Over the phone, my mother’s voice sounds the same as mine. Same cadence, same pitch, same laugh that bubbles from nowhere. We walk through the mall, and she criss-cross links our arms. A hat vendor asks us if we are sisters.
What the current admissions culture has spawned is a flurry of attempts to join extracurricular activities that look good to admissions officers, instead of allowing people the time to pursue things they’re truly passionate about.
Gamelan, pronounced jam-eh-lan, is a traditional instrumental ensemble from Indonesia that boasts a small but vibrant community at Harvard. The ensemble, led by Harvard artist-in-residence Jody Diamond, is composed of students, musicians, and local residents.
This culture of contempt hurts me, because I know that not so long ago, my family was part of that mercilessly mocked demographic. My mother may have been the stereotypical Asian tourist—but she too deserves basic respect.