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!
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.
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…
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.
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.