Psy 103 India 09 - Dr. Simpson

Course Syllabus

India-Healing the Mind – PSY 103

Some notes on the course

Aka The syllabus

1. The course is student option. The student must decide which option s/he will take before leaving the US.  Those who take the graded option will prepare an extended version of what for other students will be a 3-4 page paper and presentation to the class

2. Students will attend all class and scheduled 'practice' sessions.

3. Students will keep a daily academic log(reflections on first impressions, experiences o the day) due weekly and on the Wednesday before we leave India.  I call this an academic log because you will share this with me and perhaps David and Mercy.  You will do so weekly.  This log will generally not require additional research, but will be a set of personal reflections. Stuff you do not want me to read you write somewhere else.

4. Students will do a project (3-4 pages typed paper or equivalent) due the last Friday of J-term, January, 30 and a10 minute presentation on this paper on Thursday, January 29. Projects may include (but are not necessarily limited to) learning about 1), analyzing, and leading some counseling/human potential/Indian based experience; or 2) doing a more traditional paper using the inter-net as a resource in India and/or doing some research before leaving.

These latter might include analyses of global economics, political realities, religion and its place in creating a just world. In addition to thedaily journal and projects, students will demonstrate proficiency in going into town in Bangalore and fitting in with (living constructively) as an American in India. You will negotiate the specific project with the instructor by the end of the first week of January and after you have had a couple days in India. –

5. Students will be assigned web-site information (the Indian Government pages online) and assigned 2 books this spring to be read to prepare for going to India.  These books will be Edward Luce’s In Spite of the Gods and Sashi Tharoor’s The Argumentative Indian.  This part of the assignment will conclude with each student preparing 50 multiple-choice questions (answers marked) that address India in general, its culture, history, policical and economic position.   

There will be a non-graded challenge game (teams selected) over current information on India, Indian history, and the things a good world citizen should know about India.

You will write the questions for this little challenge, based on the readings assigned and fall lectures. The winning team will get a prize of great worth........... Chocolate. Everybody wins on this one. We compete by groups of three or four. We start the game at the airport from which we leave for India. I am obsessed with few things. The one thing about which I am most obsessed now is getting everybody to the airport in time to all leave for India together. You do not want to have to come later. So we will all get to the airport and check in early on the day we leave. We start the game. We continue it on Sunday evening. We have fun and show up in India as prepared guests. Maybe we even challenge the VISTHAR staff to compete with us on Monday when we start the formal part of the course.

6.  The student will attend 2 (2-hour gatherings) lectures here at Gustavus this spring or next fall.

7.  We will have one or two strategy sessions in the fall at which we will talk about things like what you do and do not need to take with you when we go to India, and in recent and past Indian history.  I have asked (and expect to have) one or two of last year’s students to meet with us so you can get their perspective directly.

Finally - This trip will work better if we work together to keep track of details. I will be asking each person who goes to share in some part of the course/living organization tasks while we are there. I will have the specific list of chores ready this fall.   They includes monitoring and taking pay for use of the washing machine located where we stay, reconciling the use of the long distance pay phone on campus (there is one and you will be able to call home for about 30 cents a minute), keeping track of how many students will be around for what meals and keeping the kitchen staff reasonably apprised of the numbers, after the first week collecting money for and arranging VISTHAR (the place were we stay) taxis for individual trips into town, organizing evening group activities, making and securing thank you cards for Indian resource people (Yoga and Reiki instructors etc) who come to work with us, keeping up the PR about all the neat stuff we do reported back to the campus via email etc. Doing these things is cool. It guarantees you a role in planning when we get there. You will get to know everybody in the course and India better for having helped out.