Berkeley Visit!

Beautiful campus full of amazing people


I got to visit UC Berkeley today and it was amazing!

The campus is absolutely stunning.

Many of the buildings are inspired off old architecture.

Their grandeur is truly awe-inspiring.  
Not to mention this huuuuuge library!
A friends tells me this is her favorite place to study: The gigantic windows let you see the sky change colors into the night. 

The gate at the front of the school was used as inspiration for Monster’s University:
See the resemblance?

The biology building has a must-see Tyrannosaurus-Rex fossil:
I love how the seemingly ancient buildings at the heart of the campus balance out the more modern ones on the outskirts of campus. 
One of Berkeley’s 33 libraries has this statue of Mark Twain:
He’s reading one of his own books: Huckleberry Finn

Did you know that Nobel Prize winners get free parking at Berkeley?
One Nobel Prize winner, Saul Perlmutter, even stated, “The only reason to win a Nobel Prize is so that you can park on campus.” (X) After my struggle trying to find parking today, I can totally relate.

All in all, I loved this trip and I’m so glad I got to have this experience.


Becoming a Yoga Instructor

An incredible experience 

In order to become a certified Yoga Instructor through Yoga Bharati, you have to:

  1. Attend eight hours of instruction per week for twelve weeks (That’s 96 hours)
  2. Go on a yoga retreat for 2 days and one night (Camping in the woods)
  3. Teach a class for 30 hours over the course of 4 months
  4. Write a 25-page report
    Seems daunting at first, but little by little I accomplished all of it.

    1. Attending the instruction was so difficult at first. I had to wake up at 6:30am every weekend! But soon, I got to know my classmates and I began to like the lessons. Some parts were pretty interesting.

    2. The yoga retreat was by far my favorite part. Though I usually don’t like camping, I’m really glad that I got to have this wonderful experience.

    I also got to see some pretty cool wildlife.

    3. Teaching a class was a period of transformation for me. As a student, I see teachers everyday, but only after this, do I really appreciate what they do. Along with understanding all the material, it takes incredible confidence and dedication in order to teach a class.

    4. As for the report…

    I was freaked out! How on Earth could I possibly write twenty-five entire pages??!?!?!??!
    Of course, soon I realized that worrying would get me nowhere. I had to persevere and get to it! 
    This step is the hardest thing to do. It’s sooo difficult to realize when you’re thinking in a negative manner, and it’s even more difficult to actually change that thinking. But once you do change, the results can be extraordinary. 
    Of course, simply changing my thinking didn’t magically do the report for me. It still took a while. There were times when I wanted to just give up. But in the end I pushed through, and I’m pretty proud of the results. Hope you like it too!

    Here’s a link to the report if you want to read it.

    Girls Who Code

    Thank you Girls Who Code for everything you’ve done for me 

     

     

     
    A while ago I heard an announcement asking all girls interested in computer science to come over to Room 205 during lunch to become part of a club: Girls Who Code! 
     
    I didn’t really think that much of it then, but Girls Who Code has really changed so much of my life!
     
    After I attended a couple meetings, I realized that I really really liked it. I was already taking a Java class in school, but the male-dominated class always seemed a bit intimidating. Girls Who Code gave me a completely different view of computer programming. Being around other girls like me who have the same passion that I have is really something I’m grateful for. 
     
    I got to learn JavaScript (which I now know is completely different from Java) and work with other girls to make cool projects. I got more and more interested in Girls Who Code and the unique environment it provided for me.

     

    I liked it so much that I even applied for the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, in the hopes of spending even more time with this amazing organization.

    Soon, officer selection time rolled in. Anyone could sign up. In the past, I’ve was pretty shy about things like this. I was always so afraid of running for office. But right then, I felt something completely different.
    Reshma Saujani

     

    Before joining the Girls Who Code club, I checked out their website. It seemed pretty promising. But one thing really stuck out for me. The founder, Reshma Saujani, was an Indian-American woman, just like me, in a male-dominated field. But did she back down? NO! She became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress! That thought was really inspiring for me.

    Reshma Saujani

     I felt like I could do anything. I confidently walked up to the sign-up sheet the moment it was announced and I was the first one to put my name on the list–for president. No hesitation. No fear.
    This type of confidence is something I hope to keep with me for my whole life.

    Flash-forward a couple weeks, and I was giving my speech to about forty girls! Normally I would be shaking in fear to do this. But that day, I felt calm and confident. I could do this.

    And today? Today I am the president of my school’s Girls Who Code club!

    Now, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to all my mentors and teachers in Girls Who Code who are volunteering their precious time to help girls foster their interests in computer science. Thank you to all the girls who voted to me, And thank you Reshma Saujani, for starting Girls Who Code and for inspiring me.

    Zentangles: Part 2

    Still Stunningly Intricate

    Quite a while ago, I wrote about being introduces to Zentangles. Here’s that old post: (X).

    Now I want to show you how much difference a few months can make:

    Here are some of my new-and-improved Zentangles

    Though I may not be as good as some Zentangle masters out there…

    I’ve definitely improved a lot…

    And I’m so proud of my work!

    LearnStorm

    My contribution to KhanAcademy’s Bay Area learning program
    If you haven’t heard of KhanAcademy yet, check it out. Like now. Here’s a link. 
    Now that that’s out of the way. I can tell you a bit about LearnStorm
    LearnStorm lets KhanAcademy users in the Bay Area get points for themselves and their school by learning math skills. I think the best part is that you don’t just get points based on how hard the math you’re learning is–you get points based on how hard you’re trying. 
    To add to that, they have “Weekly Challenges,” where you can share your thoughts on an aspect of learning through a creative medium. I’ve seen people make videos, writing, posters, drawings, and so many other incredible things. 
    For the first few activities, I really didn’t submit much. I’d just read through the activity and think about it. Finally, I decided I’d give it a try and actually submit something. 
    The prompt was to make a growth mindset superhero. For those of you who don’t know what a growth mindset is, I suggest you head on down to this link: Growth Mindset: You can learn Anything and find out. 
    I spent about 3 days sketching and brainstorming and there was even a point when I wanted to give up. But I mustered up some motivation and finally came up with this:
    What do you think?
    I was really proud of it, but still nervous to submit. I almost didn’t, but I’m soooo glad that I did. 
    About a week later, it was featured in the LearnStorm blog!!! (It may take a little scrolling to get to it: Activity #3) I was absolutely thrilled; I literally got up and did a little happy-dance. 
    If there’s one thing I got out of this it’s that you should never be afraid to put yourself out there, even if other people don’t like it. If I had chickened out and decided not to submit this, no one would have seen my artwork. But because I was ready to put myself out there, now thousands of people have seen it. 

    Inspiration

    You’ll never know when it’ll hit you

    For a while now I hadn’t been drawing anything. Whenever I felt motivated, I just never felt inspired. It seems to me that in order to create something, you need a little bit of both.

    Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to have both at the same time:

    I was soon starting to feel like I’d never draw anything worthwhile again.
    Still, I put a smile on my face and walked to class. That’s when I saw one of my friends wearing a cute outfit…and I felt inspired! It’s that awesome moment when inspiration and motivation finally align!

    Soon after, I made this:

    Sometimes, you don’t need extraordinary circumstances to feel inspired. All you need is a good attitude (and maybe a cute outfit too!).

    10 Experiences that Shaped my Life:

    1. When I was six, I got lost for the first time. I think it was the first time I was really that terrified. I know it seems silly now, but back then, I thought I was going to die right there in the public library.
    2. Once, when my dad was driving me somewhere, I saw a homeless man. I had never seen someone in those conditions before. It had never even crossed my mind that there could be people in America who don’t have lives like mine.
    3. Coming to Lynbrook was actually a huge change for me. I went to the same private school and lived in the same house from preschool to eighth grade. I know it’s not super dramatic or special. but it is literally the only big change I have ever experienced.
    4. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had headaches from thinking too much or stressing out. When I was about eleven, I had this huge epiphany that I don’t have to just accept them and that I can actually do something to help myself. Even though I still get a lot of headaches now, I’ve learned how to calm myself down to stop them.
    5. On my thirteenth birthday, it hit me for the first time that I can’t stop growing. I guess a part of me just thought I was going to be a kid forever.
    6. For a while now, I’ve stopped blindly siding with the “good-guys” in movies. I think it’s really interesting to challenge their notions and try to see the situation from each angle–including the “bad-guys’.”
    7. Up until I was three, I had never ever experienced jealousy before, because instead, I would feel happy for whoever had what I didn’t. When my little brother was born and got all the attention from my parents, I felt jealous, and I learned that jealousy is an incredibly ugly feeling. To this day, I try to never feel jealous and just feel happy because I never want to feel that ugly feeling again.
    8. I visited a Catholic high school once to “shadow” a student. Everyone there was white, with light skin, light hair, light eyes. I stood out so much, and I felt the longing to fit in. This strange want to change myself was something I never thought I’d experience, but it taught me a lot.
    9. In sixth grade I started to think really philosophically and there was a point where I severely didn’t want the world to exist. Really, can you just imagine how great things would be if the entire universe didn’t exist?
    10. When I was really little I heard a quote by Carl Sagan about a picture taken by the Voyager, where the Earth is so far away, all it really looks like is “a pale blue dot.” And on this dot, “everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” I finally realized how small and meaningless I am in whole scheme of things.
    Headaches may not seem like the most important experience in someone’s life, but for me, they were pretty important. I used to be plagued by these massive headaches non-stop and the worst part was, I never told anyone–not even my parents. It felt like someone was in my head, crawling around, banging my skull, and punching my brain. I just thought there was something wrong with me or that I was crazy. Sometime in middle school, I began to realize that I’d get these headaches because I’d overthink, overstress, and overanalyze everything and anything. Then at one point, I just decided I wanted to actually do something to stop these headaches, and I finally did. I learned how to step back from a situation, take a few breaths, and calm myself down. Though it doesn’t seem super dramatic or special, for me it was life-changing. I finally felt like I had control over my life.

    I heard the quote written above by Carl Sagan when I was around four or five and I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t really take it to heart. I recently heard it again and actually let it sink in. Here I am, worried about what grade I’m going to get in my class, what college I’ll go to, what job I will get? But really, I’m so small, so incredibly miniscule that it shouldn’t matter. Not just me, but the entire existence of human civilization is so frivolous when compared to the existence of stars and galaxies. Every single thing we have ever experienced or done really makes no affect. All the horrendous atrocities and amazing feats of kindness are just so incredibly insignificant when you step back and realize that our world is just so freaking small!

    Zentangles

    Stunningly Intricate

    My dad ordered some cardboard coasters from amazon (X), and told me to draw something cool on them. But of course, the word “cool” is extremely subjective. So I decided to google around and find some “cool” designs. That’s when I came across Zentangles.

    Beautiful, intricate patterns drawn on paper, clothes, bags, and even rocks!
    They were perfect!

    Of course, to start off, I wasn’t that good:

    But hey, practice make perfect…

    And I kept going…

    And here’s where I am today!