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Assignment #1

In the fall of my senior year of high school, I started applying to different colleges around
the country. When it was decision-making time in April, my family and I decided to tour the UW.
The moment we got on campus, I was in awe of the beauty of this school. Along with the
beautiful Suzzallo Library and Rainier Vista, I learned that UW is a great research school and is
also known for its experiential style of teaching. Many of the other schools I was looking into
were very theoretical based, and I tend to thrive in a hands-on environment. I attended the
Honors information session and loved the interdisciplinary approach the program has to offer. I
am a premed student, but I also love music, dance, and art. I plan to continue to develop myself
in those areas as well, and the Honors program and the UW in general allows me to take classes
in many subjects and explore my likes and dislikes. When I had to make that final decision to
commit to one university, I knew that the University of Washington was the right choice. Aside
from all the academic opportunities at this school, weather turned out to be a major factor as
well. I looked forward to the rainy Seattle weather especially after growing up in the California
drought. I was also excited to be surrounded by a different demographic than the one I grew up
in. It allows me to meet different kinds of people and explore different backgrounds, cultures,
and ethnicities.
In terms of my career plan, Ive known Ive wanted to be involved in medicine since I
was a young child. My favorite subject in school has always been science; I loved the days when
we could perform experiments or learn about how the human body works. It piqued my curiosity
and I began to inquire about everything from a very young age. In high school, I was accepted
into UCLAs three-week long summer NeuroCamp Program, where we learned about the
different parts of the brain, tested for Huntingtons Disease in mice, and measured action
potentials in our muscles and in crickets and cockroaches. That experience is what kindled my
specific interest in Neuroscience.
As a child, I loved mystery stories, and still do. The brain, or black box is not yet fully
understood, and that intrigues me. As I matured, I realized that the one thing that distinguishes
humankind is also the one thing that puzzles us the most. Our actions and dreams originate in
this remarkable organ - home to intangible thoughts and memories. The left side of the brain
controls the right side of the body. The medulla controls the breathing rate. Neurons transmit
stimuli so fast that the body naturally reflexes. These ideas consume me and I want to learn as
much as I can about them.
Even though I am dedicated to learning Neuroscience and going into the healthcare field,
this year, and for the rest of my college experience, I hope to take classes across all disciplines
because I believe that there is a strong connection between science and the humanities that cant
be separated. I have been learning piano for 10 years and dance for 13, so music is an integral
part of my life and who I am. My background in piano and dance connect to my interest in
Neuroscience. Dancing blends cerebral and cognitive thought processes through storing muscle
memory. Classical music activates the left and right hemispheres of the brain, maximizing
learning and causing the brain to be more capable of processing and retaining information. Just
like how the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system are different but cannot
function without each other, music and medicine are intertwined for me. I admire that the
University of Washington Honors Program is giving me the opportunities to combine my
passions to enhance who I am as a holistic person and a future scientist and healer.

Assignment #3
In "Making Hope & History Rhyme," Paul Farmer encourages the graduating class to
solve problems so that hope and history can rhyme. What he means by this is to wish for
something better than what has happened before. He believes that it is necessary to build social
movements to initiate change. He discusses various global challenges such as poverty,
healthcare, and racism. However, one very important global challenge he did not mention is
gender inequality. In many parts of the world, females are considered weaker and less able than
their male counterparts and when hope and history rhyme, I believe that there will be equal
opportunities granted to both genders.
Farmers values of partnership, compassion, and thinking fractally are the most relevant
to solving this problem. Compassion allows us to put ourselves in other peoples shoes and think
of things from a different point of view. If more people felt compassion towards the inequality
between genders, they will be more likely to stand up against unequal acts. In the archaic way of
thinking, in any partnership between a man and a woman, the male has a stronger dominant role
in the relationship. People should instead think of partnerships as the bond between two people
where they both have their strengths and weaknesses. No one gender is born as better equipped
to handle situations. Finally, thinking fractally means thinking about how all the individual parts
of a whole fit together. Society is not made up of just one gender, in fact, it would not survive
that way. Women are just as important to the community as men and must be considered when
decisions are made for the entire population.
Just last month, Californias governor, Jerry Brown, signed an equal pay act. Women in
California were earning about 84 cents for every dollar a man made for the same job. This new
law ensures that businesses must issue the same salary to a man and woman if they have a
substantially similar job. Women in California can now challenge their wage even if a male at
a different site but under the same employer is getting paid more for the same job. Wage
differences can only exist according to factors other than gender, such as job-merit. Jennifer
Lawrence, an Academy-Award winning actress, released an essay titled Why Do I Make Less
Than My Male Co-stars? In the Sony Entertainment hack, it was released that she and another
female actress in the movie American Hustle both received less pay for their roles than their male
co-stars. She also wrote about how women are considered rude or bossy for stating their opinion
while men are congratulated on it. She writes, Another leaked Sony email revealed a producer
referring to a fellow lead actress in a negotiation as a spoiled brat. For some reason, I just cant
picture someone saying that about a man. This shows the effects of gender bias felt by women
in the workplace.
The word feminism has become the point of discussion in the last year and for good
reason. The word itself had a negative connotation for a while because of the root word,
feminine, which seems to imply to some that it is the downgrading of men. However, as Emma
Watson, a feminism activist, puts it, feminism is the belief that men and women should have
equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the
sexes. This is an important issue to talk about because women need to understand that they are
not less than men and that all genders deserve an equal shot. For this to happen and come to
fruition, everyone needs to take a stand against inequality, and with small steps like the new
California law, we are slowly but surely getting there.
In todays day and age, social media is one of the most influential ways to initiate change
and with strong social media presences like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson speaking up
against the inequalities women face, both in the workplace and out, it has started a movement.

The only way for the message to spread is if everyone takes a stand for equality and speaks out
against gender discrimination. When that happens, I believe that we can change the way society
sees gender.

Assignment #4
My partner is Joseph Shieh and he is from Yakima, WA. His academic interest is mainly
in engineering, specifically robotics and nano-engineering. Joseph started getting into robotics in
high school when he joined his schools robotics team and participated in competitions. To be
involved with service, Joseph can join UWs Engineers without Borders (http://ewbuw.weebly
.com). He can work with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life using
engineering projects.
The WSGC Summer Undergraduate Research Program is a great way for Joseph to get
into the research component of of engineering. It is a program found through the UW
Undergraduate Research Program (
ips/wsgc_internships/SURP_for_students.html) and students work under the guidance of a
faculty member, postdoctoral scholar or research scientist at UW in the field of engineering or
Another one of his interests is learning about other cultures. He likes talking to others and
learning about their different values and perspectives. Joseph finds it interesting to learn how and
why other cultures interact differently. To expand his interest on culture, one experiential
learning opportunity is studying abroad. Specifically, this summer, there is an Honors program in
Rome studying art, identity, and structures of exchange (
index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgram&Program_ID=10469). Joseph appreciates great
art and this program also complements Josephs anthropological interest in culture.

Assignment #5
This first quarter of college, many things changed. I moved to a different state, I met
new people from all over the world, and I learned to share my room with someone I had never
met before. However, one thing that has not changed since my junior year of high school is my
interest in the brain and medicine. I will definitely take classes to explore other majors because I
believe that there is a strong connection between science and the humanities that cannot be
separated. But for now, my intended major remains Neurobiology and I plan to pursue the
premedical track. My goals and expectations for myself have not changed much since the
beginning of the quarter till now. This is something that surprised me. I thought I would have
trouble finding my interests in terms of RSOs and extracurricular activities. In the first week or
so, I wanted to join about ten clubs and had so much on my mind that I wanted to involve myself
in. However, I was happy that I could narrow it down quickly and figure out my priorities. I
ended up auditioning and getting into the nationally competitive Bollywood dance team on
campus, UW Kahaani, and realized that dance is something I will not give up during my
undergraduate career. Dance is a stress-reliever, and it is a good outlet from my classes and other
activities. I have been dancing for 13 years and it one of the biggest hobbies in my life. I know
that I would not feel as satisfied in college by giving it up, so it is the number one extracurricular
that I currently am engaged in.
Another extracurricular that I would love to be a part of by the end of my first year at
UW is undergraduate research. I talked to a friend of mine who is a junior on the premed track as
well and she said that getting involved in research is the most important thing she did in her
undergraduate career so far. It is a way to connect what we learn in class with real world
applications. There are a lot of opportunities to grow and to challenge yourself in research. For
premed students, this is the best way to gain the rich lab experience. I am particularly interested
in the Psychology labs because I am intrigued by human behavior and the way humans think.
Also, another activity I am going to explore during my time at UW is medical volunteering
opportunities in the Seattle area because it is a good way to be put into a hospital environment
before medical school. It also improves your communication skills with doctors, nurses, and
especially the patients you work with.
Aside from activities related to my current career path, one thing I have learned about in
Honors 100 that I would like to investigate further is leadership positions to fulfill the
experiential learning component. Specifically, my Peer Educator, Maya, really inspired me to
want to be a Peer Educator next year. I want to be able to help the next group of Honors students
become more settled into the university as well as giving them access to the many helpful
resources on campus. Another position on campus similar to an Honors Peer Educator is a FIG
leader. I am enrolled in a FIG this quarter and it has helped me meet new people and explore the
Seattle area, so I would love to be a FIG leader and facilitate that class for next years freshman.
As a freshman, all the different things I can get involved in are endless and it got really
overwhelming to balance everything. It may be hard to find a balance between all the activities,
but if I am fully invested in everything I am doing, I should stick with it and I will find my own
rhythm soon. If it is something that sounds interesting, but not what I am truly passionate about, I
will not waste my time and energy on it. It is important to prioritize and stop doing things for the
sake of putting them on a resume and then I will be able to find the time to accomplish all the
goals I set out for myself.