Imperfectly Recalled Tales from a Pleasantly Hot Place


"To get a hyena to eat a tree, you must tickle it like this." Or something. Dr. Joy Ochs actually made much more sense when she spoke about India. You should have been there.

Dr. Joy Ochs describes her travels in India.

Well, I suppose when you are there and the temperature is above 100 Fahrenheit and the humidity is high, summer in India must be sweltering.

Still, it was pleasant on this cold Iowa night to listen to Dr. Joy Ochs talk about India. I took a few notes during her speech, and promptly left them in my office, so I’m flying without a net here and hope I don’t garble too many details.

It probably doesn’t help that I had to push to finish writing an exam after seeing the speech and before tackling this blog post—there is nothing like making test questions to erase newly formed neural connections.

Quoting British writers on India. I'm out of jokes. They way white people describe brown people often isn't very funny..

Quoting British writers on India. They all thought British culture was better than Indian culture, one reason Dr. Ochs sought out Indian writers to read.

Anyway, I was impressed with many of the things I saw and heard, even if my memories are a bit fragmentary. The pictures she showed were stunning—I really liked the details of some of the architecture.

The important environmental work done by some NGOs was also good to hear about.

One point of the speech that stood out to me was Dr. Ochs recounting her desire to find Indian writers to read in order to understand India better. I guess I like the idea of finding the voices of another culture to speak for themselves. In fact, she will teach a course next year on Indian literature written by Indians.

You all should take it, MMU students.

Well, I won’t have time to enroll in the class myself, which is a pity. India seems like a fascinating, complex—and, most alluring to an Iowan today—warm place.

Pictures that tell the story of Gandhi. The Indians seem to tell lots of stories visually, and it would be cool to be in that warm place to see them. Especially today.

Pictures that tell the story of Gandhi. The Indians seem to tell lots of stories visually, and it would be cool to be in that warm place to see them. Especially today.

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1 Comment

Filed under Mount Mercy, Travel

One response to “Imperfectly Recalled Tales from a Pleasantly Hot Place

  1. I would love to take an Indian literature class! I’ve read american, British, and some French and Russian literature but not Indian. That would definitely be a great way to expand my cultural horizons.
    I’ve been to Spain and it is extraordinary to get out of the United States and see such historical architecture!

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