About Sarah Ngu

Sarah Ngu (@sarahngu) graduated in 2012 from Columbia University with a degree in American Studies. She was a fellow at the Trinity Forum Academy, and now works in New York, where she is part of the thought leadership team at LRN, a company that advises organizations on values within leadership and culture.

Why You Must Read Shakespeare to Understand OITNB’s Second Season

Orange

 In its first season, Orange is the New Black (OITNB) was a show about a motley crew of women prisoners premised on the fact that these women were much more than criminals. They were mothers, wisecracks, lovers, entrepreneurs, dreamers and, most of all, friends (albeit among racial lines). It was also, on the other hand, a show about how there are “criminal” desires in all of us, even in bourgeois, educated people like Piper, the protagonist in the first season, who finds herself mal … [Read more...]

The Fault in Our Logic

A Fault In Our Stars

 When I was young, I heard many a sermon that was based on math. Pastors would make simple calculations like this: “The time you spend in heaven and hell will be far longer than the time you spend on earth. You should do things that contribute to your ‘eternal bank account’ (i.e. reading Bible, praying) rather than your ‘spiritual bank account’ (i.e. getting good grades, being cool). Live for something greater. For something eternal.” The logic was that whatever is longer is generally mo … [Read more...]

Un-sandwiching Holy Saturday: Reclaiming the Discipline of Waiting

Holy Saturday tends to gets sandwiched between Good Friday and Easter. I want to make the case that it is actually quite important.It is, at its essence, about waiting. Christ's disciples were awaiting persecution by the Romans and rabbis. We now are await the return of Christ. It is about waiting in limbo, in between stages, caught in the middle of the death of Good Friday and the life of Easter.It is, thus, an apt metaphor for this earthly life. As Christians we have died to our old … [Read more...]

The Shortcomings of “Love What You Do”

Evangelical Christians love to cite this widely popular quote by Martin Luther King Jr:“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”This is the love-what-you-do (LWYD) creed, to be contrasted with the opposite do-what-you-love (DWY … [Read more...]

Venmo and Friendship

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 I'm a fan of Venmo, an app that makes it incredibly easy to send and receive money. Instead of scrutinizing piles of dollar bills to figure out how exactly to pay the tab among a group of friends, one person can pick up the tab and charge the rest of their friends the exact amount via Venmo. However, if Venmo gets more and more popular, and Forbes' prediction that it will be the "future of payments" comes true, then I will start to mourn the loss of something.I will be mourning th … [Read more...]

Privilege, Repentance, Forgiveness

privilege

Identifying privilege offers insight into grace and allows us to take responsibility for both our own responses and the needs of others.Since graduating from college, I have received countless emails asking alumni for donations, most of which I have ignored. After the umpteenth solicitation, I started to think about why I should “give back” and reflect more deeply. “What benefits had I received from my elite education?” There were some obvious answers: social prestige, higher income, intell … [Read more...]

The Tyranny of Data

Data

 Data science has been dubbed by Harvard Business Review as “the sexiest job in the 21st century” and by The New York Times as a “hot new field that promises to revolutionize industries, from business to government, health care to academia.” As the Times article explains, technology has given us access to gargantuan amounts of data, and companies, universities, and governments are rapidly hiring data scientists with the statistical and programming skills to make sense of “big data,” a ph … [Read more...]


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