'EAP: Cities and Urban Consciousness' Holds Semester Show

May 14 2015

Students in Professor Anjuli Pandavar’s English for Academic Purposes: Cities and Urban Consciousness class came together to showcase the fruits of their semester labors.

The class was assigned a “secret video” project that had two requirements: the video cannot exceed one minute in length, and it must be filmed in Shanghai. The freedom of everything else was in their creative hands.

Each video was a short glimpse into individual student perspectives, flavored by a very specific voice, style, and focus—everything from environmental concerns of conserving water, to time lapse videos dripping in melodic piano and pastoral reflections on life in the countryside.

Their inspirations ranged from finding simple beauty in local nature to appreciating Shanghai’s hard laborersand even German philosopher Martin Heidegger.

Rather than give into the symptomatic tunnel vision of competitive edge, Pandavar stressed to her students that excelling and working hard to better oneself is the way to go instead of aiming to always win.

The students’ semester-long toils resulted in a meaningful reward. Along with acknowledging student achievements for Best Teamwork, Best Solo Project, Best Active Participant, and Bravest Student, Pandavar awarded her students with relics from her very own private library, including treasured books that she had spanned countries in pursuit of.

Students also composed Learning Portfolios, through which they were free to format their reflections on the semester, documenting just how much they had grown as students and in what ways.

“What I learned from this class is that although I am only one individual, I can still make an impact on this city,” said Feng Yi Kai, whose “Moving to Shanghai” video was chosen as one of the top three projects.

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Article and photos by Charlotte San Juan