Spoken too Soon

9 09 2010

I spoke too soon when I said I’d begin teaching today. But I did have a chance to informally chat with some sophomore printmaking students at the Tribhuvan University Lalit Kala campus today. Yes, the strike is over, but the current session (i.e. semester) ends next week. So I’ll show up next week for the last day of class until the next session begins in November after the holiday season ends. And I’ll help Master’s-level painting students on the main TU campus for the next 2 Fridays until their session ends.

I do wish I could teach more at the downtown Lalit Kala campus because they have so little. The Campus Chief was jokingly and yet proudly showing me his filing cabinet today. It’s an old, rusty, metal oil barrel with a jimmy-rigged locking lid. In a way, it’s ingeniously secure. I mean, who would ever think to look inside it for files? When I spoke with the Nepali students, they were bemoaning the lack of colored inks they have to work with in their classroom.  I said, “We only give our American students a few colors, too. Having fewer colors forces you to learn color mixing.” They gave me this look like, “Oh no, she’s one of them!” (It’s true, I am a teacher. Can’t help it).

Lalit Kala entrance

Front gate of Tribhuvan University's Lalit Kala campus in Kathmandu's Bhotahiti neighborhood, sleeping dogs and fruit sellers included.

And speaking of students, all the American Fulbright students arrived in the last week and, like American students, have already planned their first party. However the party is postponed because the student hostess discovered bed bugs in her new apartment and needs to move. This was supposed to be her birthday party. What a gift to receive on your birthday. And the airline lost another student’s luggage. Everything she’d packed for the next year is gone. Hopefully it will turn up. Now I don’t feel so bad for going the last 2 weeks without hot water and a working refrigerator, but the electrical circuits were fixed today and I finally took a long hot shower instead of a quick cold one. It’s 80 degrees here, so cold showers aren’t as bad as they sound. Sorry if I’m not doing a good job selling the Fulbright program (or Nepal), with all these lovely tales of life gone wrong. This is all part of the living abroad experience. I heartily encourage students especially, to check out the opportunities available to you via Fulbright. You can get funding to conduct research, work with non-governmental organizations, and/or teach English abroad. Check out this link for student Fulbright grants!

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