North and South Korea

In recent news, North and South Korea have declared peace! Not only are they not at war with one another, like they have been since the 50s, they have agreed for a nuclear disarmament. To me, this is surprising because of the current Trump administration. President Trump has been very outspoken with his opinions about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which made me think that the Korean situation would be escalated even more! Both the United States and China has recently tightened its sanctions on North Korea because it has failed to dismantle their nuclear arms. Hopefully, they will follow through with their promises now that they are in a binding peace treaty!

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Genocide in Myanmar

This semester I found out about an atrocity that is happening in Myanmar. Currently, the Rohingya people, a Muslim minority in a country of predominantly Buddhists, are being driven out of Myanmar through violence. The military has been burning down villages, killing, raping, and terrorizing the Rohingya people since August 25th, 2017. In many villages, there are Rohingya-dominated sectors that are being burned individually, having no effect on the Buddhist sectors. Now, more than 800,000 Rohingyas are living in Bangladesh because they are fleeing the unrelenting violence they faced at home. Fear mongering has been an effective psychological tactic used by the Myanmar military in order to gain support for the genocide they pursue. This is why the Buddhist population in Myanmar has supported their military’s campaign of violence. They fear that the Rohingya people are tarnishing Myanmar’s Buddhist values and heritage. To me, I am the most surprised that I found out about this genocide now. It is appalling to me that major political actors like the President have not spoken out about this, condemning Myanmar. I am also surprised that I haven’t heard about this from major news sources until I actively searched this topic.

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Spanish Club

The Spanish Club t-shirt came in this semester and I love them! They are maroon with a great illustration of a skull from Día de Los Muertos. One thing that I do regret is that I wasn’t able to attend many of the meetings this semester. The meetings were announced sometimes a week or less prior to the day of the meeting and I usually had obligations during those times! I know that when I get back from my semester in Puebla, I will become more involved with the club. If I was not studying abroad for a semester, then I would definitely apply to be a Spanish Club officer for next year! Maybe I will do it when I come back…

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Global Engagement Day 2018

Today I went to one of the lectures at the annual Global Engagement Day. Two guests came and talked to us about different options we could consider after our time at OU. One guest spoke about the Fulbright Scholarship that allows recent graduates the opportunity to travel to a different country and conduct independent research projects. This includes art projects, research, and even the ability to become a teaching assistant where you teach English as a second language. What I am considering most is the Peace Corps. The second guest told us that we are able to be in a Peace Corps Prep program that allows undergraduates the opportunity to become more competitive when applying for the Peace Corps. If I were to do this, which I am definitely considering, I would emphasize my studies so I could be in the Health Sector. If I were to be accepted into the Peace Corps, then I would have the opportunity to travel to a Spanish-speaking country and help the local communities through medicine for two years. This would give me the opportunity to not only perfect my Spanish-speaking skills but also my medical skills. It is so important to me to give attention to the less fortunate, and if I am able to be apart of a program that allows me to become a well-rounded physician, I should definitely consider it. I am so glad I went to this specific event because it shows me the surplus of opportunities I can have at the end of my undergraduate studies that doesn’t include immediately entering medical school.

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2018 IAS Symposium

This semester I went to the Annual Symposium for the Department of International & Area Studies. There were many guest speakers that lectured on one major theme: Global Cyber Trends. I specifically went to Shima Mohebbi’s presentation entitled “Interdependent Critical Infrastructures and Cyber Resilience: Opportunities and Challenges”. She made the important connection between how the infrastructure of a nation can be influenced by the cyber world. One of the many real-world applications of a cyberinfrastructure was a theoretical evacuation of a city. Without the helpful influence of a technologically inclined evacuation protocol, the rate at which the citizens left the city was significantly slower. But with the increase of cyberinfrastructure, there is an increased risk of cyber attacks, system failure, etc that could have serious effects on their citizens. While Mohebbi stressed the importance of cybersecurity in order to prevent these attacks, she most importantly emphasized that the threat of these attacks should not prevent a city or nation to limit their use of cyberinfrastructure. I agree with her point: a nation shouldn’t have to render their technological development just because an enemy of the state could hack into the system. It is the job of the state to protect their citizens and their information in the increasingly technologically dependent world. Instead of hindering the cyber influence in a state, build a cybersecurity system that can fight as many cyber threats as it can. 

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Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos, a vibrant holiday intended to honor the dead, was celebrated this year all over the Spanish-speaking world. This festival continues for 3 days, beginning on October 31st and continuing until November 2nd. Midnight of the American holiday Haloween, it is said that the spirits of deceased children reunite with their family for one day (November 1st), and then the spirits of the adults are able to enjoy the festivities the following day. Many families build altars filled with flowers, food, candles, and other personal items of their loved ones that their ancestor’s spirits can visit. While locals and tourists around the world walk the streets, vendors sell treats like sugar skulls and skeletons. This mystical Mexican tradition allows families to mourn and memorialize the family they have lost. I am so excited to celebrate this holiday in Puebla, Mexico next year!

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Spanish Club

One of the international clubs that I joined this semester was Spanish Club. We promote the integration of the Spanish language on the University of Oklahoma campus, as well as spreading awareness of the vibrant Spanish culture. One of my most memorable moments in this club was the very first meeting. Dozens of people crowded into a small room, talking and meeting new people. We then all gathered into groups and played Spanish hangman! It was so fun to joke around with other students and meet people who were from or had already visited, Spanish-speaking countries. I am so excited for the spring semester and everything I will come to appreciate regarding the Spanish language and culture!

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Unusual Manifestation of Power in the Medieval Ages

While medieval life itself was miserable for absolutely everyone, women were specifically succumbed to the tragedies of forced subordination. Women in the medieval ages were commanded into submission through layers of systemic oppression that still lingers in society today. Unfortunately for everyone, men controlled the economic, political, and social aspects of medieval life which in turn dominated women. This is because these medieval systems were constructed by an almighty medieval government, built to intentionally oppress the power of women. This is exemplified by the fact that females were not allowed to own businesses, attend school, and attain other rights that male citizens were already inclined.

Some of the happiest moments of a medieval woman’s life were plagued by men. Marriage today is considered to be the magical unification of two lovers, but it was originally created by the male aristocracy for a family’s own personal advancement, usually at the expense of the bride. In the medieval ages, a female is transferred between the hands of men; she is first controlled by her father, but when she is married, she becomes the personal property of her new husband. When a woman is pregnant, she better hope that she has a son, because if not then she is for sure going to have to birth another kid. Birthing another child in the medieval ages means that there is an increased probability of death during childbirth. Even if a woman gave birth to a boy, she would beget yet another man that will ultimately control her well-being. A female child, however, is a living representation of the servitude towards husbands and other men in society and of the continual suffering of women.

And luckily for everyone, the power of birth is distinctly held in the wombs of women. To whatever deity exists, I would like to personally thank you for possessing me with the power of creation. My body can literally create another semi-functioning human. I am also glad that men specifically can’t do this because we deserve to possess this power more than they do. Even though my body will rip to shreds and never function the quite same “down there” again, I get to rub my pregnant belly in front of the faces of men. I say, “oh, your body’s a temple? We, l my body is a factory that is morphing a better human then you will ever be!”. Then the meathead grimaces, grunts, and walks away disgusted at me. Men just don’t understand the experience that is childbirth. They will never undergo the ripping of their vagina in real time, the increased probability of their imminent death because of the Satan baby destroying their body, or the nowhere close to the magical process of childbirth that nobody really wants to experience. Now that I am thinking about it, I actually am not sure that I want to wield this power anymore. If I lived in the medieval ages, I would probably die in pain and tired giving birth to a baby that probably won’t survive. I mean medieval childbirth is great for everyone else, but not me. They can destroy their body, unmedicated, hanging from ropes while pale white ladies grab my boobs and pull a watermelon out of my vagina. I promise I did not think of that imagery on my own, just look at the first picture.

I also want to thank all of the goddesses that I was born during the time of modern medicine, because I would probably become a nun just to escape giving birth. If I would have to give birth during this time, then I would realistically be the lady in the final image. She is clearly over the whole birthing situation, pissed at the world for her bad luck. I mean she is giving birthing in a shed with a questionable woman’s hand up her dress, so yeah, I would be upset too. But if I had an ideal medieval birthing situation, then it would be the second image. I think it’s because, somehow, it depicts childbirth as not too incredibly miserable and somewhat comforting. I would love to imagine myself surrounded by women pampering me, laying me next to a fire, holing Pennywise’s hand, all while birthing my child. It’s on my bucket list! But evil clown or not, I will require a strict dress code of 100% wool dresses and headscarves in my hospital room. This will bring me comfort when I will probably die, surrounded by the best itchy fabrics money could buy.

Surprisingly to me, a woman could also give birth through a cesarean section, depicted by two of the images above. To the modern reader, these images are significantly questionable. In real life, a cut is made just below the abdomen of a pregnant woman, not a basketball-sized hole in the middle of her stomach. Because of this severe inaccuracy, I believe that these images (specifically the third) was illustrated by a man. Men during this time, were not allowed to be present in the birthing chambers, but they were the gender that predominantly published books of female medicine. This allowed men to fantasize the birthing process, spreading false facts regarding an entire gender. And because of these inaccurate medical texts, physicians used these diagrams as a basis to treat women for a variety of symptoms. The falsification of the female body, directly achieved by men, is yet again another reason for the uprising of women.

The power of a wife, specifically one that is pregnant, is shown through the strength that is needed to birth a child. While women may not be “swole” like men, our body has the ability to sustain an excruciating amount of pain multiple times during our lives, so screw you men. Being kicked in the balls is nowhere close to childbirth no matter what you say, Mike. The power of women is also, and most importantly, shown through the societal implications that surround birth. Women were forced into a subordination that benefited men, making them a baby sex machine rather than an actual person. A medieval wife’s purpose was to create sons and serve men. This clearly shows the power of women, because who in their right mind would be happy with this fate? Capable, intelligent women were forced into a life of medieval cloth diapers and sex with a 40 year old (I’m pretty sure). I personally would not be able to endure this fate, so hats off to the ladies who did. You’re strength stems from the power to be insidious, slowly planning the uprising of modern women today. My predecessors have given me the power of birth, and I shall use this distinct ability to beget thousands of children that will burn down the patriarchy. 

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Puebla Earthquake

On September 19, 2017, a massive earthquake shook the city and surrounding areas of Puebla, Mexico. This specific earthquake was 7.1 in magnitude, which is very high on the Richter Scale. More than 360 people died in the cities of Morelos, Mexico City, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Puebla. This heartbreaking natural disaster caused panic across the central region of Mexico. First responders searched for days to recover bodies, hoping to recover any survivors. Hospitals were also flooded with people seeking medical attention like hundreds of others around them. This earthquake uprooted people from their homes, causing people to nomadically travel seeking shelter until their homes were rebuilt. While devastating, this event proves the strength and perseverance of the Mexican community. In the face of danger, heroes emerged who treated the sick, housed the homeless, and saved lives.

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Ebola in Sierra Leone

Earlier this week I went to Paul Richards’ talk about his role in the Ebola epidemic in the western Africa country of Sierra Leone. He told us the history of the country and how that history affected the different Ebola responses from local tribal leaders and the rest of the world. His main claim was that it was not coincidental that Ebola began in the indigenous groups of Sierra Leone and that these groups had a strong local mobilization to defeat the disease that differed from other populous regions in the country. This talk was specifically enlightening on the strength of the indigenous people. Some chiefs restricted all entry back into their camp, quarantining their community. Others made safe burial locations for Ebola victims. No matter the method, the international response to this epidemic significantly was lacking in rural African communities. This lecture made me more cognizant of the impactful role a global health organization could have on a country, and the importance of empowering local responders to health crises.

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