By Minah Ha
From November 10th-12th, Joshua Tree National Park will be partnering with the National Park Service in order to bring star enthusiasts the Night Sky Festival. This is the third annual Night Sky Festival that the park has hosted for those who want to sit under a sky full of stars.Although this event is free of charge, if you decide to come on November 10th, you will have to pay a park entrance fee of $30. However, because of Veteran’s Day weekend, there will be no park entrance fee on November 11th and 12th! Joshua Tree National Park, located three hours away from Los Angeles is known for its unique Joshua trees and desert flowers in the day to it’s breathtaking desert stars in the night. Because the park itself is located far from big cities, the lack of urban lights allows stars to be clearly seen. Thus, star enthusiasts in Southern California flock to Joshua Tree to stargaze and explore the many constellations that they can’t see in their own urban environments due to light pollution. Many describe the desert stars in Joshua Tree as millions of specks in the sky and when sitting under it, you can’t help but to think about the vastness of the universe.
Beginning at 5am, the Night Sky Festival will showcase various astronomy programs throughout the day. You can learn about the different constellational stories and folktales that have been passed down through storytellers and identify those stars in the sky. There will be park rangers, scientists, and astronomers explaining the various workings of our solar system to all those who want to learn about the science behind our stars as well! Additionally, at night, telescopes will be placed for viewers to get a clearer look at the stars and possibly the different planets! If the weather permits, you also might be able to get to clearly see the Milky Way as well!
Continue reading This Weekend, Joshua Tree National Park Hosts the Night Sky Festival
By Aishwarya Badanidiyoor
They say language is one of the quickest ways to establish personal connections. Having grown up in multiple countries, adapting to new environments was always a priority of mine, and that meant picking up on the (sometimes subtle) differences in communication between the widely varied cultures and societies that I came across. To give you a little background, I lived in Saudi Arabia for the first ten years of my life, and then moved to India for the rest of middle school. I went to high school in Canada, and then attended Engineering school in India. Currently a master’s student and conversation partner here at USC, I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few international students along the way, and one thing that some of us have in common is our ability to speak multiple dialects/accents of English fluently, due to our diverse upbringing.
I grew up speaking a very neutral Indian accent for the first 9 years of my life, due to my stay in Saudi Arabia. Many people are not aware of this, but Indian accents come in varying flavors, which is why when I moved to India for middle school, my classmates and I had trouble understanding each other for the first few months. When I moved to Canada for high school 4 years later, the differences in accents, phrases, word usage, and intonation (amongst many other things) were quite obvious. Within a few months, my little brother and I had already adapted a neutral general North American accent, garnished with a few of the more obvious characteristics of Canadian English.
Once I moved to a different part of India for Engineering school there was a accent divide between me and my classmates once again. Within the year however, I had molded my tongue into sounding more local without much hassle. This brought about some new challenges for me – I regularly conversed with my Canadian friends in my north american accent, and switched to the new Indian one with my Indian friends.
Continue reading Growing Up Bi-Dialectal and Bi-Accented
By Colette Au
As the first round of midterms reaches its peak, I find myself overwhelmed by my commitments. Again. It seems that every semester begins smoothly, but time management only helps so much to balance a life that, frankly, is overbooked. As I learned in my gender studies class, Americans have the longest work week in the world. We can boast of our high GDP and standards of living compared to many other nations, but economic benefits come with hidden costs. This workaholic culture trickles down, and is especially concentrated at a university like USC. People who triple major, invest thirty hours a week e-boarding for several clubs, rushing and pledging in the Greek system, or work a full-time job alongside a full course load are our role models — the hard working ideal. Squeezing maximum productivity out of every day is the norm. Is this mindset of high-intensity social, academic, involvement helpful, or even sustainable in the long-term? Perhaps a dominant narrative negatively portrays a stereotypical American characteristic, rewarding effort without achievement, but I think there is an equally strong narrative that seeks to disrupt this view that Americans are lazy and entitled.
As an American-born Chinese (ABC), I grew up with Asian immigrant parents. Like many of their “tiger” counterparts, they stressed academic accomplishment, but unlike the tiger parent stereotypes, they told me I should also remember to take breaks and relax sometimes. However, in college, there is no one to remind me to put down my macroeconomics lecture slides and simply BE. As soon as I stop working, the guilt sets in. I don’t want to be a lazy and entitled American, I think. So I work harder and I overcommit. And when my laptop’s hard drive fails and I succumb to a bad cold that takes me out of class for a week, my self worth disappears along with my rigid work schedule. Lying in bed with used tissues and a glass of hot tea, I realized how easily my world was reduced to my Google Calendar’s events and task list in the semester’s first four weeks. I had become my commitments. My long-distance relationship was suffering because I was in club meetings, attending lectures, or working for most of my days. This is not what I envisioned for myself, but slipping into the “work hard, play hard” culture that permeates this campus is extremely tempting.
Continue reading This Midterm Season, Don’t Forget to Take a Break!