Humans of Harker: Expectations and ideologies

Logan Bhamidipaty engages with Sinology and philosophy

%E2%80%9CI+like+learning+weird+stuff+about+Shintoism+and+communism.+No+one+is+going+to+test+me+on+that+ever%2C+but+I+still+do+it+just+because+it%27s+cool+to+know%2C+it%27s+fun+to+know%2C+and+currently+I+haven%27t+explored+myself+enough+to+really+know+why+I+think+it%27s+fun.+I%27m+not+sure+if+I+will+%5Bever+know%5D%2C+partially+because+I%27ve+stopped+caring+that+that+question+is+important.+I%27ve+recognized+that+my+love+of+China+or+East+Asia+and+my+interest+in+academia+is+just+something+ingrained+in+my+person%2C+and+I+don%27t+think+it%27s+necessary+to+explore+why+that+is+because+I+know+that+it+just+is%2C%E2%80%9D+Logan+Bhamidipaty+%2812%29+said.+
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Humans of Harker: Expectations and ideologies

“I like learning weird stuff about Shintoism and communism. No one is going to test me on that ever, but I still do it just because it's cool to know, it's fun to know, and currently I haven't explored myself enough to really know why I think it's fun. I'm not sure if I will [ever know], partially because I've stopped caring that that question is important. I've recognized that my love of China or East Asia and my interest in academia is just something ingrained in my person, and I don't think it's necessary to explore why that is because I know that it just is,” Logan Bhamidipaty (12) said.

“I like learning weird stuff about Shintoism and communism. No one is going to test me on that ever, but I still do it just because it's cool to know, it's fun to know, and currently I haven't explored myself enough to really know why I think it's fun. I'm not sure if I will [ever know], partially because I've stopped caring that that question is important. I've recognized that my love of China or East Asia and my interest in academia is just something ingrained in my person, and I don't think it's necessary to explore why that is because I know that it just is,” Logan Bhamidipaty (12) said.

Irina Malyugina

“I like learning weird stuff about Shintoism and communism. No one is going to test me on that ever, but I still do it just because it's cool to know, it's fun to know, and currently I haven't explored myself enough to really know why I think it's fun. I'm not sure if I will [ever know], partially because I've stopped caring that that question is important. I've recognized that my love of China or East Asia and my interest in academia is just something ingrained in my person, and I don't think it's necessary to explore why that is because I know that it just is,” Logan Bhamidipaty (12) said.

Irina Malyugina

Irina Malyugina

“I like learning weird stuff about Shintoism and communism. No one is going to test me on that ever, but I still do it just because it's cool to know, it's fun to know, and currently I haven't explored myself enough to really know why I think it's fun. I'm not sure if I will [ever know], partially because I've stopped caring that that question is important. I've recognized that my love of China or East Asia and my interest in academia is just something ingrained in my person, and I don't think it's necessary to explore why that is because I know that it just is,” Logan Bhamidipaty (12) said.

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What makes a leaf a leaf? How can you be sure that a green, organic structure hanging from a plant is indeed a leaf? On a rainy Friday afternoon in Dobbins, Logan Bhamidipaty (12) answers these questions while gesturing to the hanging verdant plant next to him. Supporting his reasoning with the ideas of famous philosophers Descartes and Hume, Logan speaks clearly and assuredly, his voice echoing through the hall.

“If you read Descartes, you can be like, ‘This leaf is a construct because it is just a perception that your eyes perceive. But since you’re a mortal, that perception is flawed, and thus, it might not actually be a leaf,’” he said. “Hume says that morality doesn’t exist, but most people agree on having a common set of values and believe that this is a leaf, punching an orphan is bad, so we should form our laws based on that common set of what is good and what is real.”

Logan’s interest in philosophy led him to the commonly-asked question: How can you differentiate reality from perception?

“I don’t think I could [define reality]. I’ve studied too many philosophers that have too strong opinions that disagree too often for me to say that one thing is equivocal to be real or not. I discovered the assumption that this leaf is real by the Merriam-Webster definition that it is real,” Logan said, laughing. “I think it’s a nice food-for-thought to debate what reality actually is, but when you want to proceed in life, it’s better to go with what society tells you to do, generally.”

Yet Logan has defied society’s expectations before and continues to do so. Even though he is without Chinese heritage, Logan decided to choose Mandarin as his foreign language, staying with the class until its furthest level in AP Chinese.

“There’s not that many people who have no experience with [Chinese] who’s studied it, let alone want to focus on it professionally,” he said. “I think that decision was sort of a product of me deciding to say ‘Screw you’ to social obligation and the construct of an ideal student.”

Over the course of high school, Logan’s resistance to social norms fostered more contentment within himself.

“I used to be very college-oriented. I was just like, ‘I will try everything. I will look at people who’ve gotten into the Ivy Leagues and I will copy them. I will become perfect.’ And I tried doing that for a bit. I burnt out and I was also unhappy,” he said. “I think being content with being weird, atypical, [made me] become happier.”

Besides Logan’s increase in self-satisfaction, his former Western Political Thought and his former World History teacher, Dr. Ruth Meyer, noticed his growth of poise and assertiveness in recent years.

“He started out quiet, but very hardworking and very curious, and always wanting to go the extra mile. And now, he’s still quiet, but he’s got a confidence about him,” Dr. Meyer said. “When you saw him freshman year, you wouldn’t necessarily know, unless you were his teacher, that he was brilliant. But now, because he’s got that confidence, I think he knows inside that he’s got these qualities that he’s going to do amazing work.”

His eagerness and hunger for more knowledge were qualities Logan’s former Chinese teacher, Dr. Shaun Jahshan, used to describe him as well.

“He’s a very intellectually curious person, so he when he studied Chinese with me for several years, he really carried it to a very high degree,” Dr. Jahshan said. “Whenever he did a project, he’d get very, very enthusiastic and really do a lot of research, [and he] has very intricate involved ideas with what he wants to do. You always feel like he could’ve done another entire project with the amount of research he had.”

In addition to his titles of scholar and student, Logan assumes the role of an open, candid friend.

“He’s always willing to listen when you just want to rant about something or you’re frustrated, and he’s a pretty honest person,” Logan’s friend Ishani Cheshire (12) said. “I don’t know if he sees himself this way, but he usually doesn’t say something if he doesn’t mean it.”

With Logan being National Chinese Honor Society president and a Near scholar researching the treatment of Chinese immigrants in America, his fascination with China is evident in many of his extracurriculars.

“What attracts me to China is its relevance in the modern world,” he said. “Mandarin is the obviously the most spoken language in the world and China has the largest economy, depending on the metric you use, so I feel like there’s a lot of potential to explore both in its 5,000 years of history as well as its future potential.”

Practicality and application, however, are not the only deciding factors for Logan’s enthusiasm for learning.

“I like learning weird stuff about Shintoism and communism. No one is going to test me on that ever, but I still do it just because it’s cool to know, it’s fun to know, and currently I haven’t explored myself enough to really know why I think it’s fun. I’m not sure if I will [ever know], partially because I’ve stopped caring that that question is important,” Logan said. “I’ve recognized that my love of China or East Asia and my interest in academia is just something ingrained in my person, and I don’t think it’s necessary to explore why that is because I know that it just is.”

Logan plans to major in East Asian studies in addition to political science or economics and study in China in the future.

“Where I see myself [in 10 years] is probably crammed away in a library in a graduate school in China, or arguing about the nature of leaves in Mandarin with my professor and/or friends,” he said.