Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Snapshot of our Classes

You may be wondering what it is like to take a class in India. Some things are very similar- the prof will give a lecture, and the students studiously take notes. But some things are very different. In India, great respect is given to one’s elders and so students are expected stand up when their professor enters the room. Our students are not actually taking classes with other Indian students. They do however have Indian professors who offer a different perspective on issues than we from our western perspective can see.
Since we are in India, the class opportunities are very exciting! Here is a quick run-down on what our students have been up to lately:
Hard at work cooking
Indian Cuisine- How awesome is it to learn how to cook Indian food IN India! And not only that, but after they finish making a dish, they get to eat it! Somehow or another the ISP director and program assistants seem to find their way to the kitchen around lunch time in order to have a taste! 
Today's creation!
Indian Literature- Students are getting the chance to read many pieces of literature not studied in the west. These authors provide a unique perspective that students are really enjoying.

Indian Social Work- In this class students learn a lot in the classroom on topics of poverty, caste, and social justice etc. It is very important to learn how Indians are helping themselves and working to build up their nation, rather than just the western perspective of us coming to rescue India. One of the benefits of this class is how much learning takes place outside of the classroom! Just on their walk to college or a typical day, students may come across beggars or street children and have to process what they see and decide how to respond.

Indian Design- Where else do you get to design and create your own sari, salwar kameez, or kurta? Students are hard at work creating their own design masterpieces- can’t wait for the fashion show! Meanwhile, they are learning and practicing different forms of design such as tie-dye and batik.
The Master and the Student
Indian Art- This past week students had the chance to try their hand at pottery. The pottery master went over some instructions and then let them try for themselves. Here are some of their incredible pieces!

Final product!
Contemporary India- Students are learning so much in this class, that it is hard to narrow it down. Put simply, this class teaches the history of India up to the present-focusing on important aspects. 

Religious Landscape- This is a very engaging class! Students have the opportunity to not only learn about other religions in the classroom, they also have the chance to visit many of these places of worship to see for themselves what it is all about. Students go on a visit to several Hindu temples, Sikh gurudwara, different denominations of churches, a Buddhist temple, and a Jain temple. Students also interact with neighbors and friends who may be a different religion and have a different mindset then theirs which just expands their opportunity to learn.
A little puja across the hall from the apartment
Next week we are headed to the neighboring state of Kerala (God's Own Country) for classes and various site visits. This will also be the first train trip for the students! There are sure to be some interesting stories!

No comments:

Post a Comment