Last Call: Sahil Luthra

As the semester progresses at the speed of light, the senior class is beginning to make peace with that fateful day in May: Commencement. Until the class of 2014 leaves us, BlogDH wants to highlight all the interesting things they’ve been up to. To this end, we’re (re)starting the series Last Call, which features seniors reflecting on their experiences at Brown. Each featured senior will tag another senior for the next installment. Find this year’s other “Last Call” chains here.

Then + Now

Then + Now

People might know me as…
That guy who makes really corny jokes when he emcees events. Or that guy who makes really corny jokes during improv shows. Or that guy who makes really corny jokes generally.

In my time at Brown, I am most proud of…
The friendships I made. I certainly learned a lot from classes, but I learned the most from friends and mentors, and I’m really hoping to cherish those friendships. I’m awful at staying in touch, but I really hope to do so after graduating.

On a Friday night, you might find yourself…
Is it boring to say hanging out with friends? Well, it’s what I do, and my mama taught me not to lie, so that’s what I’m going to say. I tend to prefer low-key nights, though that doesn’t mean I won’t get crazy on a dance floor. I particularly love lip-syncing while doing interpretative dances.

The best class/professor at Brown is…
CLPS 0020: “Introduction to Cognitive Science” with Sheila Blumstein. That was the class that got me to really get excited about science in a way that I hadn’t been before. Sheila’s also a fantastic professor–full disclosure: I’m working in her lab after I graduate, so I might be a bit biased. I also loved ENGL 1190M, which is the class all writing fellows are required to take. Doug Brown is a great instructor, I loved my classmates, and everyone was actually really excited about the work. Listing two classes is kind of cheating, isn’t it? Sorry about that.

Three things you wish you knew freshman year…
So there are definitely things I didn’t know freshman year that I now know—academically, for instance, I wish I had been bolder about shopping to really find classes that I loved—but I don’t wish I had known these things as a freshman. The whole point of college is to learn as you go through the experience. If I had already known what I know now, then I wouldn’t have learned anything.

Ratty vs. V-Dub?
Ratty, hands down. I’ve been a Ratty boy since freshman fall. I go every day. It’s gotten to the point where I know what food to expect based on the day of the week. If you want bacon, go on Monday mornings.

The best random thing you did in your time at Brown is…
You know that kind of dancing that people do in like door frames? Like where you use the frame all seductively? I call it a “stripper box dance,” but I don’t know if that’s the actual name. I was hanging out with some friends, and we dared someone to do a stripper box dance, and she didn’t know how to. And I didn’t think I knew how to, but I decided to try and teach her. And it turned into me sort of leading this group workshop of how to do stripper box dances, which I wouldn’t have expected I was capable of doing.

One thing you wish you had done…
I never went to a frat party. I don’t know whether I missed out, but I do feel like it would be creepy for me to go after I graduate. So I guess that’s something I didn’t do that maybe I should have.

After graduation, you plan to…
Stick around in Providence! I have a research assistant position for the next couple of years, so I’ll be scanning people’s brains and figuring out what’s going on when they listen to speech.

What’s the hardest class you’ve taken at Brown? If you could do it over, would you still take it?
By far, Math 35, which is the honors multivariable calculus course. I took it as a freshman, because I was like, “I took honors math in high school and loved it, so I should stick with that in college!” Honors math is quite different here. I wouldn’t suggest taking it as a freshman, but it might not have been so bad if I were older and wiser.

What’s been the most rewarding extracurricular that you’ve been a part of during your four years? Why?
I’m going to cheat again and talk about two because I hate making decisions. The first one is the improv troupe I was in, Karin and the Improvs. I didn’t know anything about improv comedy when I came to Brown, but now I feel comfortable making a fool of myself in front of large crowds. Improv actually has a surprising amount of applicability to real life. I feel like I’m more willing to take risks and just roll with whatever is happening.

The second one is the Brown Daily Herald—and no, I’m not just saying that because this is an interview with Blog. One of my favorite things I got to do on The Herald was in-depth reporting articles, looking at things like the changing mission of the University and changes in educational approaches to introductory STEM courses. Working on those taught me how to look at a big picture and notice trends emerging from smaller stories. Plus the people there are really fun.

Sum up your thesis in one sentence, lolmythesis style.
Sometimes your brain can tell who you’re talking to.

One piece of advice for underclassmen?
Your undergrad experience should be a fundergrad experience! Pursue your interests, but don’t be afraid to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. And if you don’t overload your schedule, you’ll get the most out of your academic and social experiences.

Who are you tagging next?
My twin sister, Shefali Luthra. In high school, everyone thought we were basically the same person, but I feel like she’d have different answers to most of these questions. So I’d be curious to see what she says to these.

Question for Shefali:
Which fictional character would you most like to take to tea/coffee?

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