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Is competence the quintessential prerogative or is citizenship?

So, in continuation to my earlier posts, I would like to add that I do get competitive all the time, especially when it comes to making decisions on tough and lucrative deals.(‘ Deals’,  really? ) Well, take education as a job requirement or as a holistic stepping stone, either it is essential. ( Irrelevant rant!)

Below is my grievance which was addressed to OSSI, the agency that looks after almost all the internships that NASA has to offer for students. I have always wanted to do a lot of work pertaining to my field of interest: space sciences, even before opportunities are officially declared ( everyone does that). A student is required to be a U.S citizen to be considered eligible. So this is what I wrote, when I felt dejected after having learnt the above on their website:

 

 

Greetings Sir/Ma’am.
I recently arrived in the United States of America as an ambitious student, who hails from an international country named India.
I really hoped to and forever will continue to hope, for substantial and multifarious opportunities that could help me grow as a sensible and considerate student. And it strengthens your belief when you have always known what course of study it is that you wish to devote your academic life in. For me it is the space sciences. And I became resolute like I was never before to strive hard at whichever institution in America my financial circumstances allowed me to study in. However, I was simply distraught and left helpless to discover that all NASA undergraduate internships are meant for a U.S citizen only. I agreed, policies! All right. How long to apply for citizenship, have minimum three years of staying here, that is if approved as a student. Cannot even obtain one with an SSN, policies respect them. But, ultimately four years passed, and most probably : no NASA internships, just because you are an international student, ineligible for a U.S citizenship. So, can you abruptly become oblivious of opportunities’ existence. Well, you have to, and feel remorseful that you only wish you at least had the chance to apply, regardless of your citizenship.
So, ultimately my question is: ‘Is competence bigger or citizenship?’

Why we should cut our President some slack.

Alas! Yet another endowed human expounding on their well conditioned, yet exiguous outlook on the political scenario. I am not a politically inclined person, not at all, but I believe I am tended to put forward my opinion, just to provide a fresh and possibly disturbing stance and perspective on the social narrative surrounding all of us.

It  has only been a few weeks since the United States clinched a commander-in-chief who has business acumen, academic competence, a ‘glistening’ and famous family  and most noticeably, an infamous image of being quite forthright and spontaneous. In other words, he is probably the most diverse candidate to have been sworn in. But, wasn’t Barack Obama the first Black President- the most diverse ever, especially considering the tumultuous history of slavery and bias against African-Americans.  Moreover, Donald Trump is a  “old, white and narcissistic” male. who happens to be educated at an Ivy League school and amassed a colossal fortune. What makes him diverse then? The question has been well answered all ready.

As a college student, I have been offered several perspectives from many of the readings I have done for my classes. Putting forward my opinions on political issues has never crossed my line of thought, primarily because it is not something that intrigues me or impacts me personally. However, when the president offered his insights on issues like Climate Change, his prospects for my (possible) future institution of learning : NASA, I was tended to form ideas. While I do not necessarily agree with his obstinate position on climate change, or his endeavors to do more Missions to the Moon when, I do see potential increase in NASA’s federal budget, and it is actually more probable and required than ever. For a country that boasts a mammoth military in terms of monetary and physical provisions, he can actually enable agencies like NASA to launch more missions more quickly, and overall contribute even  more to the scientific community.

In the name of disagreement: while the country, like several others, only develops and sustains, and further embellished by unionizing, and protesting against “orthodox” or conservative ideologies and personalities, I think the there is something faulty in the premise this time around. Women marches, black lives matter, civil unrest against immigration ‘holds’ all seem to be more reactionary than revolutionary. All responses to what the leader of our country is doing seem to fuel and aggrandized by the superficial laws that social issues are defined with. After all, he hasn’t declared hate for all immigrants, he doesn’t gain pleasure from objectifying women, and most importantly, there is no wall set up, it is only a temporary cease that is required to be exercised. In theory, many of the actions he is doing and hopes to do more in the future, are good counter- attacks on the potential underlying evils that were limiting our country’s progress, everything: from the loopholes in the STEM education in America to several    He is willing to offer jobs, he is willing to reform the education education system and he is willing to support citizens (not only Americans). His usage of Americans doesn’t involve people who are white in complexion, it involves everyone who is contributing to the country and to the world. Several immigrants not allowed to enter the States are a part of this citizenry, but they may not be here by legal means.

Overall, there will always be conflicts in response to everything our President does. But, if people try to scrounge for issues to argue against or worse, never see the theoretical perspectives of his initiatives, they are only providing testament to a human character trait that limits citizens from seeing light of reason: intolerance.

Intolerance to injustice, segregation or mass murder is justified; intolerance to diverse ideas and actions: isn’t. We promote diversity, we encourage diversity in our best places of knowledge gaining, yet when it comes to someone who may not necessarily fit the ‘powerful revolutionary public speech’ definition of diversity: we object.

We really have more matters at hand to pay heed to, and spread awareness of around the country.

 

 

 

 

NASA budget cuts are completely unnecessary and unrequited

This post is a briefly expanded version of Mrs. Donna F. Edwards’

“Why the Next President Must Invest in NASA” article on time.com. It can be visited here. As an aspiring astrophysicist, I sought it not only important to initiate this post, however more importantly, cite the opinion of a well-versed person.

(Her ORIGINAL article can be read here: time.com/4520381/next-president-nasa/ )

The course of history changed dramatically when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors on Oct. 1, 1958. In the early years, we faced the prospects of the Soviet Union—today it’s China and our own ambivalence holding us in place. In the years that followed the Apollo and early lunar missions, NASA has become one of the most well-known and admired agencies in America, and indeed, in the world. It is not surprising that over the years our children have aspired to walk on the Moon like astronaut Neil Armstrong, or follow in the footsteps of Scott Kelly, who recently returned to Earth after one year aboard the International Space Station, or Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space.

Some say that following the retirement of the Space Shuttle, NASA’s performance has lacked clear goals and is on the decline. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Through its handling of the ISS, with new experiments aboard it, with the numerous projects to explore new planets and other celestial bodies to better our understanding of our planet, our Solar System, and the Universe, and most importantly, and quite controversially, with illuminating us on the (so-called?)environmental hazards on the face of our planet .All of the above set an unprecedented example, for any other agency to attain such a level of competence.

In human spaceflight, NASA is preparing to once again to send humans beyond the confines of low Earth orbit with the Space Launch System launcher and Orion spacecraft. Operations aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are testing the systems needed for extended space travel while doing cutting edge research. NASA’s science programs are furthering our knowledge of our home planet and opening new windows into our universe. The agency’s development of innovative technologies has improved the lives of people here on Earth in countless ways. Development and testing of advanced technologies important to maintaining our nation’s competitive edge in civil aviation is underway. NASA is achieving its goals in part by leveraging the innovative and agile capabilities of the commercial space industry that it has helped to nurture.However, we can’t forget that space is hard, and achieving ambitious goals takes talent and money.

 

Funding NASA and leveraging the resources of commercial interests and our international partners is an investment that has and will continue to generate long-lasting dividends.NASA has shown that through the ISS proves on a daily basis that over 15 nations can work peacefully in space. In addition, NASA’s space science programs have benefited greatly from international collaborations. These collaborations are essential to achieve the goal of going to Mars.It has played a crucial role in promoting STEM education by fostering, in cooperation with the aerospace industry, a diverse science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. This means rethinking K-12, technical, and vocational training and producing more skilled and creative thinkers from our universities.

 

The nation must have an aerospace workforce with the knowledge and skills capable of competing successfully on the world stage.Most important, if NASA is to succeed in leading us as a space faring nation, Congress and the Administration must recognize that we are in this together. We need to rebuild the trust between Congress and the White House that propelled America to the Moon in the 1960s, trust that will take us beyond Earth’s orbit. We owe our next generation a vibrant NASA working in partnership with industry, academia and international partners to continue the amazing record of achievement and to persevere in striving towards the ambitious and worthy goal of one day sending humans to the surface of Mars.

The choice is ours. Let us choose wisely, so we can ensure that the future of space exploration is a bright one.

I am a celebrity, only delve into my private matters when I allow it!

Something has been bugging me since the first time I followed the events shared by a celebrity on the social media. They ask for privacy in a certain manner, when they (or the people who post for them, the non-hackers) share other so-called ‘private’ information: the people they are friendly with, the people they are emotionally attached with, what they ate or sang on a given day. Basically, they document their whole celebrity and personal life (excuse me, but, how are they different) through social media. All right, let us read the second line again: ‘ Privacy in a certain manner’! Does the word privacy have to be that ambiguous? Isn’t privacy simply privacy? Do we only understand its importance, when it is invaded? Well, again there is ambiguity in the answers to the above questions. (FOOL!)

So, the reason for the focus of the post on ‘celebrity privacy’, is because I recently came across an interview of my favorite singer, namely: Ms. Ariana Grande (And yes, I refuse to allocate any adjectives in this post, even for her, well because, here she is being treated as a person. So no “Pint-sized pop princess, or internationally recognized singer cum diva”, etc. Wait, then why are you writing this article?), being interviewed by the multi-faceted and rich Ryan Seacrest. (Really, using adjectives all of a sudden, yes, I am not on his side entirely in this post, so , yes.) He brought up a post shared by her on Instagram, wherein she is seen getting friendly with another singer, Mac Miller, whom she is in, let me just call it that, please, an apparent romantic relationship with (Never thought that I would use those words in any piece of my writing). He, rhetorically, asks her about the depiction of the snapshot and inadvertently (or deliberately, who knows) makes her miffed. Why would she not be? Anyone would. Now, the interesting thing to note here is that just a few days before she had an interview with Mr. Ryan, the same question was brought up by Ellen Degeneres( whom I am a big fan of), just more ‘politely'( is that even a mannerism when asking such questions? and overall more appropriately. In response to that, Ms. Ariana only acted coy, and did not retaliate with a harsh or suggestively blunt response. Hence proven, that Ellen Degeneres is more approachable, more sensible, less money-minded and a better interviewer? Right? The answer to the question is irrelevant because, the point that I seek to raise is whether or not Ms. Ariana’s stance or decision to post the picture, or any other celebrity’s decision to post a ‘personal’ or ‘affectionate’ picture online is their own wrong-doing, if it is wrong at all. Do they deserve privacy, and should be taken as only smart people, and not two-faced, unwise and defensive people? No more ambiguity, followed by, here it comes : ‘Yes’.

Since, the advent of social media, people have constantly argued that sharing so much of your life online, sometimes or mostly, with people whom you do not have a blood relation with can be damaging to either parties in the long-run. But, it is the decision of a person, to share what they want at a given point in time. And the only censorship physically possible, is the perspective and mindset of the viewer or the listener. In the past, many celebrities have been targeted with unnecessary or foolishly rhetorical questions.( I consider them foolish) Many of them, or rather most of them, skillfully respond also. When a celebrity is given a platform to present their skill, they do; then get applauded for their presentation, when they are given the platform to stand up in support for a social issue. they do, and again, get applauded for it. But, there are two things more, in common to the both above, and those are : all this is shared by them , and all this is critiqued by many people. But, that is not something that should keep them from undertaking something similar in the future. When they are asked about something they recently did at a public event, they produce a response, or rather, they have to. Sometimes, they are answered the same question over and over again, but, they do not lose their calm, just because it may be redundant. The problem arises when it is something that pertains to the personal life of the celebrity, specifically, about something/someone close to them,someone that have recently kindled their relationaship with, which, if not asked in the right manner or at the right time, can hurt them or annoy them, in the least. But, should they not be open to rhetorical questions, or personal questions? They should, but it depends on how much the celebrity is willing to offer on the part of her answer. After Mr. Ryan noticed, yes, he indeed did, that Ms. Ariana was getting quite annoyed, why did he not just apologize, on air, and say something like: ‘I am sorry if my question offended you, I am just happy for you……’, or ‘come on, just a ‘yes’, you will only get support from the people who appreciate you’, or ‘do not take it otherwise’ or something apologetic, or something to show that he meant no invalidated intrusion into her life. But, he did not. So, unfortunately, he is only running his radio show for rhetoric and money, does not really matter even if you donate to a charity now.

 

I am not supporting the fact that celebrities can act however they want( which is not necessarily a fact), and only respond to the actions when and how they want. As a matter of fact, no matter how much I admire Ms. Ariana as an exceptional singer and as an empathetic person, I do not support her using abusive words( it starts with an ‘F’) in a lyric video or in a ‘Snap Chat’ video (I however, do not use it, just saw the video online), since, many young people look up to her. However, I do support the fact that once they share something, they can be the judge of the accountability of what they have shared. No one should (and not -‘must’) harass them to clarify something or get a piece of information out of them.

So, if we are making and enforcing laws for freedom of speech and expression, we should treat their outcomes or  their use wisely, so as to not hurt or annoy anyone who has a certain social standing.

 

To Miss Grande: Have a great singing career ahead of you Miss. Your fans wish you the best.

(And I sincerely hope that you come across this)

 

HERE IS THE LINK TO VIDEO, ON ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT’S WEBSITE:  www.etonline.com/news/198142_ariana_grande_tells_off_ryan_seacrest_for_asking_about_mac_miller_during_radio_interview/

 

I am and so I am #IBMC- 1

Fellow humans. Notice my presence as I commence on blurting about my being, my existence. It is not whimsical or eccentric on my part, when I proudly declare that I have the ability the ability of cognition, and it is well established a reason that I have not committed suicide, like many students my age. There have been times, when I have been depressed, when I have felt depressed, even after overweeningly trusting my academic competence, when countless times I have been tagged as ‘anti-social’, or being chided at for my opinions on life and science. Eventually, I had to go: “Burn, not literally, people and situations, who and that, cannot understand what I stand for, I have the ability to prosper on my own.”

 

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Why is it important to work to delete cyberbullying?

Never be bullied into Silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one’s definition of your life,
but define yourself.”

These words, perhaps in some twisted, yet, coherent version, are very often aimed at victims of bullying, of any sort, because, it is irrevocable in whatever form it takes up and strikes into the heart and mind of the victim. Such words, meant to foster a sense of resilience or optimism, may sound redundant, but, sometimes, they are the only way to make things better for the ones who are immensely impacted by being bullied online, or even being the bully themselves.

The question at hand is ‘why is it important to work to stop cyber bullying?’; the question encompasses the importance in giving ones best efforts to rectify, or reduce, the causes of cyber bullying. After a moment’s scrutiny, there are two questions discovered: ‘why is it important to work….’, and, ‘why is it important to delete cyber bullying?’

The answer to the former question should accentuate the fact that it must dawn upon us, humans, that internet, which is the point of origination of our word of the day, was initiated by a human being, and so was the widespread use of internet, which can be attributed to the numerous developments of and related to the internet, again, kudos to human beings. So,the point is that we must realize that, just like at some level, we need to be involved in the functioning of our government, or at some stage, be involved in a group project or a private or public discussion as an enlightened citizen to retaliate cyber bullying.

The answer to the latter is vast, variant and ambiguous. But, from my perspective, it is important to curb such a problem, because, there is so much potential in every person, child, teenager or adult; student, scientist or celebrity, and being bullied online and being left depressed, or scarred mentally and emotionally, should be a long forgotten ‘trend’, as there is enough tumult in people’s lives, concerning their areas of expertise: global warming, sexual harassment, corruption, poverty. Still, with the advent of the age of growing global relations online, it is undeniably true, that we must not omit the chance of helping someone who has been taken aback by mean comments or sarcasm, targeting their competence, or point of view, or sexual orientation. Criticism is healthy, and in many cases, necessary, but, over powering and unchecked harassment is not. A simple hate comment does not address the state of mind or the background of the person writing it, so, there is no scope for a bullied person to evaluate the conscience of the bully, and dives in an ocean with a plethora of self-doubt, anxiety and low self-esteem.

Hence, we need to tactfully combat cyber bullying because it is becoming more widespread, increasingly widespread, and also, because, many people out their can be left negatively impacted, by the words of someone they do not  Continue reading “Why is it important to work to delete cyberbullying?”

How Language has helped me express my voice

 

Language has aided me in expressing the multifarious circling thoughts in my mind

“I strongly believe that this habit of yours of always conversing in English is you being pretentious.”- words constantly aimed at me from the 7th grade. At first, I did wonder if that was the case, considering I had grown in a country where the natives from any resident state have a common language: ‘Hindi’. But, overtime the statement began being falsified, first, as actual data accentuates that about a 125 million of the Indians know how to speak English; even if only about 225 thousands have it as their first language. Secondly, I am only doing myself a favor, of course with certain parameters and ‘points to remember’.
Through experience the one unprecedented trait I observed in language is that its scope widens with the widening scope of human activity. I mean, tell or hint that to a 5th grader, newly shifted to an unknown town with his family; having been introvert ever since he could remember reading a book or reciting the alphabet. The result is nothing short of bedazzlement. My father encouraged me to read some influential newspapers and magazines just so I could learn to appreciate the English language more. And I was genuinely captivated, and I remain captivated to this day. Reading such ‘global’ English made want to speak up more. This was the first time I actually participated in a speech competition; in a declamation contest to be precise. Although, I did not clinch the top position, the vivid expression of opinions on ‘Poverty: Causes & Future’ bearing me a silver trophy felt exhilarating. I would learn so many new words each day, write them down in my vocabulary register, and patiently wait for an opportunity to use those words in a conversation, which, yes, began becoming more common; even if only with my competitor peers, teachers, and parents.
In English language, clearly, there are so many authors, so many genres, so many a folklore, so many experiences and ideas depicted in so many forms of expression, that can inculcate curiosity and teach you a valuable life lesson at the same time. For, instance the play ‘Julius Ceaser’ by William Shakespeare is a classic example of a master piece of writing from a master writer and visionary himself. This praise is well deserved, so much so that I remember including dialogues, like ” Et tu Brute” and key lessons in many of my competitions and articles. Yes, they were compelling, but more importantly I retained them for the right moment and supposedly used them to substantiate a valid point. I would also express emotions like anger or anxiety, especially in front of my parents, with a colossal word; sound like a typical incident of agitation of ‘Alex Dunphy’ from the TV show Modern Family, but it is true. And I would feel almost relaxed after enunciating a giant stringing together of letters.
The ‘amount’ of public speaking may not have weighed much on my ‘tasks to ace list’ but meant much more because they help me re-invent the whole idea of me. This may sound very philosophical, but is a very quintessential life lesson learned very smartly.
Now, as one can expect that the ‘predilection’ towards a foreign language or particularly the mother tongue of the ‘western culture’ can lead you to alienate either the ideals or principles of your native language. But, on the contrary, that did not happen, and my parents made sure of that. The simple proof being that I could converse as confidently with my Hindi and Sanskrit as with the others, I fared well in these two languages’ official tests and actually read the entire original ‘Mahabharata’, ‘Ramayana’ and the ‘Geeta’. I only realized that appreciating language in volumes is not merely to carve your name among the giant young readers section of a national magazine, but it is to provide you with those important life lessons that you should, or sometimes must, imbibe in yourself to pursue your ambition in life, efficaciously. And I went on to learn French and Danish too, which in a way, make me feel closer to the people around me.
I happen to be highly opinionated on seemingly every major or minor famous statement, famous book, or a debatable scientific approach. And at this age it becomes imperative to put forward a combination of precise explanations and reasoning, especially for a wise pursuit in the field of science. And honestly speaking, even if I may not have literally mastered any language or science for that matter, I am confident I can engage or continue a wholesome conversation with an experienced teacher or professor. And it is all because I feel that language makes me want to express my voice at the right time in front of the right people.
Language has helped me build me a tremendous college application, but more importantly it has guided me to the freedom expression and channeling my emotions in all the right ways.