Orientation Week - Highlights
The School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences was off to a great start with plenty of activity during the first week following the inauguration. Students were exposed to a series of exciting, inspiring and fun events to help them ease into life at Krea. The first cohort of students at School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences had the rare privilege of listening to eminent personalities including Gopalkrishna Gandhi, Amala Akkineni, Kartik Shanker, Srikumar Subramanian, Aman Singh, Anushka Meenakshi and Iswar Srikumar, who addressed them on a variety of thought-provoking topics such as ‘Creativity in the Age of Automation’, ‘Balancing Human and Environmental Needs’, ‘How to Lead a Good Life’, ‘Making the Most of College Life’ etc. during the orientation week.
First in the ‘Speaker Series’ was the interaction between Shilpa Antony Raj and Paula Mariwala on 14th August 2019, on the topic ‘I am my own destiny’. Shilpa Antony Raj is the author of ‘The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter’ which gives a glimpse into the life of a young girl born into poverty in rural India who was given an unprecedented chance at success when she joined Shanti Bhavan, a boarding school started by an Indian-American philanthropist. Paula Mariwala, the Executive Director of Seedfund Advisors, has a strong entrepreneurial legacy. An alumnus of Stanford University, Paula has over 20 years of entrepreneurial and operational experience with technology. She is a member of the Board of Management at Krea University. ‘Creativity in the Age of Automation’ came next, as Prof Gaurav Raina interacted with Srikumar Subramanian, a graduate from IIT Madras, whose research from the National University of Singapore (NUS) dealt with “Modeling Gamakas of Carnatic Music as a Synthesizer for Sparse Prescriptive Notation.” and “Representing and Manipulating Musical Rhythm: A Pulse-Form Approach”. He spoke about the artistic uses of audio and video technology. On Independence Day, Mr. Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, visited the campus and spoke about ‘Beginnings’. A retired IAS officer and diplomat, he was the 23rd Governor of West Bengal and has also served as Secretary to the President of India and as High Commissioner to South Africa and Sri Lanka, among other administrative and diplomatic posts. “Today is a day of your choice, a day of your independent choice… It’s the beginning of a new day for you as you struggle to break your bonds and search for your own future. Being here as a student is your choice. You have chosen to take control of your destiny. The first and most potent aspect in Life - the exercise of Choice to mark ones intellectual birth is a moment to cherish.” Mr. Gandhi said. He quoted examples from the Tamil classic Thirukkural, which he had translated into English.
Later that day, Mr. Kartik Shanker, ecologist and founder trustee of Dakshin Foundation and Associate Professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), Bangalore spoke to the students. He drew on his experience in working with marine turtles and conservation outcomes. “Environmental issues cannot be dealt with in isolation. They are linked to all the social issues we deal with – from health, water, sanitation, education, other aspects of social aspirations, they are all interconnected” he said. “For us to be successful in changing our relationship with the environment, we need to be addressing all of these issues together.”
An eagerly looked forward to the event in the ‘Speaker Series’ was Amala Akkineni’s ‘How to lead a good life’ on 16 August 2019. She referred to her own life a “work in progress” and continued to give a few valuable tips to the students. She called herself a ‘life-long learner’. “Start by taking ownership of your own learning. Learn to manage your energy, your interest, focus, learn how to become a life-long learner. That’s really going to help you. Because you never know where life is going to take you, and you will have to learn new things all the time” she said.
Next in the ‘Speaker Series’ that day was Mr. Aman Singh, who spoke about ‘Making the most of college life’ in an hour-long session that was enjoyed by students and everyone present. The session was interactive as he asked the students what their aspirations were and went on to make the students come up with answers. “To get whatever you want in life – job, degree, program, mentor etc., - the simplest way to get there is to deserve it… It’s a simple idea that goes very far.”
The ‘Speaker Series’ concluded with a discussion between Anushka Meenakshi (documentary/independent filmmaker) and Iswar Srikumar (actor) on the u-ra-mi-li Project – when they landed in Phek in their quest for ‘everyday music’ five years ago – and their experiences since then.
The orientation week also had exercises on team-building, workshops on campus policies and an introduction to the Counselling Centre on campus. Dr. Keerthi Pai, PhD in CBT in adolescents, M.Phil. in Clinical Psychology (KMC, Manipal) and M.Phil in Counseling who is currently a consultant in Apollo group of hospitals(Chennai) Partner in Element H Psychological Support Services (Chennai) is the consultant on campus Dr. Keerthi informed during her introductory session that the Counselling Centre provides services to students with a variety of challenges. These could be in the areas of academics, relationships, or any other form of stress. The orientation week commenced with a fun night of entertainment where students were given an opportunity to showcase their many talents and wow the audience.