Monday, 30 May 2011

Counseling session & Cottage Industries

            Another busy day!  This morning, I went with Dr. Jolly to the Hindustan Times Aspirations 2011, which claims to be the “World’s Leading Education Exhibition” at the Ashok Hotel.  She was on a panel with a professor at a college and some one who worked in DU’s student welfare.  It was an open floor for students and parents to ask questions about the admission process, college choices and career options.  These students and parents were so intense- practically fighting each other to get the microphone and I felt like most of them interpreted the session to get private counseling.  They would introduce themselves, list their marks and ask something vague like “Is Econ. Honors a prestigious course of study for me?” or “will I make the cut-off?” (the cutoffs will not be released for another couple of weeks and none of the panelists could say anything conclusive on the subject).  So I was not impressed by the quality of questions but it was another example of how stressful and competitive the next couple months will be, as they will get locked into a course.  I decided to go exploring during the second counseling session.  The exhibition hall was filled with private universities and specialized programs (chef school, fashion academies, film & animation school).  A bunch of representatives tried to get me to sit down so they could tell me about their programs even though I explained that I already finished college. 
The panelists spoke at two sessions and after each one, everyone flooded the stage to get a chance to ask their questions.  When we were being escorted to the banquet, hoards of parents and students were following and yelling out their questions- even when Dr. Jolly stopped to use the bathroom!
When we finally survived the walk to lunch, there was tons of delicious food in a gorgeous room where they had a drum and sitar player serenading us as we ate.  It was interesting hearing about some of the proposed changes for the application system- one of the most helpful changes is trying to get the application system online; currently, the process is all done with paper!
After some more crowd fighting, we got in the coach and stopped at the Cottage Industries, which showcases fancy crafts from all over India.  The variety of products was amazing- engraved silver, bronze, fabrics and bed linens, world carvings, paintings, paper-mache boxes, carpets and more!  I love the art here- my Asian Art class was influential in putting India at the top of the list of places I wanted to visit!
I love elephants

Cottage Industry Building

Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling well so after I got back to the hostel, most of the evening was spent curled up in the fetal position.  I’m going to the Health Center tonight so hopefully they’ll find a way to get me feeling normal.  It’s pretty scary being in a faraway land when even lying down hurts.  Pray for my speedy recovery!