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Uttara Sivaram

Culturally shocked

But when we ostracize our peers for those cultural faux pas that we will all inevitably make, we destroy any and all desire for cultural discovery. When we make culture into an in-group, out-group issue, we turn some of the most beautiful cultural customs into campus-wide protests. It’s a shame that we’re afraid to celebrate cultures that aren’t our own for fear of offending some corner of our campus. And because we’re so busy picketing and drinking and Yik-Yakking, our campus is now in a hopeless state of cultural paralysis.

Dear RCC…

That said, despite my psychology major, I’m not a complete rookie when it comes to computers—I grew up in the Silicon Valley, took CS 106A and recently learned how to embed GIFs in Gmail. However, my ability to troubleshoot Wi-Fi connectivity is still limited to opening Chrome, Googling “Hello,” and if all else fails, removing the battery. Nevertheless, I owe it to my future residents to treat this position as a learning experience rather than a surefire way to avoid the Draw, so I have created a “Dear RCC” column to practice my duty as a computer consultant and to encourage other RCCs to brainstorm solutions to even the trickiest of problems.

The SAT facelift

I believe in IQ. I think that if anything, it’s one statistic among many that describes a student well, especially in relation to his or her peers. And I think that by shifting the SAT’s emphasis towards analytical aptitude, we’re closer to making the SAT a more accurate measure of IQ, rather than a reflection of SES or high school savviness—or, in my case, a portrait of a girl who could have spent more time with friends, and less time comparing SAT scores with her anonymous rivals on College Confidential.

A White House of Cards

Campus has been unusually quiet for the past two weeks. It would make sense to chalk it up to a protracted midterm season, but I have a feeling (and a Facebook newsfeed to back it up) that Netflix’s release of the entire second season of House of Cards has something to do with it—heck, I…

Ten Years of Kanye

Tuesday marked the 10th anniversary of Kanye West’s enormously successful studio album, The College Dropout. Indeed, the occasion may have been even more momentous than West’s own birthday in June, which he spent with Beyoncé, Scott Disick, his Maybach and a birthday cake that allegedly had a net cost of about $13 million. The hip-hop artist,…

Financial Needs and Deeds

It’s about time someone rolled a keg down to the Career Development Center. The grad students at Munger have already devised a drinking game for every time they spot a nervous undergrad shuffling past the Haas Center, clutching a soggy resume in one hand and a copy of The Economist in the other. There’s no…

A MacBook walks into the Library

American and British students take a fundamentally different approach to college, shaped by our respective high school systems. I never really saw what was wrong with a more eclectic approach to college until I turned in my first paper at Oxford.
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