November 3, 2012

Note the purple and yellow colors. For some reason, every academic institution that I attend has chosen those representative colors. (Schoolcraft Public Schools, Albion College, and now INATEK). Is this a sign of some sort?

Hello friends!

I have just finished my first week of class. Teaching is tough, but I have definitely enjoyed getting to know my students (a solid 60 of them in my Reading/Writing class). We often have problems understanding each other, given English isn’t their first language and I do not speak with the British crispness that they are used to. All the students, however, are very engaged and want to share their own opinions and experiences. From what I have been told, much of their education has involved just straight memorization from lectures with little to no critical thinking or student input.

So, I ask them to write journals giving only their opinion. I ask them to discuss certain topics. Many seem very uncomfortable with what I ask of them at first, but others produce intellectual gems right without batting an eye. On the first day, I asked students to tell me their opinion about the importance of English and asked them to agree or disagree with me as they please. One particularly witty student (nicknamed Prince, no less) stood up in front of class and gave an original presentation on the importance of cultural identity and the need to fight against neo-colonialism. His 2 minute long presentation gave me giddy shivers; I was so excited!

Induction, or the First Year students’ introduction ceremony, occurred just last night after being postponed for a week. The ceremony included greetings from the Head Rector (or Director), introductions to the various heads of departments and a student question forum, that probably included more criticisms than actual questions.

Below, I have also embedded the INATEK anthem for any of you who may be curious about what Ikinyarwanda sounds like.  Feel free to listen, though I make no promises on sound quality. Ciao!


3 Responses to “Induction”

  1. Julianne Says:

    Katie, I love hearing about this. It sounds like you will learn as much from them as they will from you and that is wonderful. Keep your journal going; we love reading it. You make it feel like we are there with you.

    Stateside you may have heard we had a devastating hurricane touch down in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. It was as bad as described, but the good news is all government agencies worked together setting aside politics to have everyone prepared well in advance and to aid in the aftermath. Mistakes were made but not because they didn’t give it their all. We were lucky in that the water came only within 100 yards of us and we had no damage to our house. Others are still without power and many lost homes and lives; and our prayers go out to them. Here we are safe and waiting to hear more about your adventures.

    Love, Aunt Julie

  2. lauriekenyon Says:

    it must simply be a sign that you look great in purple. which i think you do. but maybe not so much yellow, but really, who does?

    i got giddy just reading about the students talking about neo-colonialism and cultural identity. two of my favorite topics.

    LOVE and miss you TONS!

  3. Kate;
    Will you sing this for us upon return?
    Unc. Dave

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