Hello Everyone, I am Raj (Rajyashree) Sundaram - great to be a part of RVoice

Hello Everyone, I am Raj (Rajyashree) Sundaram - great to be a part of RVoice

Raj sundaram
Raj sundaram Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭

I am Raj (Rajyashree) Sundaram, a materials science researcher based at a national institute in Japan. I am delighted to be a part of a community like Rvoice that aims to discuss mental health in academia. My core position on mental health in academia is that systemic issues external to individual researchers affect individual researchers' mental health and their performances. My goal on this platform is to serve persistent reminders of this position and stress on the need to create fairer, more open, transparent, honest, compassionate and empathetic academic workplaces and communities. I feel that this is an aspect that tends to be sidelined in a world where the recipe of success and happiness boil down to asking individuals to "work a bit harder, love themselves a bit more, make better choices, not give up a bit longer". I used to be a believer and proponent of "self-reliance/self-management irrespective of external circumstances" for a long time myself. However, with first hand experiences and observation, I have come to increasingly doubt this stance. I now believe that the system - resource/opportunity allocation, aspects like work hours/job security, mentoring and support-systems are as vital as if not more vital than individual virtues (talent, proactiveness, hardwork, being nice and a team player, etc.). A better system is the sureshot way to tap into talent pools and bring out the best in individuals. This core philosophy of mine is often reflected in my posts that tend to be a bit contrarian.

When I am not being contrarian [and dissing neoliberal individualism 😜], I enjoy reading. History, philosophy, psychology and sociology are my favorite topics. Other learning pursuits include Japanese language and culture (history). I also love watching socially-themed documentaries and late-night talk shows - Adam Curtis and John Oliver are my current favorties. Jon Stewart and George Carlin are my all time favourites. Besides intellectual/mental pursuits, I love making friends with puppies on walk and their hoomans who are forced to tag along 😁. Driven by a nomadic - almost cavewoman spirit, I enjoy long distance solo running, swimming, hiking and walking-around-all-day-with-a-backpack-doesnt-matter-where enjoying the beauty of nature and/or human spirit.

With experience in managing PTSD (and related depressive symptoms) - I am currently training part-time to be a trauma-centered therapist.

My future vision is a world where we together create communities through which we look out for and support each other to bring out the best in each of us for the future of the planet and ourselves.

Comments

  • Jayashree R
    Jayashree R Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 43 admin

    Hi @Raj sundaram - happy to see you here. Thanks for the lovely and very detailed profile. I now know there are many things we share in common - love for puppies (or any pets) that drag their hoomans along, travelling, backpacking, being a nomad at heart, admiring nature, learning a language...and the future vision! Your emphasis on the need for larger level change in the academic culture is perhaps one of things that will help us build a more nurturing and supportive environment. And since we've interacted before, I know that your reading includes a lot of posts on topics that a lot of us here on this platform would find interesting. You and I could perhaps talk about the goodreads collection we once discussed and make sure it materializes here! What do you think?

    Looking forward to having insightful conversations with you and to a lot more food for thought.

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 31 admin

    Yay - another Adam Curtis fan. I have just finished watching his latest - "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" - and now want to go back and watch his whole output again. 😏

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    edited March 10

    @chris leonard Yaaay, fellow Curtis-fan! I believe his documentaries should be a part of school and university education. "Cant get you out of head" is like a magnum opus - that combines everything he has been trying to convey from "Pandora's box" - through "Century of self" - right down to "Hypernormalization". Rewatching his entire work is exactly what I did as well after "Cant Get You Out of My Head". 😂 Looking forward to more opportunities to discuss his work with you!

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭
    edited March 10

    @Jayashree Rajagopalan Totally - let us try to share our reading lists. And yes - I look forward to being a part of this community, to understand and change mindsets (my own and that of others) and participate in working together to build better academic environments! And great to see we have so much in common - always a good basis for a friendship :)

  • Erin Owens
    Erin Owens Member Posts: 1

    @Raj sundaram Hi and welcome! I loved your comment about meeting dogs on walks with their hoomans. I cannot resist a fuzzy pet of any sort! If I go to a party at someone's home (well, pre-COVID), you will always find me petting their cat or dog (or rabbit, or goat, or guinea pig...!) 😂

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭

    @Erin Owens Haha...Totally relate about focusing entirely on furry cuteness and unconditional love at parties of hoomans. 😂

  • Yufita Chinta
    Yufita Chinta Member Posts: 22 ✭✭✭

    Greetings from Hokkaido, @Raj sundaram 🤗

    What a lovely activities and wish for the future.... Hopefully we can exchange our experiences with Japanese academia things ☺️

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 81 ✭✭✭

    Sure, @Yufita Chinta 🙂

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