India Journal – Theo Quinn

IMG_8483For two months I will be an exchange student at the Daly College in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India. A border, sharing a room with an exchange (Carl) from the Louisenlund school in Germany, he and I have a room in Ashok House. Our room is the only room on the ground floor, and the only room with its own bathroom. Our room also has a camera mounted on the wall. Daly College is a Round Square school with a 200-acre campus. It was founded in 1870. While in India I am supposed to keep up with my work in two classes:  Dante’s Divine Comedy and Advanced Biology.


I had slight trouble reading The Divine Comedy until the sections with the Opportunists were reached. Then the visual descriptions allowed me to become more invested in the story because I could visualize Dante’s progress.  Though the descriptions became less graphic, they still allowed for a good grasp on the story.

When my plane first landed in Indore, there was a very thick yellowish fog that coated the small landing strip, obscuring any sign of my surroundings. Once I got my baggage and got into the car of the man who recognized me as the only non-Indian in the airport, I was immediatelyIMG_1547 bombarded by an obscene amount of honking. If I were basing the frequency and aggression of the sounds on what I was familiar with in America, I would have assumed that I was in the process of contributing to a seven-car pileup, but here that is just how people drive. I guess the theory behind it is to always have everyone aware that you are there so they will avoid hitting you, though that does not seem to influence any of the other drivers who wildly swerve to-and-fro on either side of the road.

To accompany this stressful journey to the school, there was common scenery of starving cows, dead dogs, dilapidated buildings, and tremendous amounts of trash decorating the sides of the road. When I arrived at the school, I was surprised with the fortifications that were focused inwards, such as bent razor wire, spiked gates, armed guards, and tall walls. Across the road from the main entrance was another compound with similar fortifications, which I later found out to be the state’s largest prison. For breakfast I had some small yellow fragments with ketchup. I originally thought it to be some form of potato, but it turns out that it is smashed rice called poha.

I found the Ancient Giant really interesting as it was so detailed for such a passing reference.


They are not having me go to any classes because according to them I am too old. I am two years older than every other student, but I am not really sure why that prohibits me from learning with them. They did mention they may have me teach biology because I mentioned I am taking advanced bio currently. I continued my reading of Dante today, and I have decided I will read a minimum of three Cantos a day, which will hopefully keep me caught up with the class.


A few days in and I am beginning to realize that Wi-Fi is going to be a larger issue than I had originally anticipated. The one area where I am allowed to use Wi-Fi is in the library, and the connection there is limited to around 7kb/s down, which unfortunately has made it impossible to log into Microsoft OneNote and this is where all of the biology work that I am required to do is kept. Besides the limitation of speed, the library closes every day at 11 am, which severely affects my daily productiveness.

This is only the beginning of Theo’s journal about his experience in India.  Go to his page in the exchange blog to read all of what he wrote.