Posts Tagged blog
With International Relations being one of Tufts’s most popular majors, odds are most Jumbos have had at least some exposure to basic economic principles. But whether you’re an econ-savvy Jumbo or one who chose another path, you’re bound to enjoy Tufts Economics Society’s new blog. In it, they discuss the current economic climate, things they learn in their classes, and musings on how economics affect our daily lives. Pierre Chalon, A14, wrote one of these posts and chose to focus on the Big Mac Index, common knowledge in the world of economics that simplifies our understanding of exchange rates.
“Here’s the interesting part. To simplify this theory and make it more accessible to people not necessarily knowledgeable about currency fluctuations, in 1986, The Economistmagazine published the ‘Big Mac Index,’ essentially a data table with prices of a single Big Mac burger in many countries in local currencies. The idea was to make the basket of goods merely a McDonald’s Big Mac burger so as to determine whether currencies were being over or under valued. How? Let me give an example. Let’s say the average Big Mac in America costs US$3.22 and 509 Kronur in Iceland (US$ 7.22 at the market exchange rate). This implies a PPP of 158 Kronur for a dollar (where they would equalize). We then compare the exchange rate of the currencies to the cost of a Big Mac to see where it would be cheaper overall to buy it. In this case, the actual dollar exchange rate is 68.4, meaning that the Icelandic krona is currently being over-valued by 131% and it should (in theory), depreciate against the US dollar.
Two years ago, we showed you how students on Tufts Hillel’s service trip to Rwanda learned and grew abroad. This year, Tufts Hillel continues their legacy of helping the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village with a new batch of students eager to repair the world. On their own branch of the Tufts Hillel blog, we find the stories of Hannah, Sam, Paige, Nate, Natasha, Arlen, Jessica, Ariana, Katie, Shane, Laura, and Tayo as they embark on their interfaith service trip:
“We all chose to come to Rwanda for different reasons and had different expectations, but we were all excited to be going. Some wanted to see a new country, while some wanted to see a new continent. Others wanted to experience a new culture. I think all of us wanted to learn about what had happened in 1994, and many also wanted the trip to help guide them to their future career choices.I will never forget the moment we stepped off the plane. I’m (Tayo) from Ghana, and when I go home I’m used to being hit with the hot air and the smell that can only mean that I’m finally in the place I love the most. But here I was, in Rwanda, a place I’d never been to, feeling sensations that were almost the same! I (Laura) was entirely unsure of what to expect as I had never been to Africa before. However, we both felt that after feeling the hot air and seeing the bright lights of Kigali—the endless hours of travel had all been worth it. We went through immigration and, after dealing with some luggage issues, hopped on the bus to Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. The bus ride was surreal. Although it was night time and everybody was exhausted, we were all so excited to be in the country that we had read and watched so much about.”
Though stereotypes of college students’ eating habits abound, Jumbos are generally known to live a healthy lifestyle, whether living in dorms or off-campus housing. These healthy tendencies are reflected in the many student-run organizations and their blogs.
Tufts Culinary Society is one of these groups. They recently wrote a very informative blog post on how to eat delicious, healthy meals on a college budget. Their suggestions included taking advantage of stores owned by Indian families, local produce and vegetables, and of course, the dining halls:
…sometimes one may feel inclined to use their meal plan to foster the creation of a home-cooked dinner, and Dewick and Carmichael are both rich with great ingredients. For example, the salad bar is full of vegetables that, in addition to adding interesting character to a salad when raw, can also be incorporated into an excellent stir-fry, stew, or pasta dish. Items that may merit particular attention are raw broccoli and cauliflower, sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and tofu. Get creative with your menu ideas—there are a lot of potential ingredients in the dining halls, from vegetables to peanut butter to chocolate chips on Sundae Sundays. Above all, be moderate and discreet when gathering your ingredients.
Another group urging students to make use of local product is Tufts Sustainability Collective. In addition to strengthening the environmental community on campus, TSC built a garden on campus and recently taught students how to plant herbs for the winter in recycled containers. If you didn’t get a chance to check learn their skills and are lacking in the fresh veggies department, have no fear, Balance Your Life, a student group committed to healthy lifestyles, has got you covered! In their blog, they detail the benefits of frozen veggies and even teach us the easiest way to cook them.
Fletcher School masters candidate Kristen Wallerstedt recently visited India and left with “a new perspective on life, society, history, and humanity.” As a student of international economics and politics, her first time in South Asia was life changing. She wrote a note about her experiences which was featured in the blog “Critical Twenties,” a blog ran by twenty-something Indians who wish to create a forum for discussions about India and its place in the world. In it, she contrasts India with the Western world and discusses culture, politics, the economy, the media, social movements, and the general life lessons she learned on her trip:
Sadh, one of the many Indian gurus, says that in your life, if you don’t do what you can’t do, there is no problem but if you don’t do what you can do, that is a tragedy. Spiritual leadership is prominent here; even the most modern and logical have a guru that they follow. From India, for now, what I learn that I can do is to place a higher value on spirituality, tradition and history, and to continue to develop intellectually and find peace amidst the craziness of the world. India made me realize that in contrast to the pressures I feel in America, for now, I don’t want to seek to have an impact on the world, as we are often urged in our American education. Instead, I have realized that I still need the world to have an impact on me.
Be sure to check out the rest of Kristen’s musings here.
In 2010, Tufts Engineers Without Borders went to Uganda and worked with the Foundation for Development of Needy Communities to bring clean water to the Shilongo Village. They analyzed the soil profile, measured flow rates of the streams, took water samples and tested them, conducted health surveys, and assessed the available local materials in the area. After meeting with community leaders, they decided to build a contraption to store clean water, a necessity for the village. A year later, EWB went back to the Shilongo Village and built a water tank for the community. Here’s a video of what they accomplished:
For many Tufts students, senior year means one thing: the senior thesis. After a year or more of research into a specific topic of intellectual interest, graduating seniors leave academia with a wealth of knowledge and research skills under their belts. For Tufts IR students, the knowledge they take from their studies goes hand-in-hand with our principles of active citizenship and global awareness. Last year, students dove into topics ranging from resurgent China to cyber deterrence. Michael Kremer, A11, chose to tackle the issue of immigration, specifically, the Diversity Visa. In his abstract, he includes,
Every year, 50,000 immigrants obtain Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) in the United States through a program called the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. [...] In Congress, the debate over the program has revolved primarily around the assumption that the lottery encourages increased diversity in the U.S. immigration system at the cost of attracting primarily low-skilled immigrants. The data show, however, that this perceived tradeoff does not actually exist.
The rest of Michael’s abstract as well as his entire thesis can be found on the Tufts IR Department blog, along with other student theses and IR event highlights. For more information on the IR Department, check them out on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re part of the IR program and hoping to get more involved, then be sure to join their LinkedIn group.
Tufts’s own freeform radio station’s blog is back for the semester! The folks who brought us The Awkward Freshman Playlist are continuing their tradition of enthusiasm, musical expertise, personality, and sass covering everything from music video picks to album reviews and breaking music news. Recently, WMFO staffer Maxine Builder, A13, chose “We Don’t Need Nothin’” by All Out as her Music Video Pick. All Out is a band founded by Tufts alum Matt McCormick, A10, known as the “unofficial face of the Beelzebubs” after their stint on NBC’s The Sing Off. In her post, Maxine gives the band an unorthodox Jumbo love shout-out,
… quite shockingly, All Out is actually somewhat popular with the broader, non-Tufts community. They’ve even been signed to a label, and their songs can be found on iTunes. [...] A lot of the elements [in the video] just scream “cheesy” like McCormick’s fake hipster glasses and the text that pops up on screen in case you wanted to sing along or forgot the name of the band. It’s not exactly an intellectually challenging three and a half minutes, but it’s made by a Tufts alum. So show him and the video some love, after the break.