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Fulbright
Four Letters that Define a Place of Comfort
October 25, 2010
On my final day visiting one of my project schools, I stopped in to see a couple of the staff to bid farewell. One man, whom I first met five years ago, asked the question that many have asked over the past week or so: ‘When are you coming back?’  I have no real answer for that question at present, and have stumbled through many answers.  However, it was his answer that was more telling than anything I said at the moment, ‘You have to come back this is like your second home.’  He laughed. I smiled.
Shanghaied…or blessed?
October 22, 2010
Bhubaneswar bills itself as the City of Temples.  So my hosts took me on a brief tour of some well-known landmarks.  As evening set in on that day, we stopped by temple atop a small hill.  Rain spit, darkness crawled over us and the configuration of the temple made it hard to see up to the platform.  My host stayed by the car as I took to the steps.  As I passed through the metal gate, a monk/priest suddenly appeared, joyful to see me and gesturing that I remove my shoes.  He whisked me to a shrine and shaped my hands into prayer gestures and proceeded to chant
How far might you travel to see a performance?
October 17, 2010
A couple of month’s back I made contact with the director of a socially-based theatre company located in Orissa.  Through e-mail, we discussed the possibility of me visiting his group and facility.  On Oct.
Saturation
October 10, 2010
My sandals have endured the rain and its puddles far more often than I would like.  No matter where I seem to set them, when it rains, they get significantly wet, such that the next day they are still not fully dry.  In Thanjavur I faced a terrific rainstorm as I made my way to the hotel one early evening.  Traversing two streets, a bus station and a main thoroughfare, I did fairly well avoiding any large pooling of water.  A half a block from the hotel, I wiggled my way through a few street vendors to end up at a curb facing an enormous gathering of rain water.  This
The Ever-evolving Experiences of a soon-to-be-finished Fulbrighter
October 3, 2010
Wondering what the specific exploits of a Fulbrighter are?  For you with the curiosity, I trust the following will satiate that interest. Thursday, Sept 23 After popping in to visit students I taught a month ago, I met with students of mine from several years ago to share an article I wrote on one and a DVD of an interview I conducted with others. Caught several auto-rickshaws to shop for local movies and kurtas Argued with a auto-rickshaw driver who claimed I needed to pay Rs20 more, because he went further than expected Bought a kurta
What’s the ‘appreciate’ in appreciation?
September 29, 2010
Late on Monday, two young college students showed up at my house to deliver an invitation for a workshop I would be teaching the very next morning.  They repeated several times how much they were looking forward to the workshop. Early the next morning, a van accompanied by a faculty member, arrived to transport me to the college. As we arrived 45 minutes later, a parallel line of college students stood in the doorway and saluted as we drove by. At the door, another group of students pinned fancy buttons on us, complete with our names, and handed us flowers.
YEAH, STUDENTS!
September 21, 2010
SNIPPET ONE: As the final day came to a close, a number of the young students pulled out little slips of paper, small wrapped boxes and pens.  They handed me these gifts with thank you’s and I will miss you’s.  Several of them immediately said, open it, in their excitement to witness my excitement.  As the students cleared out, returning to their class, my partner teachers laughed.  They said, ‘We did not know they were bringing gifts. They never informed us.
And the transformation plays on
September 13, 2010
As I sit in the living room of a good friend of mine here in Kerala state, enjoying the cool of the fan above my head (more about the significance of that fan coming) and listening to the family members chatting away in the next room, I cannot help be reflect a little on what makes life here so appealing to me, despite the challenges of carving out a brief existence in this land that still is foreign to me.  Firstly I feel compelled to note how my life here, in small and large ways, has become more of a home than a professional visit.  This is essential to the transformation that I h
A Confused Conundrum of Critical Questions
September 7, 2010
My Bizarro World: A continued Transformation of Self
September 2, 2010
I walk to the right.  Not politically, but as I pass people along the street.  It is my natural inclination.  It takes thought on my part to move to the left of oncoming pedestrians.  I’ve driven on the left side of the road in other countries, but when driving, I was more concentrated.  Walking promotes reflection and when in such a meditative mood, I apparently follow my instincts, or rather my habitual instincts, developed over a lifetime in the Western World.  Not that moving to the right or left of people is that big of a deal, we all participate in the littl