Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is it really in the eye of the beholder?

Ever since she was 10, Nadia begged her mother for an operation to pin her ears back so that her peers at school would stop bullying her and calling her Dumbo for her "elephant ears." Read the article here. Four years later, a charity provides Nadia with a free otoplasty, but they don't stop there- adding on to the laundry list of corrective, elective surgeries rhinoplasty and mentoplasty, all totaling $40k. 

At the risk of sounding insensitive, my initial reaction to this was disappointment. Want to deal with the psychological effects of bullying by resorting to surgery? Fine. Join the 90 thousand other teens who went under the knife for cosmetic surgery in 2007. But, courtesy of a charity foundation, deciding to add on a bucket list of multiple corrective and cosmetic measures to fit a certain mold of aesthetic "beauty" defined in the eyes of our American culture and society is..well-- sad.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Colorado gunman

We moved to Colorado just a year or so after the Columbine High School massacre; post-shootings, high schools and middle schools all throughout the state began employing metal detectors, all students were prohibited from wearing trench coats and sagging/baggy clothing, gun control measures were taken via federal and state legislation, and bullying and adolescent/teenage psychopathy stood at the forefront of issues that were *finally* being acknowledged and addressed. Over a decade later, a 24-year old med school student and gunman kills 12 people in a Colorado movie theater. Read about it here A pre-meditated killing, as the perp entered the premises, gas canister in one hand, firearm in the other, equipped with a bulletproof vest and gas mask. Where do we go from here? What more can we control and regulate? Where and how else shall we be imposing security precautions? What the hell is going on?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Things I learned when I studied abroad in Italy

Lesson 1: Don't ever ask a local Italian for directions, otherwise you will go "right-left-straight-around-under-and-over"-to nowhere only to ask another Italiano who will then re-direct you leftward, rightward, around on a loopty loop. But be careful if they also give you an eta towards your destination, because...

Lesson 2: If an Italian tells you it's a 5 minute walk- expect to walk for at least 20 minutes. Plan accordingly.

Lesson 3: If you ask an Italian if they speak English- 99% of the time they will answer that they don't speak a lick of English or they know "a little." Expect them to be more fluent than you are.

Lesson 4: Italian stallion men are as charismatic and charming as women/people stereotype them to be. Ciao bella.

Lesson 5: Everyone and their grandmother (quite literally) drives a vespa/moped/motorbike.

Lesson 6: Almost every store/supermarket/everything shuts down on Sundays because "the country still  believes in God"-- Counselor S. Lask

Lesson 7: You will consume alcohol (more specifically, wine and champagne) like it is juicy-juice by your second day. Your excuse for developing such high tolerance is that the culture forces you to partake in evening aperitivos (appetizers) where finger-food is consumed in conjunction with copious glasses of fine wine.

Lesson 8: "With Italians, your problem becomes our problem" said a local Italian friend after I shied away from seeking his advice and told him I couldn't burden him with my problems. Refer to Lesson 4.

and finally, Lesson 9: Studying abroad= oxymoron.


~roma italiana