Monday, February 25, 2013

Another One!!

So before the Monday truly, really starts for me, I want to introduce you to two more IEDPers. The first one being Cindy and the second ME! Haha! Figured that even though you are actually reading my blog, you don't really know my profile yet!


Name: Cindy Le
Likes: questions with no answers, bursting into song, fresh laundry, breakfast in bed, tree hugging, cheese and cheesiness
Dislikes: Philly cheesesteaks, GRE words 
Region of interest: Latin America, Southeast Asia, US
Hometown: El Monte, CA
What the future looks like: Sparkles and laughter!


Name: Akashi Kaul
Likes: Skyping with my family and my HUSBAND, planning my wedding (which I can sadly, not do anymore :( ), pretending to read when I don't feel like talking, lemon snaps and instant coffee!!
Dislikes: Reading for class, in class tests, take home tests, tests in general, being away from home
Region of interest: South Asia, US, Africa
Hometown: Srinagar, J&K, India
What the future looks like: Promising! :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

EdD and other things.

So busy week so far! Was part of the EdD weekend this past week. To put it in a nutshell though, it was a Saturday that I worked from 730 am to 10 pm. Almost didn't sleep the night before in anticipation of the early morning and so ended up needing more than my usual three cups of coffee to start the day. But the highlight of the day was playing family feud (or something like that!) with my fellow GAs, Chris and Alexis and Emily! We made a fab team! But more on that later. For now, I want to introduce you to two more people from my cohort. 

Our first IEDPer today is Amos Prophete, the nicest, most musical and dance-y human being I've ever had the good fortune of meeting. The second one is in a similar mold. Together, June and Amos are probably the nicest people in our cohort! 


Name: Amos Prophete
Likes: Music, singing, dancing, thinking, convos on controversial/serious issues 
Dislikes: Hmm?
Regions of interest: Caribbean, Latin America and Africa
Hometown: Cap-Haiten, Haiti (which hosted the annual Carnival Feb 10, 11, 12!!)
What the future looks like: Interesting!


Name: June Wui
Likes: Pasta, Photography, Faith, Ocean and Deserts
Dislikes: Raw fish
Region of interest: Everywhere!
Hometown: LA, California (born in Seoul)
What the future looks like: Love!

So while I love my cohort a LOT! I love these guys a little more now that they've been nice enough to respond to my emails for a short profile! :P

Hope you enjoyed meeting them as much as I do everyday!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Profiling...sort of!

Well so my wonderful friends didn't quite get back to me on time for me to do the student profile I'd promised in my last post, but the two wonderful friends who did get back to me are featured below. I feel the best way to go about featuring my friends here is two by two! :P

Justin (middle), Ashelyn (left), Cindy (right) and June (standing), hanging out at GSE. Cindy and Ashelyn's profiles coming up next!

Name - June Wui
Likes: Pasta, Photography, Faith, Ocean and Deserts
Dislikes: Raw fish
Region of interest: Everywhere!
Hometown: LA, California (Born in Seoul though!)
What the future looks like: Love!

Name: Justin Jimenez
Likes: Indulging in baked goods and other tasty concoctions, ballet, news music and Participation Action Research
Dislikes: Pretentious people and automatic flush toilets
Region of interest: Central Asia (Turkey) and Southeast Asia (Philippines)
Hometown: San Jose, CA
What the future looks like: I subscribe to a sanguine perspective on global prospects. I hope my engagement in the development sphere exposes me to diverse narratives and epistemologies that will enrich my understanding of participation, transformation and sustainability.

Gotta love them for being so proactive!

Friday, February 8, 2013

My Cohort - A shout out to IEDP

Okay, so I should have done this a while ago, but I never really got the time. The idea is to introduce you to the current IEDP cohort. So IEDP is made up of this bunch of wonderful, wonderful people with wonderful, wonderful experiences. Diverse experiences, diverse backgrounds - basically diversity personified.

Over the next few days, I'm going to try and convince some of my classmates to write a little bio and send it across, (or else I'll just write one myself!) For now, I'll leave you with a glimpse of our cohort through the multiple social media tools we use!

The IEDP tumblr page -

The IEDP cohort bio page -

Till tomorrow then!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My friends at Penn!

So in all my excitement of writing about my wedding and my sorrows and my troubles catching up, I forgot to tell you all about this AWESOME welcome back surprise party my lovely friends at Penn threw me. On my second day back, April, my friend and a fellow IEDP cohort-member, called me up to make plans for dinner. I agreed (reluctantly!) with half a mind to cancel in the evening. But April outsmarted me! She turned up at my house at 6 pm, to pick me up. So basically, with no way out, I had no choice but to step out for dinner with April. As it turned out, it was no ordinary dinner but a surprise welcome back party that my friends had organised for me. I want to use this space to thank my lovely IEDP cohort members for making me feel so special, especially April, Laura H., Auken, Ashelyn, Jon, Amos, Beza, Molly and Josh for being there! Everyone else, who couldn't make it but wanted to - its the thought that counts! I love you all!

Josh, Auken, Amos - thanks for the lovely music! April - thanks for the space and putting it all together! And a special shout out to my dear friend Akoss for planning my 'surprise pick up from the airport' with my husband. You are all beautiful people and I'm super lucky to have you in my life!

Leaving you with a few photos from the evening and a promise of IEDP profiling in my next post!

Much love,


Catching Up!

So catching up has been hard. So hard that I ended up dropping two of my five courses. Definitely not in the plan! Basically what this means for me is that I'll graduate in December and not May. Sad and kind of relieving all at once. Sad because it means I have to stay away from my husband for longer and relieving because I don't have to rush this degree. I should, hopefully, have more time to look for a job and plan my life in general. Having had taken five courses last semester, I know for certain that it wouldn’t have worked out for me this time round.

Taking five courses is not for the faint hearted. Especially when you add GA duties and a job to the mix. Last semester, I felt like I was just running from job to job and class to class, without getting a moment to actually consider how this would add up and contribute to my future. Well, with three courses, I have plenty of time to do just that this semester. That’s the plan anyway. Planning, thinking and spending more time at work at AUNI. AUNI or Agaston Urban Nutrition Initiative is where I work as a Wharton Social Impact Intern. As a part of this initiative, I work with high school children from the Philadelphia area, helping them run a socially relevant business called Rebel Ventures. So basically, we make granola bars at Rebel Ventures, selling them for two dollars to retailers and for 50 cents at Philadelphia schools. The purpose of this venture is to make school children more aware of terms like ‘food justice’ and also to equip them with the skills required to run and manage a business. More about this later though.

So like I was saying, I’m hoping that this semester will allow me to devote more time to planning my future and getting some hands on experience working with children (and a start up). So far, it looks like things are on track! Fingers crossed that they’ll continue to be so!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Thanksgiving Special

So I was all excited about my first Thanksgiving here in the US and it lived up to all of its hype. Well, not in the traditional way but in other ways for sure. It started with the trip to Boston. To give you a background, the plan was to spend Thanksgiving with family in Boston. Not willing to spend a bomb on Amtrak, I thought MegaBus would be a good way to go. I could not be more wrong! I was to take the 11 pm bus on Wednesday from Philly to Boston but due to reasons still unclear, the 11 pm became the 2 am (Thursday). So a bunch of us ended up bringing Thanksgiving in together. We even wished each other and all. However, the problem wasn't that we brought Thanksgiving in on the side of a road in Philly - well it wasn't the big problem anyway. The real problem was the cold! It was super cold that night. We were actually scared that we'd get hypothermia or something. In order to avoid the cold, a whole lot of us actually sat inside the Amtrak station, right in front of the door facing the bus stop, so that we could keep an eye out for the bus while not freezing our backsides off. Anyhow, all's well that ends well. The bus (finally) came and took us to Boston. It was no where close to our scheduled time of arrival but we got there. Since most of us had actually given up hope, nobody complained. It helped that the driver was funny and willing to poke fun at himself. And I believe I overheard that the bus had actually broken down in Baltimore.

After I got to Boston, I had pretty much had all the excitement I could handle for the weekend already. So I was looking forward to a relaxed weekend ahead. And relaxed is what it was, because I fell ill. Now I have heard many theories about this. Some people are of the opinion that I was already ill when I got to Boston (overworked, they say) and I only just realised it when I had a moment to breath. I can't say I disagree with this, but we will never know for sure. All I do know is that I fell ill and popped two Advils every few hours for the fever and the body ache. Another popular theory I have heard is that my MegaBus adventure took a toll on me. In this case, I have been advised to sue, but its just too much work. I have plenty of things on my to-do list without adding this! I finally begun to recover right before it was time to leave though. Fun weekend.

When I got back to Philly, I was all set to start school - the final frontier. Papers, papers and more papers. In many ways I'm glad I got the illness out of the way - all set for work now. How exciting. Not.