Critical Language Scholarship Program | Isaiah Weaver
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Isaiah Weaver

Isa­iah Weaver is an alum­nus of the 2015 CLS Urdu pro­gram in Luc­know, India. He grew up in Gor­geous Prince George’s” Coun­ty, Mary­land, and is cur­rent­ly in his third year at Mor­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty, where he stud­ies elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing. When he isn’t tin­ker­ing with soft­ware, he enjoys scu­ba div­ing and rock climbing.

Why Urdu?

I stud­ied Hin­di the sum­mer before CLS, and I want­ed to learn the stereo­typ­i­cal­ly Mus­lim” lan­guage. When I grad­u­ate, I plan to uti­lize my Urdu skills for my entre­pre­neur­ial aspi­ra­tions in South Asia; I want to cre­ate a plat­form to train dis­ad­van­taged groups in engi­neer­ing sciences.

In a word…

My favorite Urdu word is moor” because it has a mul­ti­ple mean­ings depend­ing on the region of the world in which you live. In Urdu, it means pea­cock,” but in Greek, it means black,” and in Eng­lish, it means uncul­ti­vat­ed land.”

Sweet trans­la­tion

Dur­ing one of my per­son­al tuto­ri­als, I asked my pro­fes­sor for the trans­la­tion of the expres­sion the black­er the berry, the sweet­er the juice.” He was delight­ed to hear this because he had nev­er heard of any Black Amer­i­can idioms before. So, nat­u­ral­ly, we pro­ceed­ed to have sev­er­al trans­la­tion lessons on them and he was con­stant­ly laugh­ing at my antics.

Diver­si­ty, at home and abroad

It was impor­tant to hear about minor­i­ty Mus­lims’ expe­ri­ences, con­cerns, and fears. But it wasn’t just their sto­ries that were impor­tant — I also learned more about the diver­si­ty of thought amongst Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, which pro­pelled me to take inter­est in ideas I wouldn’t oth­er­wise have thought about. I start­ed to care about gen­der equal­i­ty and the expe­ri­ences of racial minor­i­ty women in the Unit­ed States. Also, it was the first time I met Amer­i­cans that have lived the major­i­ty of their lives out­side of the Unit­ed States. Sto­ries like these have cap­ti­vat­ed me since CLS.

If you had one day in India…

Go see the Botan­i­cal Gar­dens in Lucknow.

Words of wisdom

Embrace your inner lunatic, with­in rea­son. Do what you would nev­er do before in the Unit­ed States. YOLO. I bought street par­rots, fed mon­keys, and walked in traf­fic with­out any­one find­ing those activ­i­ties odd. I had a nice meal with the neigh­bor­hood auto-wal­lah that loved charg­ing a lit­tle bit extra for ser­vice, though I couldn’t under­stand him nor con­fi­dent­ly say he was trust­wor­thy. Sev­er­al times, peo­ple ordered me to fol­low them, bought me a meal or drink, and then asked for a pho­to. Now, I have nev­er been one to refuse a free meal, and the dif­fer­ent san­i­ta­tion require­ments of Luc­know weren’t a good enough rea­son to start!


Alumni Profiles

Isaiah Weaver
Isaiah Weaver
Urdu 2015
Lucknow, India

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Posted Date

May 03, 2016