CFI builds programs as renovation​ looms

With every new trimester at school, there sprouts a new series of events and opportunities at the Centre for Imagination for the community to share and enjoy. Ms. Amy Seefeldt, Director of CFI shared her hopes and excitements regarding what lies forward at the CFI for the coming trimester.

Ms. Seefeldt said, “The CFI has organized four to five big events this trimester,” with a “poetry bonfire evening” in March to kick start the events, given its previous success when approximately 50 people participated.

In March Dr. Douglas Kennedy from the University of Minnesota will hold conferences with the teachers regarding “student diversity in classrooms.”  Furthermore, Ms. Seefeldt hopes Dr. Kennedy’s workshops with the student body regarding “mindfulness-based stress reduction” can help the students ease into the tough exam period that follows in April and May.  

While the month of April will see “reconfiguration of the space in the current building for better study areas,” Ms. Seefeldt said. Finally, Maymester and The Festival of Ideas will occupy May, as usual. However, this time around Ms. Seefeldt is really excited about the interactions between visiting distinguished guests, such as the three Maymester Resident Scholars named Philip Lutgendorf, an American Indologist, Dr. Mira Debs, an Executive Director of the Yale Education Studies program, and Alexandre Debs an Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale, and the students.

Other than the success of the events, the CFI hopes to achieve some other objectives regarding internships and the CFI building this trimester. Firstly, Ms. Seefeldt wants to “finish getting permissions for the [renovation of the] building” in the next three to four months. “Then there will be a 24-hour celebration once stuff is cleared out, where students can come and draw or paint on the walls,” she said. 

Furthermore, Ms. Seefeldt hopes this trimester a greater number of student interns will participate, and most of all “take initiative” to kick start and follow through with what they need in order to turn their projects into a reality. For instance, the calendar for the coming year will be planned and organized with the input of both teachers and students with an emphasis on retaining “the really important events [without] creating a mess.” Consequently, the CFI hopes that by “taking ownership” of their projects students will engage a lot more, and “gain connections” with the people, such as professors, teachers, and others, they work with.  

Finally, the team at CFI also looks forward to the renovation of the entire building in the coming years.  “The entire building will be torn down [but] because of the Landour Cantonment laws we can only build on top of the footprint […] we can go high but not too high because we don’t want to cut down the trees, they’re very old.”  Ms. Seefeldt believes that the construction will make the space convenient to host bigger events. 

When asked about the funding for the construction, Ms. Seefeldt replied, “the whole building is being funded by donations from Alumni [who] chose to donate to CFI.  Especially, young Alumni are very excited [because] they wish that [CFI] had been there” when they were students at the school. 

Hopefully, the student-interns can carry on with the same enthusiasm as we head for another trimester of new experiences and expectations at the CFI.


Abdul Malik Ansari is a staff reporter

Edited by Janvi Poddar 

Photo by Knema Gardner

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