Useless Majors

We always see and hear about useless majors. The ones that we shouldn’t even bother to study, especially not in college. They won’t earn you money. They won’t teach you real skills. Besides, isn’t college supposed to be about getting a decent paying job? These inquiries are becoming monotonous. Why study that?

How about this:

“The most dangerous risk of all– the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” -Randy Komisar

So, pursue what you love unapologetically. And by the way, those seemingly minor comments on how some can’t see the practicality of an area of study…?

Noise.

If we’re going to talk about practicality and reality, how about the reality that we’re going to die. How about the practicality that even if we pursue a high paying major and job, we can still fail?

Let me hand it over to Will:

Reality is a human construct. So, don’t be held back by constructs created by humans no smarter than you. This sentiment goes beyond academics. It’s about the aspirations that you have for your life.

Global Engagement Day (GEF International Event)

Learn. Unlearn. Repeat.

Session 2 (Women, LGBTQ + Persons and Minorities Abroad)

  • don’t start a culture war
  • be prepared to be treated like a representative of the US
  • whether a visible or non-visible minority, know resources available to help
  • a group of people or a country is not one glob of preconceived notions
  • be aware that people will have learned history differently from yourself
  • translate essential documents (e.g. prescriptions) into the language of the country you’ll be studying abroad in
  • acknowledge that you won’t join every moment. be aware of that, so that you can do your best to enjoy all the study abroad moments you can

Session 3 (After Undergrad Opportunities: Fulbright and Peace Corps)

The Fulbright program provides for students research, teaching, and higher education grants to increase mutual understanding.

  • follow through with the application process
  • be as specific as possible
  • familiarize yourself with current politics in that host country
  • make connections in that country to make your project feasible
  • think of how you will engage with the community while there and note your plans in your application

Asian New Year (GEF International Event)

Cue the dragons. 

The New Year had arrived, and only a night of delicious food, good people, and fun entertainment would suffice. So, I went with my friend Sarah to the Asian New Year to hang out and enjoy a live show with vibrant music, spoken poetry, and stunning dances.

One of the best things at OU is the cultural groups on campus and the events they put on. The most memorable part of the night was when they performed Michael Jackson’s Thriller as zombies. Expect the unexpected.

Model UN High School Conference (GEF International Group)

If you are thinking about joining Model UN. Do it. You won’t know if you like it until you try it. On that note, after going to the St. Louis conference and helping out at the high school conference, I came to realize the encouraging nature of Model UN. Whether at a club meeting, participating in a conference or even helping to chair a conference, it all goes back to diplomacy and the innate desire to help others as much as we can.

In St. Louis, I represented Iraq on the topic of energy. Every day was about maintaining diplomatic relations in the way we spoke and worked on finding consensus. The most valuable part of the entire experience was interacting with the other delegations.

More recently, the Model UN Club put on a high school conference. Being on the flip slide by being a co-chair was certainly a different experience. To co-chair, I helped with keeping track of votes, giving feedback on resolutions, and at times I helped moderate the delegates discussion. At the end of it all, I learned how to engage in diplomacy, work with others, be solution oriented, and got to hang out with some pretty cool people.

Thank You, Langton Hughes

Over the winter break, I picked up a dusty book from my bookshelf that contained poems from American poets. I was a try hard when it came to trying to like poetry.

But, I just couldn’t find poetry that made my heart leap, and my soul weep.

Then, Langston Hughes with his jazz poetry came along. Call me a fish, but I was hooked. *ba-dum-tshh*

I used to regard poems as confusing and downright alien. But, I couldn’t be more wrong. Poems are open to interpretation, and some are full of riddles. But, the most unique poems possess an unspoken communication that strikes the mind.

I highly recommend reading some of Hughes poetry because of both the vibrancy of his style and the truth in his words. I enjoyed how his poems have a light rhythm, but a heavy undertone to address rather impassioned subject matters. Here are a few lines from some of my favorite poems of his:

“So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.”

“Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”

“My old man died in a fine big house.
My ma died in a shack.
I wonder where I’m gonna die,
Being neither white nor black?”

“I wonder what makes
A funeral so high?
A poor man ain’t got
No business to die.”

Take A Deep Breath

“The most dangerous risk of all– the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” -Randy Komisar

“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity. What’s the point of being realistic? It’s unrealistic to walk into a room, flip a switch, and have light come on, but fortunately, Edison didn’t think so.” -Will Smith

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” -Robert Schuller

Follow your purpose.

ASEAN Night (GEF International Event)

“People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”


From comedic bits to a fashion show to informative trivia and cultural dance/song performances, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations aka ASEAN put on a wonderful performance on February 8th, 2018. 

I got to sit back and watch fellow OU students share their culture with the audience. I also got to see some of my friends perform! Sarah participated in Thailand’s water festival dance and Don danced to represent Burmese culture!

The different dance performances were unique in their own way and filled the auditorium with energy. There were different costumes, dance styles, and music that set each dance group a part. The international events on campus, especially those showcasing students cultures are the most fun to go to!

Indonesia’s Global Engagement (GEF International Event)

Every day is a learning experience, but when I attend the IAS lunches, I feel 60% more informed and see myself becoming more globally-minded. That being said, I found it insightful to hear the Consul General Nana Yuliana talk about Indonesia’s foreign policy.

Though Indonesia became independent from the Dutch (and before them–the Japanese) in 1945, they are a rising economic power and a key member of ASEAN (the equivalent of the EU, but focused in Asian countries). Indonesia credits this rise to their principle of being “independent and active” through which they believe diplomacy and individual-individual communication between Indonesian students and American students will resolve the people-people misunderstanding.

Dr. Yuliana also mentioned Indonesia’s current priorities: 1)Economic diplomacy 2)Maritime diplomacy 3)Protection of Indonesian citizens and their legal entities overseas 4)Take an active role in the international forum. Current challenges to these include the South China Sea issue, conflict in the Korean Peninsula, terrorism, etc.

It never ceases to amaze me how much my studies have given me so much background to lectures such as these. For instance, my 19th-century intellectual history class led me to think about the democracy model and the different perspectives regarding it versus other models, and my Understanding the Global Community class forced me (haha:) to think about how different states interact with each other and what causes them to act in such ways. I look forward to doing personal research– particularly regarding Indonesian culture.

Nana Yuliana. “Lecture on Indonesia’s Global Engagement with the US Lunch”. The University of Oklahoma. October 30, 2017.