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Monday, 10 November 2014

Diary of an inquisitive teen 2- Life in America

November 11, 2014
Mesa, Arizona (United States of America)

Santa Monica, California
Read the first installment of DIARY OF AN INQUISITIVE TEEN here>>>

3 Months in the United States! Life is beautiful, and busy! My experience so far has given me memories to cherish and lessons to remember. When I return to India, next June, I’ll be a changed individual; changed for better and changed to confront each and every situation life has to offer.
Indian Food with host mom
I met my host family on August 15 (India’s Independence Day, metaphorically). To my utter delight, I now think that I couldn’t have got a more cooperative and supportive family. The disorganized person fled out of the chaos and started to plan everything ahead of time. It’s just incredible!

Bruin MUN at UCLA
So, I had got the passport to the Toro Nation (Toro-or bull is my school’s mascot) and was ready to be a skinny Toro (I admit I am skinny). I started at Mountain View High School on August 18. On the very first day, I learned the fact that American High Schools are way different from their Indian counterparts. In India, students sit in the classroom and teachers walk in and out while here it’s just the opposite. Schools in India require the students to be dressed up in school uniforms- from tie to shoes. Students aren’t permitted to carry electronic devices like cellphones and yes, we don’t use calculators in our Math class (Maths in British English but Math in American English…a small but significant difference). The public display of affection between opposite sexes is nearly forbidden.
My first days at the school were difficult! I had to adapt to a range of situations. Socializing was tough as every hour here has different classmates. Some of the classes were way too easy. So, I changed my schedule in a week. American History easily became my favorite core class. Among the other classes I have are AP Chemistry, Pre-Calculus, American Literature, Yearbook and Model United Nations. Model UN is super fun! Oh…I forgot to mention that I am just coming from Bruin MUN at UCLA (November 8-9) where I won Honorable mention award representing the Singaporean delegation. 
Fun with friends
So, now was the time for clubs. I joined Mosaic writing club given my passion for writing. You won’t believe it but I was elected the president of my school’s European culture club despite of not knowing any European language (Don’t be silly by considering English one).
Let me tell you about some ridiculous questions I was asked.
A random guy at school: Do you guys travel on horses and elephants in India?
Me: Hmm…yes, and our traffic police moves on camels!
Guy: Really?
Me (laughing): Get yourself out of the bubble, dude! US is not the only place in the worlds with cars.
Kurta with Swastika
I was also asked why I was a vegetarian and if “Facebook” was there in India or not. Some people also misunderstood Swastika (A Hindu religious symbol meaning peace) on my shirt for the Nazi sign which looks similar. I am having a great time capturing these awesome reactions in the hard drive of my memories. 

Halloween Jail breaker "Elvis Presley"
I felt homesick at just one occasion- India was celebrating Diwali- the festival of lights and I had to content myself by skyping with my family. But, Halloween was fantastic! Dressed as a jail breaker with a mouthful of candies, I enjoyed carving pumpkin and creating an artificial graveyard.

At Phoenix Zoo
Everything is awesome! In the words of Thoreau, I am sucking out all the marrow of life.
Feel free to ask me anything about India or make a suggestion. Waiting for your mail,

(Akash Kumar is the Editor-in-chief of 
A Senior grader at Mountain View High School in Mesa, Arizona (USA), he is India's youth ambassador to US on a Department of State program. He hails from Motihari, Bihar, India.)

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A series of skype group conversations beetween students from India & Pakistan
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