Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Tenzing. We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!
Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.
I study Neuroscience and Anthropology. It aligns well with the concept of a pineapple pizza or a sour patch kid. It’s something that may seem odd at first, but it fits so well (Yes, I am a supporter of the pineapple pizza concept). Though Neuroscience is a hard science and anthropology falls into a social branch of study, it gives me a new perspective on my passion. I took on Neuroscience as a summer program at a Harvard Summer Institute where I discovered the wonder of the brain. At the same time, I was longing to learn about my heritage. I found that the study of nomadic populations could be accessed through Anthropology. I struggled in leveraging a field of study that would make my parents proud and something that I wanted to study. Eventually, I realized that integrating my love for Neuroscience and Anthropology was exactly the path I needed to tread. I have learned about the connections of my cultural heritage to science through high altitude impact on neurological functioning, the integration of mindful practices on cognitive processing, and the Neurological implications of Buddhism on the brain. It all worked out in its favor.
What is one thing you are most proud of achieving in your life?
I am proud to be a first-generation college student. In my life, there are many moments to share gratitude for. My most profound achievement is a shared collective that embraces my family and community. As a first-generation American, I have shared the privilege of receiving an education, making friends, and giving back to my community. Where I am is the result of my parents’ stories as Sherpa immigrants, my grandmother’s stories as matriarchal heads of their families in the village, the stories of my nomadic ancestors who traveled along the Himilayas to find a settlement. I am very proud of my familial heritage to be where I am today as a 3rd-year college student in Chicago.
What do you enjoy most about teaching/tutoring, Tenzing?
There is something profound and incredible about experiencing growth for your student. A large part of my teaching philosophy is that I get to learn just as much about myself as my student learns from their curriculum. One of my most memorable experiences as a tutor has been getting to work with younger students. As a Neuroscience student, I spend a significant amount of time engaging in the cognitive learning processes that develop in children during their prime learning ages (4-7). In relation to this, I get a chance to apply those learned techniques to learning skills with my students and the outcomes always yield success. My experience as a tutor has granted me the opportunity to see growth applied and in progress. If I had to closely resemble this experience, I make the analogy to watching your plant sprout. You feel a great deal of curiosity and joy for the work you’ve placed into this wonderful plant.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to engage in wellness techniques and find pockets of mindfulness. Some of my wellness practices include Yoga, Weightlifting, Running, and Spin classes. I love to engage in wellness outside of physical practices with food. I also run a wellness account that introduces holistic and plant-based foods that are locally sourced. Some pockets of mindfulness include meditation and mindful breathing. I try my best to engage in finding silence at least once throughout my day as a way to ground myself. Silence tends to be my best friend in moments when life begins to take over.
Tell about an amazing trip you took. Where did you go and what did you enjoy most?
The trip I always reference is my first visit back to Nepal when I was 13. It was a turning point in my understanding of my identity. Of all my experiences, the most enjoyable moments were the smells. As odd as it may sound, it was the first time I could truly sense what the Earth felt like. I went from smelling the street vendors on the streets of Kathmandu to the clouds 12,000 feet high in my village nestled in the Himalayas. Mostly, I enjoyed the silence my trip brought me. It gave me a new perspective on my approach to life.
Is there something exciting you are working on now? What is it and why did you choose to start it?
I have a few side projects in the works at the moment. One of them includes my Yoga career which includes the development of an app with a business partner. I am really excited to develop my training into something that integrates traditional Tibetan practice into Western Yogacara. Another project I am currently working on is my lab where I will be specializing in tissue collection to study the effect of hypoxia on oxygen intake. This comes from my interest in engaging in genetic work with molecular application.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? What is it and why did it resonate with you?
There is a story known as “Layla and Majnun,” which is the Islamic depiction of what we consider “Romeo and Juliet,” that envelops me in a new world every time I read it. A majority of my reading has always been academic based, whether that be assigned literature or research papers to autobiographical pieces about my professors. Rarely did I ever engage in reading out of my own enjoyment, so I struggled to find what genre I would take a liking to when I ventured into reading on my own. My dear friend had sent me a series of texts she felt would resonate with me so I have her to thank for igniting my love for traditional Epics. This story is a reflection of our understanding of love in its various presentations. It is unlike most Western literature that focuses on Love for self as a means to an end, Eastern literature shares love as a dependent cycle that focuses on our attachments. It’s something I find great solace in reflecting on my understanding of love.
Is there a person in the world with whom you would love to have a private lunch and why? He/she might just see this! 🙂
I have always wanted to share a lunch with His Holiness. A part of me feels like this might elicit the same experience as eating with my father. As a Tibetan Buddhist, a large part of my upbringing was rooted in compassionate action. Everything we do as a family has always been rooted in compassion and mindful living. Aside from our shared background as Tibetan Buddhists, His Holiness is a blessing in our life. My understanding of my faith has always centered around his teachings and as I have grown older, I have realized how the center of our philosophy is kindness. For this reason, sharing a cup of chai and Khapse (traditional cookie) seems so sweet. There is still so much to learn 🙂
The road to success is difficult and requires tremendous dedication. What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
Find moments of compassion in all that you do. Find silence. Patience is a virtue that extends lifetimes. Share your dreams to ears that want to listen. Give yourself grace. There are so many parts to these small lessons that I have learned and continue to take from my experience as a tutor and a student.
Please share your favorite Life Lesson quote.
“A life lived for others is a life worthwhile” – Albert Einstein. This is a quote that I found in a storage closet that was framed when I was an intern for City Year Denver. When I worked under this nonprofit, I was introduced to educational reframing. This experience opened up my understanding of higher education and the ways that political, social, and economic reform affected educational outcomes for various institutions.