MIT Retreat

I got up late at about 7:15 AM. I quickly washed up and walked to the bus stop to take a crowded bus to MIT. We had breakfast in honor of the 25th wedding anniversary of Dr. Maung Maung Yin and his wife. The bus took all of us to Kan Daw Gyi Hotel for our retreat.

This is my first time to be in Kan Daw Gyi Hotel, which is very grand and beautiful (at least for me :) on Kan Daw Gyi Lake. We were guided to the conference room. Following the morning devotion as a nice coffee break during which we had a chance to know each other. It was really fun playing games before the break.

Following the game, it was very interesting to have a lecture and discussions on Conflict Transformation from Dr. Sang Awr from MIT and Dr. Ron Kraybill from Virginia, USA. Dr. Kraybill said that the Book of Acts had full of examples about different natures of human beings. It strengthens us to honor the diversities among us at MIT.

Dr. Cung Lian Hup had the MIT calendar for the year 2003-2004. After that, three small groups were formed to discuss the MIT's curriculum, BARS (Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies) curriculum and staff's agenda. Being a BARS faculty, I was in the BARS group. We discussed several issues on the problems of BARS. We have come to the conclusion that shortage of full time faculty and staff has made it impossible to use the U.S. education system. After all, this is Burma and we will still use the system of taking finals and centralized control of the whole program. A typical program in the U.S would be students could pick classes he or she wants in a semester and take those classes until he/she fulfills the degree requirements. It would be impossible to use that system here, at least for the time being. We also decided that students can fail up to 3 courses in a year to retake the  supplementary exams and if they fail the supplementary exams, they will have to repeat the whole year studying the same subjects, which would be painful. Hey, we do our best with what we have and what is right in America doesn't mean it's also right here. It reminded me of cultural relativism. We are still in the transition stage so what can I complain, right?

In addition, the evaluation, feedback and open discussions were followed after the small groups' meetings. Consecutively, Dr. L. Zau Lat led the consecration and we had a very nice dinner there. Returning to MIT was at 6:30 PM. What a long day!!
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