Archive | September, 2016

Libraries infuse magic into studying abroad

29 Sep

When we go abroad to study, of course we do so for academic reasons. But however serious you are about studies, the rest of life does not grind to a halt. Life can enrich your studies, and your studies can enrich life. And my experience has been that libraries enrich both. I went to graduate […]

Word Nerd: Is Your Autumn Mellow or Macabre?

26 Sep

Hit the average litterateur with the word autumn, and instead of stars, John Keats’ lines will swim before his or her eyes. And certainly, autumn is a “season of mists”, of “mellow fruitfulness”, of the “maturing sun” and other warm and romantic fantasies. But it is also a season of cooler air, longer nights and […]

How a homeschooled Mumbai teen won a scholarship to MIT

20 Sep

A 17-year-old girl from Mumbai with no formal schooling for the last four years just started her first semester at MIT. Her credentials? A-grade programming skills and three medals at the International Olympiad in Informatics. Malvika Raj Joshi’s story is an extraordinary one. Her story is about the happy coincidence of rare talent and good […]

Word Nerd: A Good Vocabulary Makes You Smarter

19 Sep

Some years ago, a friend and I were in a shop that sold kitchenware in a suburban Mumbai market. The store, run by a second-generation trader, was tiny and crammed, as it had always been, but over the years some of the traditional steel bartan had given way to imported items, such as casseroles and […]

Word Nerd: 5 foreign words that English-speakers get wrong

12 Sep

Namaste! For starters, here’s a lesson in how not to say that word: Mispronouncing a foreign word should not be confused with saying it with a different accent. Everybody has some accent, and those of us who lack the talent of Meryl Streep or Jon B. Higgins cannot lose our accent completely. But anyone can […]

Meet Cornell University’s 12-year-old Student: Jeremy Shuler

9 Sep

A 12-year-old boy just started with engineering classes at Cornell University this September. He is their youngest ever student and his name is Jeremy Shuler. His story has been extensively covered because it is astonishing to most of us. But, his parents, Andy and Harrey Jeong Shuler, recognized his unusual brilliance at an early age. […]

Word Nerd: How We Are Divided by a Common Language

5 Sep

359 million of us may speak English but accents still distinguish us – just like the brand of our watch or sunglasses, the degree we hold, or the clothes we wear. When we travel, accents can seem like verbal passports – they announce who we are and where we’re from. They also help us build […]