Thoughts from Paris

My trip to Paris was a moderately big deal for me as it was my first solo trip to a place where I don’t speak the language, and despite significant travels in Asia and the United States, I was also the first in my immediate family to set foot in Europe. And as I’ve been […]

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Beyond Sunshine and Nostalgia

This post was initially planned to be published last summer, after my first ASIMS, but with my second ASIMS rapidly approaching, I wanted to take a moment to finish writing it and put it up. Late May last year (2016), I had the great fortune to be able to return to my alma mater for […]

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More Than Dreams and Commodities: Why I Do What I Do

I’ve had multiple occasions in my PhD program where I feel bad about not having some noble moral ambition for wanting to do what I do. I know people who are here because they want to investigate how to get people to be healthier, protect journalists, investigate how power and media shape societal beliefs, and […]

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Music and Memories

A week after I graduated from USC, I was set to visit my then-girlfriend up in Santa Cruz. The first leg of this trip entailed a long train journey up the coast to San Jose. I went prepared for this lengthy trek with a new album from Christopher Tin, one of my favorite composers of […]

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The Case for a Social Sciences Research Lab at TJHSST

People grow up wondering and pondering about different things. I’ve always thought of TJ as a place that nurtures this innate inquisitiveness with its emphasis on science and scientific thinking, a place that equips us with the fundamentals needed to think critically at a broad level but then allowing us to hone in on particular topics […]

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Reflections on Week 1 of Grad School

Well, technically, Week 0.5 since this first week started on Weds, but close enough. 1) I have friends!!! What a great feeling! Well, I dunno, I guess we could still be at that early social phase like the one in college where everyone’s just being nice for the sake of being nice only to later end up retracting […]

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Teenager vs Parents: winning the college major argument

Let’s rewind to junior year of high school. At the time, I was smack in the middle of my music obsession phase, where I was staying up til 4am+ arranging or writing music. My parents were generally supportive of my interest in music, which made sense given my dad’s time in his high school glee club and my mom’s […]

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From Annenberg to Annenberg

It’s been an incredibly stressful few months, in the best way possible. The wave of responses to my PhD applications began in January, and it has been… unexpectedly overwhelmingly positive. Really, after a crushing round of failures last year – applying for the completely different field of marketing had been a terrible idea – I wasn’t expecting […]

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