To give you a better idea of what life here is like, I’ve decided to guide you through my day Wednesday November 30th.
7:05 Wake up and get ready for the day.
7:30 Math class. (Or maths, as most people call it here. I still don’t get British English.) Today we’re covering radians and arcs.
8:20 Breakfast- scrambled eggs, upma (a dish made from semolina), cantaloupe, and coffee.
8:40 English Literature. We’re currently reading the play August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. Be on time for this class, or else you have to write and perform two lines of (quality) poetry for every minute you’re late.
10:00 History. We have our second major test of the term today on the Kosovo Conflict. Previously, we have studied the Rwandan Genocide, and next week we’ll move onto the Cuban Missile Crisis.
11:35 I am supposed to have Film now, but apparently the class is cancelled today because my teacher is ill. So, it’s back to my wada for some housekeeping and a bit of a break. (Wada is the Marathi word for “dwelling,” and it’s what we call the residential areas here.)
12:30 Free block. Normally I eat after school ends at 2:10, but I’ll take advantage of the opportunity for an early lunch.
1:20 Peoples, Nations, and Cultures. This is MUWCI’s version of a Theory of Knowledge class. Today we discussed the question “What is knowledge?”.
2:10 A short nap because I’m sleepy. I’m not saying I did, but I may have accidentally fallen asleep in the last class 😉
3:00 Shivaji’s cycling session. I’m part of a project here teaching women and girls from the nearby area how to cycle and swim. At the end of the year, some of them will be chosen to participate in a Himalayan expedition. It’s our last session of the semester, so we’re going a on longer bike ride to the village Asade so some of the girls can show their friends and families what they’ve learned. We are interrupted while visiting with one girl’s family because we have to move our parked bikes so the water buffalo can pass.
5:30 Time for homework. Right now, this includes adding a new method to a program for Computer Science, brainstorming ideas for a radio drama for Film, and drafting an essay for Literature on No Country for Old Men.
7:00 A walk in the bio-reserve to enjoy the stars.They may not be as bright as back home, but they’re still lovely.
7:30 Wednesday dinner is always themed after some country or region. Tonight it is America, but if I hadn’t been told that, I wouldn’t have guessed it. There are okra patties, jambalaya (which closely resembles the “Chinese” fried rice we’re sometimes served), and creamy pumpkin pasta. That’s right, pumpkin pasta; it actually tastes surprisingly good, but I don’t understand how it’s American. Just like I don’t understand Canadian cheese soup or Singaporean California. At least there’s good dessert: banana fritters with caramel.
8:00 Wada and advisor meeting. On Wednesdays we have two meetings. The first is everyone in the wada coming together to discuss anything related to residential or community life, such as the laundry room or water usage. The second is in smaller groups with our academic advisors, which may sound boring, but usually includes snacks and sometimes boardgames.
9:30 Relaxing and socializing. I’m going to cook tomorrow, so I have a couple of things to prepare. And I also want to continue a very engaging discussion with my housemate from Dehli about the moral implications of treating autonomy as an ultimate value.
11:00 Bed time.