June 6, 2009
Meeting minutes with Manjul
Location: At his house
From 10:30-11:45 am
I went over the schedule I had written out for the following week, and Manjul agreed on it.
Goal for this week is to get teachers excited that this project is happening and that we are the people involved (myself and the other volunteers) For teachers not to see me as one of many volunteers that come and go, but as “Zohar”.
I should not verbally explain to them what I intend on doing, but have them gain that trust from my enthusiasm and participation and interest.
Suggested that I walk around the community a few times, and note the reactions I get from the members. Also, since I usually drive in through the main road to the school, that I should try later in the week walking through the street.
I should reflect on my observations, by writing blog entries daily and sending them to Manjul and others involved with this project. I should also get the perceptions of the teachers, students and other volunteers- but not reject their different perspectives. I should get the perspectives by observing and asking.
It is great that in my schedule I have included seeing the school at all hours of the day- to note differences.
Suggested that I buy some simple, inexpensive Indian clothing to wear when working at the school
I voiced my concern about videotaping and taking pictures of the kids at the beginning of the week, and even at the end because I am afraid that will create a “fishbowl” effect. He mentioned that it is important for me to document how the situation was at the beginning and at the end, but that I should do it in a less obvious way (i.e. holding the camera in a way that isn’t in their faces)
I will be checking out during this week the amount of students that I will be working with. The range is anywhere from 10 until probably 40 or so. One option would be to work with more kids and split them up into two groups (also split up the volunteers to work with each group).
I shouldn’t be concerned with choosing the venue during this time, that will come after working with the kids and asking them how many times they want to perform and where.
I should ask everyone working with me different basic phrases in Hindi and start using ones that I already know to communicate with the staff and children.