KAMBHAMPATY | Vampire Weekly

Sometime sophomore year of high school, 2013
“A-Punk” plays on the radio while my friend Elizabeth and I are driving back from a high school tennis match. The following month
I’ve refused to listen to anything but Contra for this whole period of time. The rest of high school
My confusion with being a person of color in a predominantly white high school, love for the Polo Bear, lust and disappointment with life and fascination with Futura are all manifested, fostered and finally made sense of through Vampire Weekend’s lyrics and work. Freshman year through the first half of sophomore year of college
I don’t listen to Vampire Weekend as religiously as I did during my formative years as an angsty adolescent who hated her suburban hometown, but they remained part of the background music of my life throughout the years. The winter of sophomore year
I move to the Upper West Side of New York to complete a fashion internship.

KAMBHAMPATY | Babson: Reimagining the Image of Older Students in Higher Education

Just last week, I found myself going through an email that my mother sent me freshman year of all my old high school essays. As I flipped through the various attachments, cringing at my habitual use of bombastic language, I came across one titled “Babson.” I never wrote anything called “Babson,” I thought. The name didn’t ring a bell other than the college in Massachusetts, but I didn’t apply or even visit the school. I opened the document, and it had no date, name or title. I didn’t even have to finish reading the first line of broken English to recognize that it was written by my father.

KAMBHAMPATY | Can You Still Get an MRS Degree Today?

Is it still possible, in this day and age, to obtain an MRS degree? For those who aren’t familiar, MRS degree is a term used to describe a woman who pursues a college education with the intention of finding a spouse. It was commonly used in the ’50s and ’60s when higher education was beginning to open up to women but still remained relatively inaccessible. For men, attending a university was a way to pursue an education and cultivate skills. For women, it was a way to get closer to these bright-futured men.

KAMBHAMPATY | Remember the Milk Carton?

I heard a professor once say you only really understand the world when you have a child and see them live through it. You live your life twice, once through experience and then through seeing your children understand it. I find that art is another way to try and understand the world — an impossible feat, but why not attempt, while we’re here? Stephen Shore, one of the world’s most influential and innovative photographers, is best known for his images of mundane scenes and for pioneering the use of color in art photography. I urge you to look up American Surfaces and Uncommon Places for visual clarity before you proceed.

KAMBHAMPATY | Make a Lot of Bad Work

You need to make a lot of bad work before you can make any good work. I believe this to be true for people in any creative field. The designer of the Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, Kenji Ekuan, created more than 100 prototypes before settling on the one that we see today. The widened base weights it perfectly, making it difficult to accidentally tip over. Two spouts located on opposing sides of the cap allow air to continuously fill the lost space as the contents are poured out, ensuring that you don’t get that annoying stutter that occurs when you pour a glass of wine a little too eagerly.

KAMBHAMPATY | The Case for Transdisciplinary Studies

In his book Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future, Peter Thiel discusses the ideology of competition, “Elite students climb confidently until they reach a level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them.” I wonder why we are doing this, but more importantly, how can we change this? A department for Transdisciplinary Studies may be the answer. Transdisciplinary research is defined as “research efforts conducted by investigators from different disciplines working jointly to create new conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and translational innovations that integrate and move beyond discipline-specific approaches to address a common problem.” The key here is the idea of moving beyond disciplines. Transdisciplinary research breaks down the boundaries between traditional disciplines and creates new ways of looking at issues. This is different from interdisciplinary research, which simply combines two or more varying disciplines and perspectives.

GUEST ROOM | How Our Courses are Designed for Chris from Long Island

For the past two weeks or so, my economics professor has been using golf examples to explain a popular behavioral economic model to us. When a student raised their hand and asked, “Will questions like this be on the exam? What if we aren’t familiar with the rules of golf?” The professor responded, as any considerate and fair one would, that if he were to use golf on the exam, he’d properly cite the rules at the top of the page. The student contested, saying that people who are already familiar with the sport will still have an advantage. The professor assured the student not to worry, that he probably wouldn’t use a golf example on the exam and would use a concept we’d all surely be familiar with.