On April 19th, I went to the joint College of International Studies and American Enterprise Institute Executive Council discussion regarding the future of foreign affairs regarding Syria. Dr. Joshua Landis and Dr. Andrew J. Bowen were originally the two to host the discussion, but Dr. Landis was unfortunately unable to attend due to scheduling issue. Nonetheless, I was excited to hear what Dr. Bowen had to say regarding Syria and wanted to learn about other opinions. Prior to this event, I was very sympathetic for the people, particularly refugees, who were affected by the ongoing event, and I was very opposed to Obama’s usage of drones due to the amount of civilian casualties involved. However, sympathy alone could not be able to address this growingly complex issue. Although I did not entirely agree with military intervention from the United States as the solution to the whole problem, no intervention was not a choice to be selected if one sympathizes those on the ground who are affected. After participating this event, I gain a much understanding of the complexity of the issues and decisions that are being weighed in, and I’m hoping that the current administration takes those considerations seriously and thoughtfully as much or more as I do.
As part of my final paper in my Modern Medicine class, I had to write a paper regarding another country’s healthcare system and how it compares with the United States healthcare system.
I decided to write about Japan. It boasted having some of the best healthcare outcomes despite one of the lowest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world. The United States boasted having some of the highest healthcare expenditures comparatively with the world, but it has some of the worst healthcare outcomes. This discrepancy serves as a great starting point of inquiry.
What I learned was that Japan has universal healthcare coverage like the rest of the developed world, but it has a unique system of funding the system. It’s considered a multpayer system, which differs from a single payer system where the government covers all the healthcare expenditures. A high percentage, but not 100%, of all healthcare expenses is covered by the government and the rest is covered by the patients themselves or their private insurances if they have one. It was an interesting combination, but it assures that the patients have access to those healthcare procedures while not having to worry about the economical side effects. I also found it interesting that Japanese residents enjoy using their medical technology/procedures such as CT scans and MRIs more so than their American counterparts. One would think that by using more of such procedures would drive up the healthcare expenditures significantly, but that’s not the case for Japan. As a result, Japan is able to have a highly preventive healthcare system does lowering the rates of occurrences for chronic diseases.
Overall, I was very impressed with the Japanese healthcare system.
This past semester, Korean Conversation Club hosted not one but two K-Pop parties at Bison Witches in downtown Norman.
Unlike your typical college parties or clubs, the music in this one is entirely from K-Pop or Korean Pop. This may sound a little weird to have a K-Pop party in Oklahoma, but I was ecstatic when I heard of the opportunity.
The best way I can describe K-Pop is the best of both Eastern and Western influences. Much of what the East is known for, dancing and visuals, combines with Western genres to make a highly modernized genre. Also, K-Pop is well known for utilizing social media to promote its brand across Asia and the world. Nowadays, even Western artists have cited K-Pop as an inspiration or influence on how they promote themselves. Infamously, they are well known for their systematic way of training artists from early age, which has been criticized by many Western commenters. In the West, developed talent comes before signing with the media companies, a stark contrasts to the involvement with companies in Korea. Nonetheless, their music remains highly popular.
I highly recommend anyone at OU to come out to one of these next semester!
On April 15th, the American Model World Health Organization chapter at the University of Oklahoma hosted a Global Health Panel, consisting of public health experts who have developed their careers within the profession. It was a really nice experience, and I was invited by my friend who is an officer of the chapter to stop by and listen to what these people had to say. Despite the topics that are often covered in the news, it was really reassuring when I was listening to these experts about the importance and relevance of public health in a global society. Given with what has happen over the course of the semester, much of the attention seems to be around what’s happening in Washington regarding health care reform, yet nobody seems to worry about the rise of antibiotic-resistant microbes. No wall can actually prevent these creatures from coming into our public systems, and it was frustrating prior to attending this event how there’s a lack of attention regarding it. After listening to what these experts had to say, it’s good to know that I was not the only one sharing those concerns.
As a junior at OU, it is increasingly important for me to look towards my future: What do I want to have accomplished a year from now? Where am I most interested in living? What type of job most interests me? One of the many options that I could possibly choose from includes becoming an English Teaching Assistant in Spain. By attending a March 28 meeting to learn more about the Fulbright program, I was able to gather the following information in order to further my knowledge of the Fulbright application process.
One of the most important things that I learned during the Fulbright session was that having past study abroad experiences would not hurt my chances. Furthermore, it was helpful to learn that it is most important to convey that I would be the best possible representative of my home country’s culture. I also look forward to emphasizing how I can integrate well into a Spanish community, as well as the ways in which I would benefit from an ETA opportunity through Fulbright.
For yet another semester, OU Cousins remains one of my favorite parts of attending the University of Oklahoma. This spring, I had the opportunity to get to know Yan, who was studying abroad from Hong Kong. Having met at the OU Cousins kick-off party in January, we initially hit it off by talking about Oklahoma, cultural differences, and OKC Thunder basketball. After Having hung out a few times this semester, I learned a lot from her; unfortunately, I hadn’t previously known that, in Hong Kong, Cantonese is spoken predominantly – not Mandarin Chinese. In exchange, I was able to attempt to explain to my friend the reasons behind Donald Trump’s rise to the presidency. Overall, the friendships I’ve made through OU Cousins are invaluable.
On Friday afternoon, the College of International Studies welcomed Dr. David Lopez-Carr to speak on the topic of population, health, and environment transitions in Latin America. Dr. Lopez-Carr is the director of the Human-Environment Dynamics Lab at the University of California Santa Barbara and a professor of Geography, Ph.D., at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Lopez-Carr focused his presentation on the interactions between populations and the environment in Latin America.
Although Dr. Lopez-Carr is primarily a geographer, he amazed me with how many different aspects of research is involved in many of his studies. Instead of a study being solely land-focused, one must think in other scales involving population, human habits, etc. For example, one of the major points that he made was that less than 1% of the earth’s land masses are human-occupied. Furthermore, Dr. Ward made the argument that more than 75% of the earth’s land contributes to animal production. This entails growing the animals themselves (for human consumption) and growing crops to feed the animals (in order to grow them so that humans may consume them). According to Dr. Lopez-Carr, “available agricultural land is a diminishing and constraining resource”.
Dr. Lopez-Carr also compellingly commented that there is “no relationship between forest change and population change” in Latin America – partially due to the fact that big-scale farming processes now use more technology than human labor. There have been noted increases in re-forestation, though, and this has been largely due to climate change. Because climate change causes major shifts in weather patterns, areas that previously received little rain are now receiving higher levels of it, ultimately resulting in re-forestation.
A few of the broader statements that Dr. Lopez-Carr made stood out to me, as well. One of them being that we should be wary of binaries (that not all concepts are black and white – most things fall on a continuum). Additionally that we must not stop pursuing the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion. He also stated that the United States has an important role to play in what we’re displaying in terms of being environmental and sustainable, such as whether we use enhanced technologies or greener farming practices. A question that Dr. Lopez-Carr asked continues to echo in my mind: “How much do we care about economic growth versus a sustained environment for our grandchildren?”
También hay el Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Aunque los otros dos museos que he referido apartenecen al gobierno de España, este museo de una colección privada también incluye obras importantes en el mundo del arte. Porque las obras están organizadas cronológicamente, este museo tiene un propio estilo que parece muy diferente comparado al Prado y al Reina Sofía. Después de mi visita al Thyssen-Bornemisza, es evidente que el arte es algo importante para incorporar en nuestras vidas diarias.
This past semester, I took an Honors Colloquium course at my university known as Honors Darwin: Selection in Thought, Religion, and Politics. The basis of the course is to understand evolutionary principles that were applied in biology and expand the scope of the analysis to sociocultural phenomenon such as Brexit and the 2016 US Presidential Elections. A fascinating course.
One of the important concepts we were studying and discussing was the concept of memes. Now, I know it’s easy to describe memes as the silly Facebook posts that everyone likes to circulate, but memes are much more academically complicated than that. They are, simply as Richard Dawkins coins, the new replicators that were analogous to genes in biological evolution.
I think it’s quite fascinating to utilize evolution as a tool of assessment regarding political events such as Brexit. In fact, my final essay was analyzing Brexit from that standpoint. To oversimplify things, I saw Brexit inevitable due to the historical tendencies of the UK to remove themselves from European affairs, even when they were inevitably drawn to it. Based on that tendency alone and using the evolutionary principles of variation, competition, and inheritance, the debate about the predictions was simply when Brexit was going to happen rather than if Brexit was gonna to occur.
Overall, the class provided some intriguing insights, and I would love if I can study more on that subject and expand the scope of the analysis to other world phenomena.