Democracy in recline – a very interesting report (and not to mention illustration), here at the Economist. Norway is still ranking no. 1. as the best democracy in the world, whereas the US is at no. 21 – a flawed democracy for the 2nd year in a row.
Read chapter 10 of the Reluctant Fundamentalist and comment on the different conflicts which can be seen in the novel:
- a conflict between Changez and the American
- a conflict between Changez and the United States
- a conflict between Changez and his workplace (Underwood Samson)
- an inner conflict between Changez and himself
Find reasons/explanations for each of these possible conflicts.
Also, comment on the two quotes from chapter 10, from a conversation between Juan-Bautista and Changez:
“Have you hear of the janissaries? “No,” I said. “They were Christian boys,” he explained, “captured by the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time the greatest army in the world. they were ferocious and utterly loyal: they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing else to turn to.”
“There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine and was perhaps even colluding to ensure that my own country faced the threat of war.”
Do you plan to study abroad? As part of a degree, or as an exchange student? Our class has looked into the benefits and challenges of studying abroad and we have read various texts, blogs and looked into the practical aspects of studying abroad (such as ANSA, Lånekassen, NOKUT).
Task 1: Choose a university/learning institution in a country you would like to know more about, and make a presentation and share this with your group. Your presentation should last approximately 5 minutes and you should include what you can study there, what it costs, what activities they offer and why you would like to study here.
Task 2: Write a personal letter or statement to the university/learning institution that tells about yourself- your hopes, ambitions, life experiences and inspirations. You could focus on your background and how this has shaped your dreams and aspirations, or tell about a personal talent or quality, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. How does this relate to what person you are? Remember to write persuasively. Here are some samples of a personal statement and you could also listen to Tim Minchin’s nine life lessons speech for inspiration.
Outsourcing of companies is a common phenomenon in our globalized world. Todd, the main character of “Oursourced”, faces numerous challenges as he experiences a new culture with different traditions and ways of communicating.
After having watched the film, write a text in which you discuss what cultural differences Todd has learned about and must overcome in his encounter with the Indian culture. Discuss some of the scenes where this is visible and discuss the change Todd goes through.
As homework for Wednesday, January 31st, read chapters 7 and 8 (pages 77-98), and answer the questions below on your blog or on Fronter.
The questions concern chapters 6 and 7, we will work with ch. 8. together in class on Wednesday.
- Imagine that you are Changez and write a personal diary entry about the atmosphere in New York after 9/11.
- Work with the text, write answers in your own words and use quotes to enhance your statements: What does Erica say about Chris? How are Muslims treated in New York City? According to Jim – how does one gain power? What does Changez mean when he says “I was Chris and she was with Chris?”
- Find passages om chapters 7 and 8 that support the claim that Changez is changing in his loyalty, and becoming more patriotic to Pakistan.
Publish blog or hand in on Fronter before class on Wednesday.
Read some eyewitness accounts from a city in shock, this is a text from the New York Times the day after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the city.
Write a short blog post (2 paragraphs at the most) including your own thoughts and impressions after reading the text and seeing parts of the documentary in class.
We are now 2 chapters into the story of Changez, the American and the Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Write a blog post where you comment on:
- your impression of the story so far. Remember that you are allowed to be negative, but no matter what your thoughts are so far – try to explain and give examples of what you like or dislike.
- on the vacation in Greexe – Changez describes the group he travels with (excepting Erica) in different ways – how? And what does it say about his opinion of them? See if you can find at least one quote to underline your statements.
- What does Changez tell Erica about Pakistan?
- Why do you think he says that he wants to be “the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability?” (p. 31). How does his audience react to this?
After publishing your post, move on to read chapter 3.