Monthly archive January, 2009

Race, Gender, and the US Congress

I’ll be posting a summary of my experiences in India this winter soon. It’s taking longer than I expected to write everything up. Meanwhile, apropos of nothing, I spent an hour tonight procrastinating on schoolwork and ended up calculating the percentages by race and gender of people in the United States and comparing them to...

Day seventeen

This is the really cute little boy whose family rents out the upstairs part of my grandmother’s house. Onto the actual news. Today was a much-needed counterpoint to yesterday’s frustrations. We accomplished all the nitpicky little details that were left to finish in the morning to get the computers in the boys’ high school ready...

Days fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen

We got broadband in Bijawar yesterday! The boys’ high school was the first broadband connection that BSNL installed in Bijawar, which was super exciting. Since the computers don’t have WiFi, the school can only use broadband on two computers at a time (without a switch, anyway, which they don’t have), but we made sure that...

Day thirteen

Something that I forgot to mention in yesterday’s entry was that we ran around like crazy for a couple of hours, trying to set up the process of bringing broadband to the boys’ high school. We managed to get the principal to cut the phone company a check for the required amount, and we turned...

Days eleven and twelve

We went to the boys’ high school in the morning yesterday, to work on setting up their computers while there was still electricity to run all of the computers at the same time. The boys’ high school is a middle school before noon. When we got there, the boys were doing yoga out in the...

Day ten

Kalpana came by for the first time in three or four days this morning. Because we’re not working with the high school girls anymore, we finally had time to introduce her to Excel. We’d spent the last couple of days making a foolproof Excel template to replace the individual student report cards (called marks sheets...

Day nine

We had a meeting today with Neha, Divya, Neeta, Menka, and Sonali to discuss our project at a higher, more village-wide level. We’ve been working with the teachers for a week now, and we’d like them to be more involved in the planning process. They know Bijawar, their schools, and their students better than we...

Day eight

We met again with the teachers from the boys’ high school to flesh out more details of their plan to introduce computer literacy education to their students. They want to begin teaching the 10th and 12th grades when the new school year starts in April, because the 9th grade takes at least a month to...

Day seven

We met with seven teachers, including Ashish, Salar, and Divya, at the boys’ high school today to brainstorm ideas about how to introduce computer literacy education to the students there. The following are my notes from the meeting: Class size 9th – 340 10th – 200 11th – 100 (64 taking physics) 12th – 150...

Day six

In the morning, we worked with the high school girls again. Maybe because it was New Year’s and they’d been partying the night before, they seemed a little distracted and unfocused, but we tried to work through it with an exercise in Word. Kalpana came by to help out with her students. It might be...