jayesh-kaushik_online

Road to nowhere

Between America and Me

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be “successful.” Kindergarten teachers told my parents I was one of the quicker learners in the class, and they in turn enrolled me in “gifted” student programs for math and science. My tennis coach was convinced that if I just put my
Read More…

melody-niv_online

The mutual exclusivity of politics and heritage

Jew-ish

Is there an inherent divide between Zionism and left-wing politics? My parents are from Israel. My family has lived in the region for generations. With such heritage, it’s difficult for me to hold no bias, even though I’ve always prided myself on my impartiality and objectivity. Furthermore, I speak about
Read More…

anusha-subramanian_online

The acquired accent

Lost in Translation

“Don’t you dare come back with a fake accent.” I snorted disdainfully at these emotional parting words from my best friend, skillfully covering up the anguish and self-doubt that was welling up inside me. It’s a true testament to the power of UC Berkeley’s impostor syndrome that I began to
Read More…

jayesh-kaushik_online

Narrating a nation

Between America and Me

I learnt curiosity from my father. To this day, my dad doesn’t quit until he’s read every page of every section of the four different newspapers we get delivered to our house every morning. As a child, I’d stare in amazement as he read every paper, even its classifieds, with
Read More…

melody-niv_online

A circumcised heart

Jew-ish

Melody. 20. Bio: “Probably writing a stand-up bit about you.” Cue picture of me wearing a kitschy Hanukkah sweater, picture of me dressed up as Guy Fieri and the grand finale: me and Larry David photoshopped together. Some may say my dating profile is obnoxiously Jewish. I oppose this notion
Read More…

abhishek-roy_online

Beyond the valley

Laid Bear

Like any other freshman, I weaved in and out of club tables on Sproul Plaza, desperate to find a community to call my own. Having no finance or business background and keen to know more, I went to the popular consulting clubs to learn more about their work, soon realizing
Read More…

anusha-subramanian_online

Yes, I speak English

Lost in Translation

By the time Golden Bear Orientation finally ended and some kind of feeling began to creep back into my overtired muscles, I had practically developed a template for the conversations that I had with every new student. And it went something like this. First, I’d pick a personality. Who did
Read More…

jayesh-kaushik_online

An all-American world

Between America and Me

I was touched by this country even before I boarded the 17-hour flight that brought me to America. Growing up, my friends would go through whole bags of M&M’s, watch Hollywood films and dream of sunny California. We’d fantasize about free water fountains, and gosh, Mum, can we make those PB&J sandwiches, please? We’d discuss how Americans were perpetually in the future.
Read More…

melody-niv_online

Am I woke yet?

Jew-ish

What’s whiter than a 4-month-old jar of mayonnaise? An Ashkenazi Jew. It’s always amusing to me when people express their shock that I, a woman paler than Casper the Friendly Ghost, am ethnically Middle Eastern. My grandmother has dark(er) skin, as does my mother. I just happen to be whiter
Read More…

abhishek-roy_online

Surviving on Flex

Laid Bear

Whether it’s buying groceries or calling an Uber, there is an unconscious effort to convert the price into rupees. I anxiously perform these conversions, often expecting an exorbitant price. Often I notice a fellow international student, from somewhere in Asia, pausing and looking at the price of a box of cookies or a packet of chips, perhaps performing the same dreadful calculations in their head.
Read More…