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For my Monroe Project, I was originally planning on doing a sort of literary analysis of all the things I read, but I think I’m just going to reference them as I go along. I’m trying to keep this text both casual and formal, personal and impassive (a bit like my own personality, I would surmise), and I think this is a better way. The goal is somewhere between the descriptive distance of a journalist and the flowing prose of a novelist.

Such lofty goals!

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This happened last summer, too, when I was working on my Freshman Monroe project. When I first drafted the project proposal, I proposed way too much. I couldn’t finish all my intended goals. And I felt like crap, like I was not only letting myself and my adviser down, but also letting down the Charles Center, whose commitment to funding student research is truly remarkable. I realized this towards the end of the project, and I was forced to slightly modify those original goals to suit the amount of research I was physically able to do and the intellectual tools I had within me.

And this summer’s Chappell Fellowship isn’t too different.

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I think that part of the reason I love reading works which are so obviously racist and Orientalist toward people from non-Western European countries is that it makes me think, “I am so much better than this!”

But reading more and more works like this now only seem to fill me with unease. These authors are, in large part, well educated and (more or less) well intentioned. Will my writings be looked at similarly in 150 years?

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Tab[u]la Rasa

First speed bump in the transcription process of “Allah hu” by Nusraf Fateh Ali Khan: how to notate tabla drums.

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On Writing

I’ve decided, after spending a lot of time thinking about world issues (human rights, the election in Iran, abortion, domestic terrorism, etc.), to just sit down and to start writing. What follows is a bit of what may turn into an introduction, after several more edits and a more complete thought process.

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