Shaan Mukherjee Ghosh

UWC attended: Mahindra United World College of India
Class Year: Class of 2022

Pronouns: he/him 

Languages have always ruled my life, and when I realised that you could study linguistics a couple of years ago, I already knew exactly what I wanted to do. While at Lewis & Clark, I hope to gain true fluency in French, conduct research on the languages of the Indian subcontinent, and read a lot of great American literature (Edgar Allan Poe was once my favourite poet).

I made fanciful plans like these long before I started attending Mahindra UWC in India (MUWCI). I chose not to attend a UWC in another country because it meant a lot to me to stay in my motherland, India, and devote myself to engaging with its complexity. Instead, I wound up discovering the complexities and vulnerabilities that come with engaging with other teenagers all the time.

These last two years of high school have taught me about so many other forms of communication beside language. Intimacy, sharing and respect took on a new meaning as I was constantly surrounded by the people I loved the most in the world - as well as the people I wish I didn’t have to see every day.  While Lewis & Clark has less than 3,000 students, this is still going to be a huge shift from less than 300!

I am therefore keenly looking forward to making the most of opportunities on and off campus, and plan to be in Portland as often as I can. I love cities with character and PDX is certainly one. I imagine the streets will be very welcoming to a queer person like me. Not all liberal arts educations are made equal - so much about those four years depends on where you spend them, and it was location that drew me to L&C first. I will also be exploring the Pacific Northwest - my awe at the sheer magnificence and resilience of the earth truly solidified at MUWCI (and thanks to my Environmental Systems and Societies teacher, Ms. Ann Jyothis) and will continue to drive me at L&C.

MUWCI also made it necessary for me to learn how to cook from scratch (usually for one) - and I plan to get better at that, or at least cook for more people, at L&C. I strongly believe that crucial responsibilities such as feeding your community have been minimised because they have been less capitalised upon and also because they are considered feminine tasks, so making and sharing food is a political act. Some of my theories (especially those about artworks that I analysed for IB Visual Arts) are outlandish, but this is one I stand by. I am excited to encounter and grapple with new theories at Lewis & Clark, from both my professors and my peers.