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Monday, February 27, 2012

Visiting Cards

As we have been talking about ethics and stuff in class, I have been thinking about the ethics involved in my project. I feel like as long as I remain super sensitive to people around me and always ask questions if I am doing anything wrong when appropriate, I feel like I can mitigate most of the potential problems of my topic and methods. I mean, I still want to sit down with a few people and brainstorm with them to come up with ways in which my project might cause problems. The big part semi-ethical hurdle in my project is getting my research, results, my project back to the people that have helped and will help me accomplish it. I am still pondering this idea, but one thing I already planned to do that now will take on a new purpose is getting my own visiting cards. I am super excited.

This is a visiting card:
It may look like a simple business card, but in Indian culture this takes on a completely new meaning. Everyone has visiting cards. You give them out to people you meet who you want to do business with or stay in contact with. It is a way to either make business contacts or to give to someone who can see that you are important, that you are successful. It kind of is like a mini profile in many cases. Like this one. I got it from this blog. They do graphic design, so they are technically showing off their talent, but this sample is a good one for visiting cards, in addition to their graphic design capabilities. You notice that in this example it has the name of the person, M. Ali Bhatti, their position, proprietor, the name of their company, Bhatti + Bhatti, and what they do. It also has their address. When the fictional Mr. Bhatti meets someone, he will give them this card.

As soon as I get to India, one of the first things I hope to do is locate a printer and have five hundred or a thousand visiting cards made up. Mine will probably be a lot simpler than Mr. Bhatti's, but they will serve the same purpose. Basically I plan to just have my name, my e-mail address, my blog address, and maybe my facebook or google+ page (depending on if I can bring myself to support those) listed on the card. That way I can give it to anyone who works with me, who I meet who I hope to work with, or who I just want to stay in contact with. For giving back my finished research project, I still will try to collect people's information and notify them when it is finished/let them know the progress. Visiting cards will give me a double layer of protection. Rather than going through the awkward motions of having to find pens and paper scraps that will get lost, the visiting card is official, clean, and easy to read and provide a way for everyone I meet to at least have the chance of following along with my project. Internet access is still going to be a problem, which I as a lone undergraduate student cannot overcome, but there are internet cafe's and things like that. At least this will be some way to make sure that I do not come off as some invading American taking advantage of India for my undergraduate gain. It is so unbelievably important to me that my project in every way possible give back to India. I hope to gain a lot from this, but a major goal of my topic is to in some way to contribute to the understanding and culture of reading in India in ways that will benefit India continuing to establish a solid place in the global world.

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