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Category: Abhigna Rao

“Artes Vita: Setting the Stage” by Abhigna Rao

I don’t remember the first TED Talk I ever watched, mostly because I was fascinated with my dad’s fascination during my first ever TED Talk. Instead of looking at the screen, I would notice how his eyes would go wide at every interesting point made, every audience reaction. Each time the presenter mentioned something profound, he would instantly perk up and say, “Did you hear that?” I usually responded with a very convincing “yes,” but he would rewind the video anyway, this time pointing at the person’s face in rhythm with his words to make sure I understood. And under the façade of paying intense attention, I would chuckle under my breath at how passionate he was about the science rolling off the speaker’s tongue.

As I floated through middle school and entered high school, TED Talks began being used more and more as a teaching supplement. From Hugh Herr’s experience with bionic legs, to Amy Cuddy’s perspective on the effects of body language on confidence, and even further still to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce,” I was exposed to a variety of tastes based on the nature of the class as well as my teacher’s interests.

My all-time favorite talk in the entire world is “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator,” presented by popular long-form blogger Tim Urban. I find myself going back to this one time and time again, not just for the humor and the energy of the speaker, but to re-learn the life lessons he lays out for his audience. His message and his values resonate with me for different reasons every time I return to his video, and he really embodies the vision and purpose of TED. Continue reading

“Artes Vita: Touching Up Your Work Flow” By Abhigna Rao

HI EVERYONE! WELCOME BACK! I hope everyone had a lovely, restful Winter Break, whether you were taking a Winter Session, chilling at home, away on vacation, or studying abroad!

But now it’s back to the grind, and I can’t be the only one who’s feeling a tad bit overwhelmed with the impending hustle of the next twelve weeks. It’s only been three weeks into the spring semester, and I already feel like the rustic bricks of Old College are being thrown at me.

Nevertheless, how we handle the pressure of achieving a healthy work-life balance is fully within our control—if we develop the right mindset to do so. One of my objectives for personal growth this semester is to really work hard to stay on top of my academics and activities, and I want to share with you some of the strategies I have been using in order to do just that. Continue reading

“Artes Vita: The Intelligence Quotient” By Abhigna Rao

You know that feeling when you’re in a serious Zen writing mode and you’re not looking at the screen because the letters on the typewriter are all that matter right now but then you decide to take a quick peek to make sure that the cursor is still in the right place and you realize that somewhere along the way you accidentally HIT THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON INSTEAD OF THE SHIFT KEY AND NOW YOU’RE SCREAMING EVERYTHING THAT YOU’RE WRITING WHILE CONTEMPLATING IF IT’S REALLY WORTH IT TO GO BACK AND FIX EVERYTHING?

Yeah. Today was an aggressive Monday. Anyway.

So, I’ve calmed down slightly from my initial adrenaline rush, which was quite evident in my last post (and roughly 36 seconds ago), and I’m back with quite the riveting topic of discussion: intelligence. What exactly is intelligence? How is it defined? Are some people really “smarter” than others? Where does the distinction lie between feeling smart and being smart? Continue reading

“Artes Vita: A New Beginning” By Abhigna Rao

Attack life with abandon.

This is the first lesson I taught myself after high school. No more staring at the ground while walking, no more hiding out in the library during social hour, and absolutely no more avoiding the teacher’s eye contact during class discussion.

Approximately four weeks ago, I arrived on campus the same quiet and reserved girl I had been throughout grade school. But being included in orientations and icebreakers and group dinners by default during my first few days at UD literally forced me to turn over a new leaf. And I am so grateful that it did.

Quite honestly, after the initial uneasiness passed, I went nuts. I made fast friends with all the students in my residence hall section, as well as people across floors in my building. I applied to 186 South College (success!), ran for President of the Redding Hall Community Council (a bit less successful there, but that’s okay!), attended a City Council meeting, and signed up for twenty-three and a half RSOs with the full intention to commit to all of them. With even more exciting projects on my mind to work on in the weeks to come, starting college has been endlessly liberating and thrilling so far. Continue reading

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