into their ears all day while they walk in beautiful environments, the excess technology that is available to people, or put simply:People buying lots of crap. Crap that most of the time they would never use. Now I use crap to denigrate the system not because of my hatred for the system (which I personally do, but personal opinion is not something I want to bring up for this sort of topic where facts can be used in their stead.), more so for how it has isolated people and made things more superficial than ever. Earphones, for example, are without a shadow of a doubt the worst way to listen to any kind of music. At least use headphones, people! Its all about convenience, and that is how it runs I guess, people would prefer easy-to-use earphones to top-quality stereo systems that do not compress the sound in any way, which ear phones do a lot of by the way. (If you didn’t know that, there is a documentary called The Distortion of Sound, it features Linkin Park star Mike Shinoda and composer Hans Zimmer, Snoop Dogg and more people talking about sound mediums over the years and how more recent things actually have compressed the sound to make the file size less and actually sub-consciously make you like the sound a lot less than the uncompressed version. Check it out at distortionofsound.com). That’s my rant for the day, and I laughed at them[coming back to the students in my math class] in my head, like a snide chuckle sort of thing, ridiculing the level of things here… Atleast for me, coming from a place where such a thing is illegal (in the class, not real law!).
Today was, beside the aforementioned story, a very nice day! I had my Physics Mid-Term today, and I felt pretty good after I went through with it. I answered all of the questions and I’m pretty sure I answered most of them right. I felt quite confident after the test, and that is something you will rarely find any CBSE student say; This is to do with both the way the course is set and the way the exam takes advantage of the course material. Both were great for my Physics today, but mostly not good for most CBSE guys and girls still hanging in high school… Well, I’m done with it all now, ain’t I? 😉 Also I turned in my long American Studies essay, which felt good just for submitting it!
See you tomorrow then! This extended blog is in its length-an apology for not writing yesterday, hope it suffices!