Monday, August 25, 2008

Philosophy at Toledo...

Hellos everybody who is interested to know more about how I am getting along at the UT (University of Toledo).
So the campus is really great. Beautiful and big like University of Pune (which btw is greener). As I stepped into college for the international students orientation, I was surrounded by Chinese and Indians. Chinese outnumbering the Indians by a huge margin. Quite surprising for me actually. Eventually I realised that I was probably one out 300 people there who was here to study something in the arts side of things.... The rest were engineering and pharmacy students. So you can imagine how alienated I was feeling! But I enjoyed meeting all these new people.
My department is extremely small as you can imagine. So small that I think it is non-existent to many. Like the president of international students organisation did not know that the university had a department of philosophy! But i think we are all used to this by now isn't it? Well so my department is situated in a building about 15-20mins walking distance from my apartment (I walk everyday). The building is like a maze and you just get totally lost in it cause it has steps and doors and more steps and more doors. Finally I did make it to the department and I was told by the secretary that I was the only international student they had had in the last couple of years! Well so that felt good to hear in the beginning but later I realised you can get pretty alienated in a totally american dominated environment.
So I have a teaching assistantship which means I have to assist one of the professors (Ammon Allred) in his undergraduate lectures. I have to mainly sit and listen to his lectures and help him with grading papers and sometimes even help him teach. I will be assisting him in Contemporary Moral Problems. Looking forward to it. I also have to maintain a few office hours every week where undergraduate students can come and ask me questions and I have to help them out. So that is my job.
My degree requirement are that I have to have minimum of 32 credits at the end of 2 yrs. These 32 credits include lecture times and thesis reading (or something like that). I am still getting a hang of these things... not too sure. So there are three semesters and I have to have to choose a minimum of 9 credits each semester. So this semester there were four options....
1) Philosophy of mind
2) Phenomenology
3) 20th century analytic
4) American philosophers : william james etc..

So i chose 1,2 & 3 which are 3 credits each that makes it 9 credits total.
Next year things will get tougher because by this time I should already be ready with a draft of my thesis as I will have to begin applying for my PhD by december. And also I may be talking my own classes like 'Introduction to philosophy or critical thinking etc.'

So tomorrow is the first day of my lecture.
I have already begun reading as you have to keep reading all the time and soon write papers. And A's in the papers are a must....

Well thats all for now.
I will keep this space updated!
Keep a look out for it
Feel free to ask me any questions about academics or anything here

Looking forward to this new adventure!

p.s. If you click on the title 'Philosophy at Toledo' it will take you to my department website