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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Infirm in India, with great friends to help!

From Bangalore, India

I am presently serving as a visiting professor at the Xavier Institute of Management & Entrepreneurship ( in Bangalore, India.  I am teaching three sections of a course titled International Business, in partnership with Professor Naseer Jaffer of XIME.  Thus far, my greatest joy in my visit here has been everything about my relationship with XIME, which I judge to be a world class graduate school for master's level business studies.

An Unexpected Health Issue

However, thus far my life here has been almost that of a monk.  I had far too much work to do, and too severe a jet lag, to explore the city last week.  I left this walled campus only twice all week, first in the company of the school's driver to find some neckties, to get some cash at an ATM, and to find a battery for my Timex watch.  Then, this past Sunday, 11 January, I went with XIME's Dean Sam Tyagaraj to a local trauma clinic, as I had awoken that morning in severe pain. I declined a muscle relaxant from that clinic on Sunday, as the last time I had one prescribed, my tongue had stopped following my brain, and my wife Shirl had thought I was having a stroke.  Hence, for my back and leg pain I took only the pain medication prescribed at the local outpatient clinic, three days' doses, followed up with several days on aspirin.  I figured I would heal, in time.

But by Friday the 16th I was not noticeably improved, so I accepted the invitation of Prof. Joseph Philip, President of XIME, to go to St. John's Medical College Hospital in Bangalore for a thorough examination.  I did so on Friday. My diagnosis is piriformis syndrome, a sciatic nerve compression in the buttock, caused by a spasm of the piriformis muscle.  The pain it causes is more than annoying... it fully compares with that of spinal sciatica, with which I returned from Romania in 2009.  Fortunately, once the muscle can be made to relax, the symptoms ease quickly.  I have now accepted the muscle relaxant, and have had two "moist heat" treatments at the physiotherapy department at St. John's.

Thank God and the medics, I am now feeling better, though not yet 100% over the symptoms.  I can now stand up straight.  (For a week I have been bent 20 degrees forward at the waist.)  I can now walk more normally,  (For a week I have had a deep limp.)  So, I believe that after my upcoming (Monday and Tuesday) heat treatments, and with the use of my remaining doses of medication, I will be as good as new.

XIME Faculty and Students are Excellent!

The highlight thus far of my visit to Bangalore has been getting to know my colleagues and our students at XIME.  As mentioned above, I am teaching second-year graduate students in a management program their course in international business, doing so in partnership with Dr. Naseer Mohamed Jaffer of the XIME faculty.  We have divided the three sections' course meetings equally, with Dr. Jaffer's giving the lectures, and with my leading case discussions.  Our course seems to be off to a good start.  I love the fact that the students are so bright and well educated.  Roughly three-fourths are engineers or computer scientists, and they have had already a year of graduate management courses.  Thus, they are ready for the case method pedagogy, though they have not seen many cases before.  They have proven willing to speak their minds, and take risks, proposing their own action plans or decision analyses. We have much still to see and do, of course, and in seven weeks one can only scratch the surface of international business. But, for me, what fun!

(This post lacks photos, a failing I shall try to correct in the not-too-distant future. Someone here at XIME no doubt can show me how to upload pics from my new Nokia Asha 500.)

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