Don’t be a zooplankton

As the new school year begins, so does the onslaught of freshmen with the complex mixture of emotions so many of us may recall — a mixture of idealistic hope for success-filled college years and agonizing terror of getting lost in the crowd. Just a few years ago, I remember
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Off the beat: The little thing about his color

It’s India, in summer 2010. My family and I get a respite from the intense heat and walk into a sari shop, where my mom wants to finish her shopping for the day. We sit down, the shopkeeper brings us various sodas and water. My mother, my brother and I
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Off the beat: A state and a people divided

I’ll be the first to admit the attitude I developed toward state politics as child was certifiably starry-eyed. I grew up near Sacramento, and it was hard not to be awed by the big white dome downtown. Of course we all grow up, and in politics we grow up fast.
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Off the beat: Encountering patriarchy abroad

This column is in response to the article on CNN called India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear about an American student’s experience with sexual abuse in India. I recently returned from a two-month language-learning scholarship in the state of Punjab in northern India. There, patriarchy acts upon your body:
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Off the beat: Avoid becoming a slave to selfies

August was a good month for me. Not only did I cross 200 followers on Instagram, but I also reached 90 followers on Twitter. Did I follow anyone new last month? Maybe one or two people, but only when it didn’t disrupt my F-to-F (follower to following) ratio. Do my
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Off the beat: On stereotypes and white meat

Earlier this summer, my friend from home in Houston, Nina, brought me to her college town, a big city down south. After a couple of nights of going out downtown, we met up with some friends we knew from high school and some of their friends whom we had never
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Off the beat: Summer spent in the forest

Ten weeks ago, two strangers in a green Volvo picked me up from my house to begin to a life-changing adventure in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains. Our destination was nestled deep in the sleepy town of Meadow Valley: the University of California Forestry Camp, a 98-year-old university-owned camp dedicated
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An unexpected summer

Health and Happiness

This last column marks the end of my first summer in Berkeley, and it’s definitely been an interesting one for me. It was my first summer away from home, away from family and away from hometown friends. When I decided to stay in Berkeley and do a summer session to
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Say it one more time

Broke in Berkeley

“What are you doing?” I turned and looked over my shoulder to where my husband was standing. He was watching me at the bathroom sink as I scrubbed my face with an exfoliating pad covered in toothpaste. “Giving myself a facial. What does it look like?” “With toothpaste?” “Of course.”
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Musings of the 1.5

Cultural Crossroads

If you’ve often felt conflicted about popular aspects of American culture, like drinking or sexuality, chances are your value system has been impacted by a different culture. Perhaps it’s been influenced by your parents, your friends or where you grew up. You may even be part of the 1.5 generation
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