Blog # 7
January 7, 2017
This blog is authored by Study Abroad in India student Puiyee Cheung
who is a graduate student at the City College
of New York pursuing her Masters degree in the Bilingual Education and TESOL Program.
We went to the Taj Mahal today! It was interesting to see it in cloudy weather- the haze added an air of mystery and timelessness. The Taj, was built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal between 1632 – 1648 AD. Along with the incredible design and symmetry, I was most fascinated by the materials they used; Makrana marble – which is translucent and nonporous – so that it looks differently depending upon the light, especially in the moonlight! There is incredible inlay work, which includes 4.3 million pieces of semi-precious stones such as: Turquoise, Lapis lazuli, and Malachite. It took over 22 years and 20,000 workers to complete; legend has it that the Shah cut the hands off the workers so that they wouldn’t be able to build another Taj.
In its presence, I found myself thinking about romantic gestures, and how different they can be: gifts, quality time, affirming words, acts of service, and physical touch. And depending upon the person some gestures are more appreciated and deeply felt, a notion that was popularized by Gary Chapman in his book The 5 languages of love.
In the spirit of this course – and how important relationships are in the classrooms we’ve visited, can we as educators be more effective in building relationships with our students? And consider that perhaps children like adults need and experience love differently as well? In The 5 Love Languages of Children, G. Chapman and R. Campbell, explains how different children can be, and that our language may be totally different from theirs. Thus by discovering their primary language, we can more effectively convey feelings of respect, affection, and commitment that will hopefully resonate with their emotions, behavior, and ability to learn in the classroom.
Photo by: Jasmine Khoury