Here are some of the homework assignments I received from my students after the Deepavali holiday. I was hoping that they’d select a variety of objects that they could explore the life cycle of, but unfortunately many of them chose paper. Two of them then proceeded to learn how to make new paper from old paper with their parents! Other students chose to explore the life cycle of the following objects: a terra cotta flower pot, a churidar (leggings), a wooden comb, a bamboo chair, and a pencil. Funnily enough most of them did not select items that would be really hard to recycle again later. (See photos below of some of their assignments.) One student had been in the process of writing about her bicycle, but I think she got distracted and ran out of time.
Equally interesting was our class discussion post break: I asked them to talk about items they felt they wanted–that they didn’t get for whatever reason–over the holidays and what made them want those things. Some of them said things like: toys, chocolate, and books. I had asked them to try to keep track of such things so they could begin to build an awareness of how often such desires emerge in us. And most of them were quite clear that billboards and television commercials are the main places where one finds such encouragement to consume!