Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My students are surprised by quizzes in the first five minutes. Don't I know that sometimes they just can't get there on time? Or that they can't really read two short stories in one week?

But they did seem to appreciate having signed up to talk about some of the concepts and that being their area of expertise today. Others, who had missed class on Monday, were very surprised at how much those with topics had to say. I wonder if there really is little participation in other classes? One guy said he'd never heard those people talk before.

But I don't want to veer too much into the class-led discussions in the theory class. Though they were well prepared today for the most part, I think some of the students were just not interested in hearing others talk about the readings, esp when they were just going from one citation to another. On the other hand, for Monday they are preparing the discussion *and* two quizzes. They seemed kind of energized by that challenge. Interestingly enough they divided into two groups that I suspect reflect their earlier educational backgrounds. One group immediately changed languages and held their prep meeting in Bangla. The other stayed in English (one of the guys does not know Bangla).

Proposals for research projects came in today and I'm looking forward to working with them. Already I'm reading new books and lots of post-colonial theory as it seems to permeate everything here.

Reading Amitav Ghosh's The Shadow Lines now. It's the third book of his that I've read since I got here.

Seems like I read with an Israeli perspective when it's about nation building, bombing the British to end colonial rule, national languages, religious divisions.

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