BIL Conducts 28th Journal Club Session
Brac Institute of Languages (BIL) arranged its 28th session of Journal Club on October 9, 2019. Ms. Masura Kamal Peuly and Mr. Mazid-Ul-Hasan, Lecturers at BIL, facilitated a discussion around the TedxYale lecture “The Power of a Teacher” by Adam Saenz. The participants were the faculty members of BIL.
In the lecture, Dr. Saenz talks about the influence a teacher can have in positively shaping a student’s life. He elaborates on the hardships of his early life and then goes on to discuss how he slowly began to overcome them during higher education studies through the encouragement of his teachers. The professor became interested in this topic because of the profound impact his two teachers had on his life. He also adds the story of his adopted daughter, Lauren Garcia, and how the bonding with his daughter helped him to understand the generational power teachers can have in the development of their students.
A lively discussion took place during the session, where the facilitators talked about the lecture’s relevance in teaching, followed by an activity to find out the techniques that the participant teachers used to connect, influence, and motivate their students. In another activity, the conductor divided the participants into small groups and handed out chits containing challenging situations involving a student. The groups discussed among themselves what their approach would be to deal with the student. Finally, the conductor elicited important points of discussion from each group. Overall, with the help of BIL faculty members, the lecture-based video generated an interesting discussion about the possibilities to explore student potential and the teachers’ transformative ability to drive them forward.
Workshop on ‘Understanding Art’ and ‘Appreciating Art’
Mr. Kazi Abu Bakar Siddique, Lecturer at Brac Institute of Languages (BIL), conducted two workshops on art at the Residential Campus, Savar. Held on October 15 and 16, 2019, these workshops, titled Understanding Art and Appreciating Art, featured interactive discussion regarding paintings and the way we perceive and praise this form of art.
The purpose behind these workshops was to give students an opportunity to share their ideas about art, make them familiar with great paintings, help them look at art from various perspectives and explore art beyond the enclosed canvases. In Bangladesh, the practice of art remains mostly a personal enterprise, which is why students in general have limited knowledge on art and how to talk about it. Therefore, these workshops were arranged to give students a chance to look at art beyond ordinary terms, and to see art beyond mere spreading and splashing of colours.
The discussion covered understanding of various terms related to paintings and famous sayings by philosophers and critics such as Aristotle, John Ruskin, Charles Baudelaire, and Gertrude Stein. The discussion also revolved around the opinions of artists such as Da Vinci and Picasso, and included other intriguing ideas such as the fluidity of interpretation, historicity, art as propaganda, etc. A number of great paintings were looked at for interpretation, covering all the major art movements from the Renaissance to Surrealism, from Botticelli to Pieter Bruegel the Elder, from Rembrandt to Delacroix, and from Van Gogh to Magritte. Among the ideas that kept coming back throughout the discussion are – subjectivity of art, meaning behind choice of colours, symbolic representations, and how to talk about what one sees and how one sees.
As it is true for any liberal arts enterprise, the end result is not a product but a refined perspective and a better understanding, which is what the workshops concluded with. Students who attended the workshops found the sessions to be insightful, which they think will help them appreciate art in a better way.
BUCLC Organizes Bangla Recitation Competition
Brac University Communication and Language Club (BUCLC) organized a Bangla Poetry Recitation Competition on October 24, 2019, in the Listening Lab of Brac University. Dr. Nimai Mondal and Ms. Chaiti Chakraborty, Assistant Professor and Lecturer of Bangla Language and Literature, BRAC University, participated as honourable judges in the competition.
Prior to the competition, BUCLC also arranged a workshop on October 17, 2019, on correct Bangla pronunciation and recitation. The workshop was conducted by Dr. Mondal and emphasized on topics such as Bengali language pronunciation, voice projection and speech delivery, rhythm and expression of emotions etc.
The workshop and competition were arranged to create and promote enthusiasm in proper Bangla usage among Brac University students.