On President-Elect Trump, 1000 Rupee notes, Toblerone and Standardized Testing

Since my last post a week ago, the world has changed a lot. I’m still in shock. The US got a new president-elect, India tried to reduce corruption by banning it’s largest notes, the Toblerone triangles have become smaller and I finished with standardized testing. I have opinions on all 4 of these, so here it goes.

President Trump? 

Image result for president trumpI’m shocked to hear there were so many closet-Trump supporters. Coming from a region and a state which voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, I have to admit that part of it is because we created an echo-chamber around ourselves. A lot of the comments I saw on Facebook from Trump supporters were illogical, biased and frightening. But, I saw a good portion of aggressive comments and straw-men fallacies from Clinton supporters too. When they did bother to give explanations, they were condescending  or they were hidden insults. I can see why so many Trump supporters refused to state their preference until election-day, and I can’t blame them for it.

Democrats clearly aren’t in touch with large sections of the population. Lots of people have compared this election to Brexit with frustrated, disappointed people wanting change (no matter how it comes about). Clearly, the DNC alienated anyone who might have had doubts about Hillary Clinton for presidency. I’m willing to believe that majority of Trump’s supporters are not racist or misogynistic. I hope that America’s checks and balances are enough to prevent an inexperienced and impulsive president from doing too much damage. The alternative is too horrifying to consider.

But, there are silver linings to this. The President and majority party in House and Senate are all from one party. Things will probably be executed much faster and if by 2020 things haven’t gotten better, Democrat’s will probably have a younger, candidate to get behind. Also, as divisive some of the stuff in the news has been– hijabs being pulled off, violence against blacks and insane sounding rants about the wall– I think people will pull together. As a women of color, I do not like the president-elect we have right now, but I do believe in the power of people and America’s principles of democracy.

No 500 or 1000 Rupee notes in India

Image result for 1000 rupee note ban

Well played, Modi. Well played. If this works as planned, people with black-money will be unable to exchange their currency. This would reduce the amount of money in circulation and make the Indian Rupee stronger compared to currencies. Smart. I’m proud that India’s finally taking a strong stance against corruption.

But dammit, I have a couple of 500 rupee notes (just to clarify–gifts from relatives, not black money) and no way to exchange them since all Indian banks are in, you know, India.

Image result for new tobleroneToblerone

I am always impressed by Britisher’s priorities. I love their very droll way of defending why it’s so important to them. So far, my favorite is hearing them use world politics–they do need a way to comfort them after the Trump election. There was an explanation about Switzerland’s mountain peaks, but I didn’t quite get it. Anyone care to explain?

Standardized Testing

Image result for sat testingUS universities require a ridiculous amount of tests and place way too much value on them.Standardized test cost money to take and even more to send. I always feel very guilty when I don’t do as well on them as I do on practice tests. In my area, SAT tutoring is common–but I just don’t feel comfortable shelling out a couple thousand dollars to increase my score by 100 points or so.  It’s hard to believe that Collegeboard, the agency which is in charge of the SAT tests (and private financial aid, and AP testing and a lot of other US university stuff) is a non-profit when it charges for everything.

I’ve taken the old and new SAT, but not the ACT (which everyone tells me was stupid). This week, I got my second subject test out of the way; I wish I had done it earlier. Now, I don’t have to worry about standardized testing until the AP exams in May….joy.

 

I definitely do live in interesting times.

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10 tips to 50K: The longer version

Image result for nanowrimo pic

Last year, I did the 50000 word marathon. I wrote a (part of) a very twisted Snow White story from the Stepmother’s point of view. In it, Snow White’s  a murderous pre-teen who killed animals and people and used their blood, bone and ashes as makeup.  Here’s an excerpt from the first “chapter” (I use quotes because it’s not quite organized and developed).

Though I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year (college apps, test prep and my course-load is keeping me busy this month), I did complete it last year.

I do have some um…wisdom for those brave souls who’re trying it this year. Without much ado,

  1. Don’t be intimidated by the number 50,000.  All you need to do is write. You could write fanfiction or a collection of poetry and short-stories. You could keep a diary. If you’re capable of writing a 50,000 word shopping list, you could do that.
  2. Find friends to write with. They’ll keep you on track and they’re very helpful to bounce ideas off of.
  3. Don’t aim for perfection.  These 50,000 words are just your first draft.
  4. Don’t edit as you write. I like to use white text so I’m not tempted to correct my typos and horrendous grammar.
  5. If you can’t think of anything, write anyways. Eventually you’ll stumble onto something good.
  6. Don’t erase anything. Even if you manage to get your protagonist sucked into a black-hole or vortex (and you didn’t mean to), keep it. You might want to reuse parts of it later. Just start that chapter again. Hopefully, it’ll end the way you want it to this time.
  7. Plan out a general plot. There’s nothing worse than having your protagonist or villain get killed off by the time you reach 10,000 words.
  8. Write every day. 1667 words aren’t too much to write in a day. But, when you put it off for a week, you will kick yourself when you realize 11,667 words to get back on schedule.
  9. At the same time, if you put it off for more than a couple days, don’t give up. It’s not impossible to get back on track.
  10. Strangely enough, the goal of NaNoWriMo isn’t to get you to write a novel in a month—it’s to get you to start writing. If you want to extend your NaNoWriMo into December, it’s your choice.

So if anybody noticed the title of this post, the “long version” part is confusing. I wrote an abbreviated list for my school newspaper, The Oracle. If you’re curious about that, it’s over here.