August – IES ClassesDelhi, Fall 2010

There has been so much happening this month! Classes have started off well, and I am excited to see how they progress. We have the option of taking classes at JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University, a university in South Delhi), Ramjas College (part of the pantheon of Delhi University colleges, located in North Delhi), Kamala Nehru University, which is near the residence, and/or IES classes. I am taking all my classes through IES – primarily because time-wise it is easiest (as transportation between classes can sometimes be unreliable…), and I am happy with the classes being offered. I am taking four classes: Cities of Delhi, Indian Women in Fiction and Film, Indian Microeconomic Development, and Hindi. I would have to say I am torn between which is my favorite. I think they would be Hindi and Indian Women in Fiction and Film. Cities of Delhi is a class that goes through the myriad of cities that made Delhi throughout the last thousand years or so. Throughout the semester we go on various field trips around the city. So far they have been to the Qutub Minar (although I missed that due to health issues), and Tughlakabad. Next month we will be going to Agra (to see the Taj and other structures), and Shahjahanabad (old Delhi). Harini, the teacher, is really awesome, laid back, and very knowledgeable. Indian Women in Fiction and Film is co-taught by Dr. Sukrita Kumar (she teaches the ‘fiction’ – i.e. literature, portion of the class), and Anandana Kapur, who teaches the film portion. I love this class. It goes through all sorts of issues in Indian culture, from patriarchy, repression of women, religious issues, sexuality, Partition, and many more. Through the film portion I have really learned to loot at films differently. I feel I have gotten a great in-depth look at Indian cinema, but films in general. Indian Microeconomic Development is taught by Dr. Hemanshu Kumar (Dr. Sukrita’s son). It is geared toward non-econ majors. I’ll be honest, it is super hard for me, but it is really informative. We discuss four different suctions of Indian society – education, health, microfinance (self-help groups), and the National Rural Employment guarantee Act. We get to go on some great trips to various villages in districts in states around Delhi, and throughout Delhi itself. The last class, and my other favorite, is Hindi. I love the class, and the teacher, Geeta-ji, is really kind and patient with everyone. She has taught Hindi for years. The methodology she uses to teach is really helpful, particularly toward native English speakers learning Hindi. After the Orientation Intensive classes have settled into a more sedate schedule, only twice a week for a couple of hours. I actually find I kind of miss the intensity of the orientation pace. This month has been tough as far as staying current with classes because I have been sick, but they are all really interesting. I am looking forward to getting more in-depth with them.
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