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       First Year Course on Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khaan)

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blood

bone

brother

dog

drink

eat

falcon

fire

heaven

horse

light

mother

water

wind

wolf

woman

 

 

               

                                               

       Every entering student at Macalester College is in a First Year Course of his or her own choosing.  In the Fall Semester of 2004, this class of 16 students studied The Secret History of the Mongols.  Each student was responsible for a single word on which he or she composed three essays, a final research paper, and a website summarizing the findings.

       In addition to the academic project, the students had to pursue a form of civic engagement by turning one or more of the words into an active project designed to benefit someone in Mongolia.  Two groups resulted from this.

      One group took the word water and after exploring many different ideas, raised money and made arrangements to repair the water pump in a small community of ten families in Hovd Aimag in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia.

      After seeing how the problems of excess alcohol consumption plagued the Mongol Empire just as it does in modern societies, the second group made a short film about alcohol and family violence in American society.  They copied the film onto cdís with Mongolian narration to share their experiences with Mongolian students who face similar problems.

    Professor Jack Weatherford

    Class Assistants: Lauren Bonilla & Batnairamdal Otgonshar

 Work done in cooperation with Dr. Lkhagvasuren and the Chinggis Khaan College of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 

 

More Information: weatherford@macalester.edu

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