Saturday, January 6, 2007

A Jack-of-all-trades

Since arriving in India, because of my status as a Fulbright Scholar, I’ve been lionized by all and sundry to give lectures to students and professors on a range of subjects only loosely connected with my current academic forte, namely instructional technology.

I’ve presented at a conference on Ageing, where I took Gerontology, Universal Design, and Assistive Technologies as my theme. I’ve addressed professors in Business Management who wanted my thoughts on appropriate pedagogies for the college classroom. I’ve talked to Electrical, Environmental, Computer, and Biotechnology Engineering undergrads on the subject of population studies and human impact on the environment. I’m giving a series of two-hour lectures on Software Engineering to a class of 100 or so Masters of Computer Applications students. Then, six mornings a week, from 10:00 to 11:00, I have my regular class of Masters of Education students, with whom I work to promote the theory and practice of technology integration in teaching and learning.

And as if that’s not enough, I’ve been invited to give a presentation to the National Seminar on Yoga – The Ancient Tradition in the New Millennium! This is to take place next month at Sri Venkateswara University, located just down the road from Sri Padmavati Mahila (Women’s) University where I’m based. I’m taking as my theme the past, present, and future of Yoga (which I’m now furiously studying) with a view to proposing that Yoga practice is significantly affected by the increasing and global prevalence of modern technologies.

Do I have the credentials to talk about Yoga? No! Should I offer my services to talk about it nonetheless? Why yes, if they’ll have me.

The whole purpose of the Fulbright Program, founded by U.S. Act of Congress in 1946, is to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” What better way to do this than to represent the Fulbright Foundation in as many forums as I possibly can during my brief stay in India?

Yoga is stretching it—if you’ll pardon the pun—but I’m thoroughly enjoying the challenge and learning as I go along. After all, as we say in the profession, teaching is the best way to learn!

1 comment:

MaryAnn said...

Jack-of-all-trades is common vernacular for renaissance person. The world needs more of these. Good luck on your presentation.