I just gave a lecture at the college! They sent me an official invitation about a week ago and then, after about fifteen minutes of very formal thank yous and introductions, I gave a short speech to the third-year English students, about five current profs, two retired profs, my host family, and the principal of the entire college. No pressure, especially when my talk was preceded by the presentation of a flower bouquet and a coconut. Most of the hour-long lecture was a well-planned question and answer session with the students. I can’t explain how much fun this was or how nervous I was beforehand. They asked almost forty questions ranging from my life ambitions to the status of women in America. Plus (and you are going to enjoy this one) they got me to sing. At first I only had to read a poem and I thought I was off of the hook, but then they asked for a song and I managed to perform a little bit of “Shalom Rav” in Hebrew. Public singing is much more common here, so I think they found my hesitation pretty funny.
After the lecture the students surrounded me and actually asked for my e-mail and autograph! That part of the day was amazing but awfully surreal. They all kept asking about my favorite moments and the Marathi I knew, and then several girls asked if I would come over to their house right away for tea and a meal. Luckily, I had to get back to KNB after lunch for the 8th standard class after lunch. Together they and Maxine keep my head from swelling completely out of control.
As before, pictures will arrive when my pen drive feels better. Please wish it a speedy recovery.