This is my third trip to India. Each time I see a different world than the one I knew prior. I enjoy my trips, they ground me and prove to me what is important in life. Today is no different. I hope to focus the majority of my blog on that aspect, but for the curious reader, here is why I find myself once again ½ world away from my family and the comforts of a hot shower and warm bed.
This program, founded by Dr. Thorn and Jadav Vinayak, S.J. during Father Vinayak’s final year at Marquette, is in its final phase. The first was to meet with members of St. Xaviers College to discuss educational cooperation between our two institutions.
The second was a backpack journalism course allowing almost forty St. Xaviers students the opportunity to learn the steps of telling a story digitally. Dr. Thorn, Dr. Byers and I were joined by four Marquette students (Ashley Niedringhaus, Kelly Bramlett, Miriam and Vince Thorn) and produced an online presence for their college newspaper as well as the first backpack journalism website highlighting stories from the course.
Now we return one last time to show the faculty how to teach the course so that it can live far beyond our involvement.
Dr. Byers and I are joined once again by four Marquette students – Andrea Anderson, James Burns, Jennifer Solorio and Christian Whitman. Our adventure started on the 28th of December and will be finished on the 14th of January when we return to the states. Except for an eight-hour leg that should have taken three (we were hit by a mighty fog in New Delhi – stranding our plane on the runway for more than six hours) our trip so far has been uneventful.
Aside from the normal daily report of how classes are going and what technology struggles I may have – I am going to focus my blog this time on a story I read today in the India Express – the article is titled “Built not to last forever”. It is a beautiful story in which the author explains two wooden figures she has in her living room and how, due to the choice of wood, they are starting to break down and deteriorate. I’m hoping you can find it here ‘www.speakingtree.in’ and read it. It isn’t morbid or a sad story – but one of reality. The final paragraph states ‘hopefully we serve our purpose, we delight others with our personality, and then we fade back into the earth.”
For me this story was more than just something to fill space in an already heavy news worthy paper – it spoke to me about the journey I am on. You see, I just passed the 1/2 century mark. My body is sore from 36 hours sitting and I have had to surrender to the fact that I know have grey hair sprouting and need to use ‘cheaters’ to read the page I am typing.
When I teach digital storytelling, I always start with ‘what is the story you want to tell’ and then after some conversations with the author and some soul-searching finish up with ‘what is the story you found?’
I wanted to tell you the story of India and our travels through the daily challenge of different electrical current and not having access to all the technology I am able to find in my lab, the Apple store or office max.
The story I found was one of maturity, passing on of knowledge, and understanding my place in this world.
I hope over the next couple of days – that you will join me on this journey and enjoy my story. Perhaps it will inspire you as the one in the India paper has inspired me, maybe it will help you understand your place in the world, or maybe it will just make you laugh.
In any case, welcome and I hope you discover your story by reading about mine.