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Let’s Dive In! Pre-Course Assignments

Hi Students,

With two weeks until we meet up in Bangkok, we have a collection of small assignments for you.  We invite you to engage in the themes we’re going to be learning about so that we’re all on the same page and excited for when the course begins.  Please make time for these assignments– it should be only 10-15 minutes a day over the next week or so.  If folks put some thought into some of the themes that will inform our learning over the course of the semester it will set a tone of real learning and engagement for the good of the group as a whole.

Assignment #1: Post an introduction Yak!

We want to know who you are. Please post a short introduction Yak answering the following questions:

  1. Please include your name, your school, your major life achievements, where you have traveled, your hobbies, etc.  But also please go deeper than just that. Tell us: who are you?
  2. What are the things you are most eager to experience and to learn about on this course?
  3. What role does this course play in your life?
  4. What is one moment from your childhood that defined you as a person?
  5. Make sure to post a picture of yourself with the Yak.

Assignment #2: Talk with one of your instructors!

One of us will be getting in touch with you to arrange a phone call very soon.  (We’ve already talked to a few of you!) We know you’ve been talking with people at Dragons a lot, but now you can talk with the people you’re actually going to be traveling with. W’d like to hear your voices, give you a chance to ask questions, and get to know each other a little. Please check your email so we can schedule a call.

Assignment #3: Watch At Least Two of These Three Videos!

  1. TED talk: National Geographic’s Wade Davis discussing vanishing cultures and why they matter
  2. TED talk: Sir Ken Robinson’s “Changing Educational Paradigms” 
  3. TED Talk: Pico Iyer “Where Is Home?”

Assignment #4: Read These Articles!

We don’t have too many mandatory readings during this semester, but we would love to get people on the same page with these readings:

  1. The Burmese Spring by Evan Osnos (an introduction to Myanmar’s democratic transition).
  2. In light of the recent violence in Rahkine State in Myanmar’s far west, bordering Bangladesh, please read this article about the Rohingya Muslims and their Buddhist neighbors: Displaced and Divided in Burma’s Rahkine via the BBC.
  3. Glance through the CIA’s The World Factbook on Burma/Myanmar.

Assignment #5: Brush up on your Burmese!

There are plenty of resources on the internet to start learning a few survival phrases in Burmese.  Start activating those neural pathways!  Even learning a few keywords or the numbers will be a huge step up.

Best wishes,

The Instructors: Parker, Nikki & Siang