January 19, 2012

When one plan ends, it’s time to make another.

“I met a lot of new people in my travels around the world. The most important person I encountered – Myself.” 

~James Baldwin

This is the second full interim I have spent on campus and it has passed in much the same way as the last one. I spent the interim period during freshman year staying on campus and I did the same thing senior year. Both those years, my time was equally divided between working, eating, sleeping, watching tv and going to the gym. To spice it up, this year I also spent two nights playing board games, celebrated a friend’s birthday, went to a Chinese buffet, an Indian buffet and Chick-fil-a and did a ton of cleaning.

To be honest, I am looking forward to the new semester as well as dreading it at the same time. I am looking forward to it because I am mostly done with my major and I now have the opportunity to take a wide variety of classes that interest me. After some chopping and changing, I have finally settled on the four classes I will be taking my senior spring:

1. Deviance – A sociology class I am taking with Prof. Shulman (who I wrote about in an earlier post). This course examines social deviancy with a particular focus on different theoretical explanations of deviant behaviors such as corporate crime, delinquency, sex work, substance abuse and violent crime, why these acts are defined as being “deviant” and what that means for people who commit these acts.

2. Global Colonialism – This is an anthropology course that I’ve wanted to take for a long time. Colonial conquests have occurred throughout human history. I grew up in a country that was shaped into what it is today because of a long history of British and French colonialism. This course considers the myriad effects of different forms of colonialism on the indigenous populations of colonized countries.

3. Digital Photography – An art course that teaches you how to use a camera and what goes into creating good pictures. One of my resolutions for this year that I established was to take more pictures and document my life. This course will include technical lectures, laboratory demonstrations, slide lectures of historic and contemporary photography and critiques of student work. Hopefully, after completing this course, I can have an understanding of basic digital photography.

4. Education Curriculum and Instruction – If you have read any of my previous blog posts, you will know that I accepted an offer from the Teach For India fellowship to teach in an urban, low income school in India for two years. I figured it might be useful to start preparing for that through this class. This class will involve extensive field work at a local elementary school about what goes into working with young children, how a curriculum is structured and other aspects of teaching. There will also be a seminar once a week with other students where we share our field work experiences.

The best part about this schedule….no class on Fridays !!!!

With all the free time I have, I am going to start planning my trip around the world. I already have a host of places I really want to visit, either for their natural beauty or for the history behind them. My list currently stands at 37 places but for now, I will share 4 places with you:

The Dalai Lama in Dharamshala (Courtesy of TIME Magazine)

Dharamshala, India: Dharamshala is a city in the northern part of India which is home to a large number of Tibetan refugees in India, the headquarters of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the official residence of the Dalai Lama.





Sky Lantern Festival, Thailand: Residents and tourists alike release huge lanterns into the sky (numbering in the tens of thousands). The entire night sky is lit up and it is simply a spectacular sight.

Lanterns released into the night sky

Lanterns released into the night sky









Blue Islands in Zakynthos, Greece

Blue caves, Greece: Because it’s beautiful. No description required.





Burning Man




Burning Man, Nevada, United States: A week long festival of self expression in the middle of a desert. From everything I’ve read, this festival is an assault on the senses – visual, auditory, cognitive and a whole host of other senses I never even knew i had.




posted in Ryan Shroff


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