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Month: September 2015

Dhading diaries II: A retrospective

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The earthquake on April 25, 2015 destroyed a lot of physical infrastructure and affected livelihood of people. There was a sense of fear and uncertainty among people. But amidst this tragedy, there were also people who weren’t going to give up that easily and were contributing voluntarily in rescue and relief effort. It was great to see youths voluntarily helping people in need with supplies and rehabilitation. Read more

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A different route to a community

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I can never forget the horrifying experience of 7.8Mw or 8.1Ms on Richter scale earthquake on 25 April, 2015. Luckily there was no casualty of life among my family and friends but there was a huge loss of property. Just 22 km away from Kathmandu, Chhatre Deurali, a village in Dhading where i was born, 95% of the mud houses was turned into rubbles. People there got some supplies and were expecting more. Like in other places people made their own shelter with whatever resources they had. Seeing people living under tarps and corrugated metal sheets, i felt like doing something in the village. Read more

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Teaching approaches at ITP vs IOE

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It’s my second week in NY and I sat in on Tom Igoe’s class on Understanding Networks. I’ll do some comparisons between his class and a typical undergraduate class I took, when I was in college.

The first thing is the class size, 16 students at ITP compared to 48 students at IOE (Institute of Engineering). I was wondering how ITP came up with the number 16, did they experiment with smaller or larger groups and settled for 16 to be the optimal number. I should probably ask this the next time I run into any faculty members.

The second thing is the classroom arrangement, the students at ITP sit around tables arranged in the middle of the room, facing each other. At IOE, we’d sit on benches that were arranged in rows all facing the teacher and the energy flow would be from the teacher to the student. The energy flow in the class at ITP is more organic and involves everyone in the class, not just the teacher.

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#makerKT – women maker workshop

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A ‘maker’ is anyone who makes something they need, rather than just being a passive consumer or user. By this definition, even our mothers and grandmothers are makers. They made us dresses – matching ones for us and our dolls – and knitted us sweaters. They made jams and pickled aachar and decorated the living room with pillow covers and detailed crochet doilies. It’s an empowering feeling, the reclamation of the “maker” concept. Add to that the rush you get after you first use a power tool, and you feel pretty much invincible. Read more

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Day 1 at ITP NYU

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On the first day at (Interactive Telecommunications Program) ITP New York University (NYU), I got to observe three amazing teachers with different teaching styles. I sat in on Tom Igoe’s Intro to Physical Communication, Daniel Shiffman’s Intro to Computational Media and Benjamin Light’s Intro to Fabrication.

I sat on Tom’s 9 am and he started with a quick activity in which the students had to introduce themselves, where they were from and what manual skill they had. The class size at ITP is relatively small compared to 48 at Pulchowk Campus, where I did my undergraduate engineering from. I was amazed by the diversity of the students. They were from different backgrounds like graphics design, industrial design, marketing, journalism, electrical engineering, computer engineering and language. I was wondering how ITP addresses the varying levels, skills and interests of this diverse group of students.

And the manual skills were also diverse: swimming, rock climbing, balance, calligraphy, water color painting, running, playing sports, setting up stages for dogs and taking pictures of the dogs, photography and making things. Mine was ‘breaking things apart’.

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