A Falmouth, Maine resident and an Aries, Michael Melnick came to UR three years ago in pursuit of a philosophy degree, only to realize in his first semester that he was meant to study religion and neuroscience. Besides being a double-degree senior, Melnick is a lover of the arts, playing the guitar and mandolin with his band, Oceaniris, and practicing Shotokan karate and Tai Chi Chuan. On campus, he is a Community Adviser in Hillcourt, a Student Leader at the IT Center and is currently working in Duje Tadin’s lab studying vision and attention.
Why did you decide to come to UR and what do you intend to do in the future?
I decided to come to UR after staying the weekend and getting to know a smattering of the interesting and incredible people it was producing. I’ve had the chance to do a fair share of research while here, so things may be leading me toward graduate school in neuroscience, but a D.O. degree is also a possibility. I’m not sure just yet where I’ll end up.
So you’ve taken Sanskrit. How was that?
Taking Sanskrit was a pretty incredible, if not entirely practical, opportunity. Despite two years of studying it, I think the greatest thing I gained was an appreciation of how outrageously complex it is. That being said, our Sanskrit class got a pretty unique treatment. Somewhere amidst memorizing declensions, we were offered translations of popular lines like ‘Show me the money” ‘pasya me datum” and got access to the incredible amount of culture surrounding and created by the Sanskrit language.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Those would have to be music and martial arts I guess and cooking, too. Oh and taking baths, thank goodness I have a bathtub this year! At any rate, I started playing guitar when I was 8 or so and picked up mandolin in high school.
I started Shotokan karate around 5 and started practicing more Chinese-based arts around middle and high school, now spending most of my time with Tai Chi Chuan.
Cooking is more of a biological imperative, but I guess at the point where I’m making pumpkin whoopie pies it’s no longer serving just that purpose. The band I’m in, Oceaniris, is loads of fun and is a group of super dedicated students as well as musicians hoping to get together to play great music.
If you could be a random box of cereal, which one would you be?
I don’t really eat any cereal these days; I always get tired of them after a few bowls. Let’s go with Muesli who’s ever picked that before?
Venkateswaran is a member of the class of 2011.