Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Alternative .... teaching

This new experience of teaching a full course (25 hours of EMSD: Environmental Management and Sustainable Development) has been pivotal in many ways for me:

  • in the way I envisage teaching
  • in the messages and topics I would like to put across...
  • the way I try to ... leave them on the table and let students pick and choose, evolve in the way the topic is presented, together, the way they are discussed, not really taught
  • the person I can and want to be, finding the right balance between the friendly presence and the distanced helper (that is really hard for me though)
  • the people I want to take on with me on this specific journey, how to get the right emulation, motivation... and in the end get the whole team rowing in the same direction with pleasure and purpose

Here are some of the tools I used:
  • taping into different senses: visual, oral, scriptural..
  • various medias: videos, writing, case studies in group, individual positioning exercises...
  • taping into different roles: leader, rider, researcher, time keeper...
  • allowing, forcing even... mistakes as a core way to learn
  • knowledge hacking
  • making your own class, and go with the flow of... uncertainties

And all this has been so enthralling... just at times a bit ... tiring!

Please check these 2 videos of Hacking education, very inspiring, motivating:
The perspective of the kid Logan Laplante and the teacher, Sir Ken Robinson, very witty, but very serious too!

I hope I helped those MBAs to think by themselves a bit, to learn how to learn, to get learning where it is: everywhere, to dream... to dream about changing their world, to participate to a Better India, to do it their own way!

and my farewell to them:

"Be well, be happy. Learn to love what you do, to do what you love. Love and be loved in everything you do!
Life is a gift of God, what you do of it is what you give back to God.
May you all feel proud every day of what you are giving back."

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Valentine’s day … Sir!

Valentine’s day, Xmas day, Women day, Peace day...Toilets day…. And all the related!

I really hate the refuses, dejections... of consumerism, spreading their uniformed stink, smells and tastes, specially designed, forced on us as ... selling days!

Today a very sweet student came to me after class to wish me…a...Happy Valentine Day …Sir!
It was sweet indeed and surely took her, in the Indian context of a conservative university, some courage and initiative to come up like that.

My immediate reaction was to be reminded that this evening I would be alone… with nobody to offer flowers to, to hold, to hug tenderly… to French …kiss… or to share the colours of Nandi Hills on the next morning as a perfect way to engage into romantism fo times to come.
But then I smiled at myself, at this unnecessary frustration, rage against the system... on the contrary...blessed not to feel lonely...
alone but definitely not lonely.
Thankful to be on my way to Puttaparthi, the ashram of Sahi Baba, a few hours away from Bangalore, and an occasion to discover another perspective on love ... spiritualy!
That faith carrying me lately, guiding me through tough times, a minefield of a path, faith to be who I am, to do what I want, free to…cherish what I have, not crystallising on what is not there.
Free not to have to behave a certain way because the calendar is marking a certain date...which means we have to give…get... love…attention…all these codependent feelings so well fostered by hard core capitalism, consumerism of our developed societies.

Yet I engaged at the same time, with a cheeky smile in wishing the couples of this class MBA 2nd year a happy valentine day, not so usual in India, maybe conjuring hardships with humour and wit, for them (with exams, interviews for jobs...), for me
And surely just as well to soften the last images of the Bhopal catastrophy we looked at, and my ethical provocations to those future leaders of tomorrow’s India.

But coming back on this day thing…
I do not want to be reminded that love is out there, that when I am in love, presents, flowers, tender attentions, or just simply be there, learn to listen without needing to be a saviour, a teacher…are the little things that sparkle the flame, keep it going.

And in the same vain that Jesus is my prophet... that his birth is a reminder of one of the most compassionate and powerful love message of all times.
I do not want a special day to have to remember, nor to be told to presents.
I do not need a special day to surprise the kids I love.
But it seems like our self-centered, super ego-centric societies do need to be recalled on what is love… 

so let it be some days for love, some to buy presents for kids around a special family dinner, let there be a day for women, especially for the ones, males, that tend to abuse all kinds of Run/Rhum (like in Kerala, or Haryana..., where men are as generous on the bottle as they can be on hitting women around them…).
Indeed let it be days for peace, for teaching our kids that one should not judge on religion, origins, or skin color.
Let it be a day for kids around the world so that one is reminded of their preciousness, and how much so many of them are endangered on a dump fill here and there, working, in many developing countries as... slaves when it is not as soldiers…

Maybe our world needs this awareness, as a first step towards responsibility and action on those crucial indicators of our societies.

As for me today, in Sahi Baba’s ashram I will pray for universal, unconditional love… for it to spread.

I will pray for the love I have, cherish it, remember the one I had without bitterness, and smile at the one that will come without impatience…just feeling that sweet acceleration in my heart, observing the reaction in the loved one’s eyes and body langage… reaction to an unusual bouquet spread on a bed, a song written for her, a special design, colours, a tender hug on a desert beach, or just a long silent smile.

Love is in the air… let it be everywhere…

in my heart first…let me start by trying (as that colibri movement in France)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

From Hyderabad the proud tiger in AP, to Bangalore the rushing IT city, Mysore...Puttaparthi in Karnataka

What a discovery of India, its center, its core through its academic field... going to conferences... sharing ideas, visions... missions...passions....

From the IconSWM14 taking place in an agricultural university of Hyderabad...

and ending up visiting more dump fields, bio gas plants...

 like the one in of the appraised exemple of waste management in India...

The amazing hospitality of people around, be they officials and from ULBs or municipal officers, IAS...or just Amma's devotees.


 I had a wonderful time in Hyderabad, starting to feel more and at ease in that field of experts in SWM...

Going from Waste fields to holy temples

the beautiful temple in Wanangral of the 1000 poles

and that beautiful one, amazing white marble (Birla Mandir), beautiful carving, very serene place, on a top of a hill, stunning view at the Hussain Sagard lake, all the surroundings of Hyderabad.

To .... being completely taken by surprise by the private collection of 3 Nawabs in the Salarjung museum...
especially the veiled Rebecca, amazing jade, silks, carvings in any precious material...
I spent half a day there
What a journey in time, space... and the reign of Nizams and Nawabs... ruling, preceding political welfare states...serving their people and proposing societal solutions...