Saturday, October 15, 2005


You have to hand it to God; He really knows how to mix things up? That's especially true for me this week. I’m on an Indian campus, teaching students from the south in Kerela to the northeast in Assam, with a strong contingent from Myanmar (Burma). Visiting faculty include an old couple from England, one from the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. I’m the only American in sight.

It’s not bad. You have to put up with an occasional swipe at our President and his motives for going into Iraq. I just shrug my shoulders and remind them that he was re-elected, along with our strongest allies, Prime Minister Howard (of Australia) and Tony Blair of the U.K. I don’t remind them that those who opposed the war, Germany’s Schroeder was voted out and France’s Chirac is on his way out. I resist telling them that I can’t seriously discuss issues with those whose main source of information is the BBC or CNN. The problem with internationals is they miss the point of what really goes on inside another persons country therefore their arguments are merely repeats from last nights newscast.

Apart from politics, the atmosphere is quite amiable. It’s interesting to listen others talk about the new Bishop in Sydney and the dreadful weather in Bristol. I can appreciate their banter about cricket and how they do wish there was more time for bird watching. Of course the only thing my students want to talk to me about is their research assignment and how difficult will the final exam be? It’s tough being the only “Yank” on the block.

My diversion is my computer and the Internet. I search desperately to see if I have mail from my family or friends, read my daughter’s latest blog and check yesterday’s baseball scores. Thankfully I can go to FoxNews and watch the latest news video’s and learn that the rains in the northeast continue, people are gearing up for the new season of AMERICAN IDOL and that LOST has captured the imagination of the masses. Hardly things that would make me want to sing the national anthem, but news about home is interesting, even if it’s undemanding.

It’s a long weekend, and I have two more weeks to go. A good biography entitled, THE ROAD TO DELHI – BISHOP PICKETT REMEMBERED 1890 – 1981, keeps me entertained. The Dean of Academics gave me the recent movies on DVD to watch on my laptop. It’s called ‘escapism,’ and it’s what you do when you are the only one of your kind surrounded by multicultural's.