Monday, June 8, 2009

The next 8 weeks

Today, during our orientation, I found out my summer project. I, along with Jordan, will work at the Santiago Norponiente office on creating a course guide for a chapter of the Acción Emprendora program. Fortunately, the office is near my house, unlike Puente Alto, which is at least an hour away.

Jordan and I will begin our project by studying a chapter from the current student manual. After becoming “experts” about our chapter (most likely regarding production), we will learn the vocabulary for our chapter. Then, we will conduct interviews and research with former and current teachers and students of the course to find out how to best design the courses. We’ll also attend several classes to get a better idea of how the courses are generally run.

After conducting research and familiarizing ourselves with the AE model, we’ll compile our course manual. It’ll include PowerPoint presentations, practice problems, case studies, and a well-outlined guide that will help enable consistency throughout the AE centers and between course instructors.

In addition to designing the manual, all interns are aiming to raise awareness about AE in Chile, South America, and the U.S. We are especially looking for grants to help AE grow or form partnerships that could aid AE.

I’m excited and nervous for my project. I was originally looking at another project, but after learning more about this project, I think I’ll be a great fit. It will certainly be a challenge. The Norponiente office is nearly entirely Spanish speaking. I hope to build upon my skills and background as a Teaching Assistant in Public Policy. I am sure this will help my abilities when I return to Duke.

I have so many other subjects to talk about after just three days here, but they will have to wait. I’ve never lived in a city that is as large and chaotic as Santiago. My host family is extremely well educated and interesting. Already, we’ve discussed issues ranging from public versus private jails in Chile, to the recent divorce law (divorce became legal in Chile just three years ago), to the judicial system, to the levels of poverty in Chile.

The post office and the mayor's house surrounding the Plaza de Armas en the center of Santiago:

La Moneda is the presidential palace that was bombarded with former Chilean President Salvador Allende inside:

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