Wakerly East

Sitting in the dark of L.R.2 of St. Xaviers College in Ahmedabad, India it feels more like home than one may think.  Right now we are being joined by a dozen students from the college of business, combined with the four students we brought makes up roughly what I would see during a normal evening at the Wakerly.  In the next room Jim and Chris are streaming their iTunes library while editing video they will use for the Einstein Video Productions blog:


Dubbed “Wakerly East”, St. Xaviers has purchased ten new iMac computers for the Journalism program.  It is the first college in Gujarat to have a Macintosh lab.  I have been a good influence on them.  It is a great setup with air conditioning and ceiling fans.  I think ceiling fans in the original “Wakerly” would be a great touch.

The lab has been rearranged and setup for 26 students to share the ten computers.  The first test of this new setup came in the morning today.

Technology was on the schedule for today.  It began with the basics of digital photography.  A quick shout-out to Jennifer Janviere who created the PowerPoint presentation that I used in class today.  She would have been proud at the photo’s that were handed in after the students learned from her slides the rule of thirds, lighting and composition.

Darshini handed in my favorite photo – it showed a vine stubbornly climbing up a metal rod.  I immediately related to the struggle of this     plant.  To me it was able to reach its goal against extremely strong odds.  It was growing out of the stone and was not offered much sun, but it still grew, strong, beautiful and healthy.  It was a good omen, I felt, because it signified exactly how I have felt about this program.

Just like me – ok – that is a bit of a joke.  It does however tell a great story and I think it sort of sums up this year’s program.  It is working hard to create great things.

So what is the story of today – there always has to be a story right?  Well, I guess in this case it’s just a simple great day of accomplishment.  I love teaching and when students produce work that proves they were listening and understanding it really makes my day.  Today was one of those.  The Indian students are not different from Marquette – except they have a language barrier to overcome.  While they all speak English – they don’t necessarily understand the accent or speed at which American’s speak.  I am probably their worst nightmare.  I speak fast, even though I try to slow down, I get so excited to share information that before you know it I’m ramping back up to full speed.  Dr. Byers gave the students signals to help us know when we are speaking too fast, but they are too polite to let us know – or at least me.

But then again, the photos they turned in after the lecture showed they understood something.

After noon class consisted of class photo critique and then team meetings to decide on topics.  We will be covering everything from prohibition to secret library archives.  This should be some interesting reading – I hope their plans materialize into quality work.  I’m sure it will, but I have a feeling time spent in the lab will be slowly increasing!

I finished off the day by teaching four Jesuits Photoshop, the first of four courses I will be sharing with the faculty at St. Xaviers.

The students headed out together (both Indian and MU) on Vespas and motorbikes for shopping in town.  It was great to see them hitting it off so well.  Dr. Byers and I used the time to relax, clean the lab (yes – it needs to be cleaned just like at home) and enjoy a little tea.

The students returned energized and excited with the day.  After dinner came the most interesting time of the night.  We returned to the lab to update blogs, check email and upload photos.  Unfortunately, on the way out one of the students locked the door from the outside, leaving four of us stranded in the lab.

Thankfully, Fr. Vinayak had delivered phones to us that day – we tried calling Dr. Byers to come unlock the door so we didn’t have to spend the night in the lab.  When that didn’t work Chris called Fr. Vinayak.  Now, you may think – why is she sharing this?  Well I needed a way to end this post and this was a great way to sandwich my thoughts.  You see, when Chris finally got the father on the phone he told him that he was locked in the Wakerly – not realizing he wasn’t in the Wakerly – told you it felt like home!

That pretty much sums up day two

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