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What's up readers! I'm back on the Yak board with a hit new mini series dubbed "The Three Amigos". These posts will cover the lives and times of Scout Vernon, Will Brokaw, and myself in the next 2 months. Some of it may be sorrowful, other parts hilarious, and all of it inexplicably addicting and magnificently written. Enjoy!

Episode 1: Outnumbered

You might be wondering "Why just write primarily about yourself, Scout, and Will?" The answer is obvious. It's because on a trip of 11 kids, we're the only boys. We like football and explosions and peeing in nature. But there are 8 girls with us who likeprincesses and horses and frolicking in pastures of fresh herbs with packs of wild doves circling above**. In an environment as feminine as this, us men must naturally stick together. There are always important man things to be done, such as discuss the perfect piece of bacon or what bicepexerciseis most effective. The best way to release our manergy is to split from the group and go on adventures, and most of them are deserving of being written about. Here are two examples. A few Saturdays ago, some of our group went to the beach to relax and enjoy the ocean. Upon arriving, the amigos and I went exploring on some big rocks near the water. We eventually jumped in and Will had the misfortune of stepping on a seaurchin. Local legend is he subsequently sought out and beat up the urchin, then went to the clinic with Kelli and refused the doctors help, telling them "Chill out, I got this", and removed every spike from his foot by himself. Kelli, who was there, cannot confirm any of this, but let's take local legend for its word. Scout and I played a manly game of catch with the football while all of this occurred, and in no way were influenced by the girls singing kumbaya and making flower necklaces together.
During our group excursion to the Dieng plateau, we had an hour of free time in the late afternoon. The guys and I hiked to the top of the village and spotted a soccer game being played across town with a huge crowd gathered around. It looked interesting so we went back through town and cut across the carrot and potato fields as a short cut. Just as we were about to show up, the game had just ended and the observers came pouring out along the narrow path we were walking. As we continued fighting upstream to the field, everyone that passed us would say something and the others would laugh. When we finally arrived, a group of little kids were playing with a ball and we joined in on their game. They were probably 7 or 8 years old but surprisingly skilled. Our game went on for almost an hour until the sun went down. It was an absolute blast and maybe my highlight of the trip so far. The amigos and I took time to teach them valuable sports lessons, such as overly- celebrating after a goal and blaming the refs for a bad game.

Please stay tuned for more posts about the Three Amigos. We're bound to have more adventures and man stories - you can bet on it.

*I can't confirm that any of these facts are true facts. Just take them as maybe true facts, but facts nonetheless.
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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The Three Amigos Ep. 1

Pete Foster,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

What’s up readers! I’m back on the Yak board with a hit new mini series dubbed "The Three Amigos". These posts will cover the lives and times of Scout Vernon, Will Brokaw, and myself in the next 2 months. Some of it may be sorrowful, other parts hilarious, and all of it inexplicably addicting and […]

Posted On

10/17/12

Author

Pete Foster

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Yesterday morning we said goodbye to our families in Jogja. My ibu made my favorite food (cooked carrots) for breakfast and the night before we had a wonderful whole-family outing to Alun Alun Kidul to attempt to walk blindfolded through the two sacred banyan trees. The goodbyes with every member of my family were heartfelt and affectionate, but by far the best came from my grandmother.

My ibu's mother lived in the house next door. I didn't meet her until the second week and probably only spoke with her once or twice. Mostly I just saw her around, chasing the chickens, carefully watering a baby tree from a drinking glass, and constantly sweeping. But while I was waiting for my final taxi away from home with my ibu and sister, my grandmother came up to me and grasped me with bruising strength about the upper arm, looking me straight in the eyes with a big smile.

She didn't let go until the taxi came, at which point she began hitting my shoulder and saying "hati hati!", an expression which means "be careful!". As she pummeled me with her ancient fists, this woman who'd I'd only barely met told me that she loved me very much.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Forms of Affection

Lyda Langford,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Yesterday morning we said goodbye to our families in Jogja. My ibu made my favorite food (cooked carrots) for breakfast and the night before we had a wonderful whole-family outing to Alun Alun Kidul to attempt to walk blindfolded through the two sacred banyan trees. The goodbyes with every member of my family were heartfelt […]

Posted On

10/17/12

Author

Lyda Langford

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    [post_content] => You know you're becoming an Indo Dragon when...

1.) When presented a meal without rice you immediately ask 'ada nasi?'

2.) Everything important is ranked on a scale from 1 to Celine Dion.

3.) You take at least two bucket showers per day.

4.) Your idea of a soccer mom is Aaron Slosberg.

5.) You casually mention that you've climbed Mt. Merapi, it's the largest volcano in Indonesia. No big deal...

6.) When something extraordinary things happen you know it was Judy.

7.) You're tight with all the hipster street artists in Yogja.

8.) You're not afraid of feedback.

9.) You learn traditional Indonesian songs from Taxi drivers.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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You Know You’re Becoming an Indo Dragon When

Naya and Cassidy,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

You know you’re becoming an Indo Dragon when… 1.) When presented a meal without rice you immediately ask ‘ada nasi?’ 2.) Everything important is ranked on a scale from 1 to Celine Dion. 3.) You take at least two bucket showers per day. 4.) Your idea of a soccer mom is Aaron Slosberg. 5.) You […]

Posted On

10/17/12

Author

Naya and Cassidy

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    [post_content] => "Have you ever seen 
anything
in your life
more beautiful..."

Mary Oliver's poem The Sun could not have portrayed our wonderful Saturday night in Malioboro better. We began our adventure at Pendopo Dalem, which is a buffet style restaurant that had tons of traditional Indonesian dishes. The entire group eagerly piled the unknown delicacies onto their plates and began eating, or just tasting the exotic meal. As Olivia described it,"it was a real travel experience. It was so indo." Although we were all enjoying this true Indonesian experience, we were completely oblivious to the "foods" we were munching on. Unfortunately Pete's braveness in trying unknown meats failed him when he found out that the mysterious chewy meat consisted of the anal tubes from chickens. Pete remarked that it was like eating "the fat of a steak, but a really bad quality steak." He then continued. "I felt like throwing up for the next forty five minutes once i knew it was chicken ass... it was a bad night." We all expected a good yak from Pete after that. Although Pete was not fond of this dinner, others had different impressions. Lauren described it as "comical" and "pure happiness," and Eliza said she would "remember it for the rest of (her) life." When I asked Cassidy about her perspective on the food, she replied: "I liked the food. I mean in terms of food..." She then finished by stating "I hate this." As one can see there were a few mixed reviews from the crowd, but the majority found this segment of the night to be a great success.

After our eating adventure, we took becaks to Alune Alune, a run down field with two big trees in the middle, where locals have being going for years to have fun, and at the same presumably find good luck. According to the ancient myth, if you can walk through the two trees with a blind fold on than your wish will become true within the next month. Everyone in the group had a chance to stumble around until their hearts or friends helped them through the spiritual trees. Looking back on the experience, Scout stated: "Well..ummmm... I thought it was going to be easy at first, but i got lost and ran into one of the light stands, but eventually i found my way. It was funny to watch other people though." I believe most of us had similar experiences to scout's, yet some seemed to have more trouble. When I asked Alyssia how she felt about being blind folded, she replied: "I don't know" and turned away. Apparently it was either more complex or controversial than i previous believed.

To cap off the night we rented sepeda lampus (lightening bikes...basically bike carriages with christmas lights) and peddled around Alune Alune. This was our first encounter on the congested road, and i can't say we were paying adequate attention. Blasting music and spreading our party energy to other motorcyclists and pedestrians surrounding us, an accident was waiting to happen. And it did. Due to a minor collision at one mile an hour between our two lightening bikes, a motorcyclist went down to the pavement. It was a traumatizing accident; one that has caused sleepless nights for all of us. No one spoke of the event for days, until finally Naya stepped up and bravely reported her emotions. She stated: "I was nervous. I was afraid for both his life and mine. I grabbed Sarah's leg out of fear, and watched our trip crumble into apple pie... no apple crisp." Then Lyda jumped in. "I was thinking I hope Jesus protects me and the lives of my friends." I believe we all can relate to how Naya and Lyda felt during the crash; we were all raddled and scared of Indonesian motor ways. Although our virgin eyes had been abused from the accident, we still had plenty of great memories from that Saturday night. Emily couldn't have summed up our feelings better when she reflected: " ummmm it was really fun. I liked partying. It was quiet an adventure before we crashed and broke the thing."

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Malioboro Adventures

Will Brokaw,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

"Have you ever seen anythingin your lifemore beautiful…" Mary Oliver’s poem The Sun could not have portrayed our wonderful Saturday night in Malioboro better. We began our adventure at Pendopo Dalem, which is a buffet style restaurant that had tons of traditional Indonesian dishes. The entire group eagerly piled the unknown delicacies onto their plates […]

Posted On

10/16/12

Author

Will Brokaw

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    [post_content] => The word for family in Indonesia is "keluarga", and the concept takes place in  so many forms. When I've been out exploring a new place and I think of how good  it will feel to "go home", I picture the back steps of the house in Lempong Sari  where I sit next to my sister and my ibu, nasi goreng always within reach. I  haven't forgotten my family back home, (no worries Mom) but the ease that has  developed inside me over the past month through just sitting on the steps,  spending time not doing anything in particular, is something that I treasure  even more than the hot meal, cold bucket shower, warm bed or small fan that my  family here also provides. They actually don't even compare. At the beginning of  this month, I couldn't have pictured this quiet contentment with my family  because we were all so focused on getting to know each other, trading language  and navigating how we would share the same space. Now, I feel much less aware of  my "own" space, like I could sit anywhere in or outside of the house and be  comfortable. It's incredible to think that there is nowhere else in this country  that I feel as safe and at "home" as I do in this one house, with this one  family, and the circumstances putting us together were nearly random selection.  As we gear up for the jungle soon, I know that when I reach for a comfortable  place in my mind, it won't be America that I think of. Instead, it will be the  smile that lights my ibu's face as I say "enak sekali, delicious!" ten times per  bowl of soup, or sound of my sister's giggles when I try to sing along to her  favorite songs, or my bapak's silent nod in the morning that says he slept well,  how about me?

During an interview with Sigit, an artist here in Jogja, he defined community as a "society of humans", and that we are all part of the larger community of this earth. This past week, we traveled to Dieng Plateau for a 3 day expedition, and we all made individual efforts to reach out to the locals, despite the fact that we literally didn't know one person there before arriving. Each of us came away boasting our connections with a group of kids playing soccer, or children dancing in the street, or men playing chess on a store front, or sharing the heat of a small fire, or harvesting carrots with a truck load of ibus on the side of the road. In America, we're taught not to talk to strangers- but here all we needed to start a conversation was an inquisitive glance and a "salamat pagi, siapa nama anda?" I'm amazed at how little it actually takes to strike up a conversation here, the hardest part being just taking the first step. All I said to the farmers across the street was "bisa boleh bantu?", "can I help you?" Once they realized I didn't mind getting dirty we were all harvesting together, laughing nonstop...children being thrust into my arms, giant carrots being shoved into a small plastic bag for us as a parting gift.

Although I'm apprehensive about saying goodbye to my keluarga in Jogja, I know that the connection we have built for the past month is in no way meaningless, even if I never see them again. They've taught me so much about the malleability of family, the power of trust. The fact that we all want the same thing, and all I have to do is go halfway. [post_title] => Keluarga [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => keluarga [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-10-15 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=39701 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 284 [name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [slug] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 284 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 243 [count] => 96 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 14.1 [cat_ID] => 284 [category_count] => 96 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 [category_nicename] => indonesia-semester-fall-2012 [category_parent] => 243 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/fall-2012/indonesia-semester-fall-2012/ ) ) [category_links] => Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012 )

Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Keluarga

Naya Herman,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

The word for family in Indonesia is "keluarga", and the concept takes place in so many forms. When I’ve been out exploring a new place and I think of how good it will feel to "go home", I picture the back steps of the house in Lempong Sari where I sit next to my sister […]

Posted On

10/15/12

Author

Naya Herman

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I’ve been riding my bike to the program house in the morning. It’s an interesting, if not slightly perilous fifteen minutes from home. I swear the jalan is more potholes than road surface. More than one bike chain has ‘jumped ship.’ In fact, I have ridden four different machines in the past couple weeks. Mom, these are nothing like the green beauty at home with its smooth shifting and aerodynamic, lightweight fanciness. My current bike is a clunker. The brakes squeak, the seat is anything but comfortable and I think every part of the bike rattles. All that considered, it seems to be holding up well in the battle against the roads. It is a mountain bike.

My commute to the program house has been, despite all my mechanical glitches, pretty great. Being surrounded by cars and more motorcycles than I can count is not exactly pleasant. I’ve gained a new perspective though. I watch as old women in plaid skirts and headscarves go whizzing passed on a Kawasaki. I wave hello to three little boys piled on the seat behind their father. Trucks loaded with people; men with precariously perched produce dangling off the back of their archaic bikes; a woman with a meowing box strapped to her handlebars. This isn’t rush hour like we think of it in the States. It’s people traffic. These are people’s lives crossing paths every morning.

My bike at home (ok, mom’s nice bike which I have commandeered) is for exercise and athletic, stream-lined looking transport. In Yogja, I’m sorry to say, my bike is not sexy. Rather, it’s a bumping, clattering observatory. I get to be a part of the daily comings and goings of the city. I’m far more aware to the ‘what’ and the ‘who’ on the road than I would be at home in the US. There is more going on here than people moving from point A to point B. There are stories riding every bike and motorcycle and car. We aren’t bumper-to-bumper, we’re face-to-face.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Commuting Yogja Style

Cassidy Schultz,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

I’ve been riding my bike to the program house in the morning. It’s an interesting, if not slightly perilous fifteen minutes from home. I swear the jalan is more potholes than road surface. More than one bike chain has ‘jumped ship.’ In fact, I have ridden four different machines in the past couple weeks. Mom, […]

Posted On

10/4/12

Author

Cassidy Schultz

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    [post_content] => Well after climbing Mt. Merapi it would seem that nothing could compare to its stature, but last Saturday I felt that I experienced the Indonesian experience I had been expecting. Now it wasn't because I felt I was on top of the world or on the moon or experiencing the brutal intensity of the epic climb up Merapi, but rather hiking from temple to temple through colorful farmland. It was amazing how a seven hundred year old temple was completely free to roam and touch all the ancient artifacts you would want. In the US something that old would be either in a museum never to be touched again, or you could maybe be able to stand fifty feet away and take picture. I find it amazing how every temple is so sophisticated. Because this was a Hindu temple, it was composed of three platforms, each representing the different worlds, the underworld, earth, and heaven all based around one main axis.

Well it was about 2pm when we left the first temple, and we spent 3.5 hours hiking through a mix of ferns and pine tree forests, a small village that took some videos of us, and then cabbage, carrots, rice, tobacco, and pea fields over-looking the small towns below. The variety of green overwhelmed my eyes and was a perfect back drop for our tour guide to perform the call to prayer. Although I hear the same song many times throughout the day, he compelled a honored being that helped me to understand the seemingly annoying yelling at 4:30am. And after the call to prayer, we plugged on through the narrow farmer paths to the final temple where we arrived just as the sun went down. Although it was tough to make out the detail in the sculptures, the grandness was ever present. There we were given fifteen minutes to reflect. The world has an overwhelming amount of messages and scenery to take in and this reflection time allowed me to soak it all in. Life deserves more time spent on reflecting.
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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Slow the pace

Scout Vernon,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

Description

Well after climbing Mt. Merapi it would seem that nothing could compare to its stature, but last Saturday I felt that I experienced the Indonesian experience I had been expecting. Now it wasn’t because I felt I was on top of the world or on the moon or experiencing the brutal intensity of the epic […]

Posted On

10/3/12

Author

Scout Vernon

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I’ve been living with a family here in Yogyakarta for two weeks now, with two weeks to go. I have a great family, with a caring and generous Ibu (mom) and Ayah (dad), and three great younger siblings.


The day I was introduced to my homestay family I knew my Ibu had high standards. We had a party at the program house to kick off our homestays and the families joined us to celebrate and that’s where we met for the first time. She wore a beautiful blue Jilbab and shiny metallic wedges. Impeccably dressed, and equally well mannered. I could tell by how she held herself that she was a very proud woman.


I could also tell from the moment that I met my Ibu that she was stubborn. Not in a bad way, just in the way that the fiercest of mothers are. And I soon learned that I was right. No matter how much I put on my plate more food is usually added to my plate for me. The idea that I would like to take the bus home rather than be picked up in her car is absurd. And saying, “i’ll be ready to be picked up at 5”, usually results in my ride arriving at 4:30.
However, my Ibu’s preferences are never so clear as they are when my hair texture is the topic of conversation.


The first night of my home stay, when my wet hair was beginning to dry into curls, I was asked If I wanted to use her hairdryer. I declined the offer, however at the time I didn’t realize that this was less of a question and more of a request... The first time the issue was really brought to my attention was on the second night at my homestay. My homestay family and I were sitting in their living room. I had just bathed and my hair was starting to dry, and my curls beginning to show. The TV was on and everyone was silent, because we don’t speak the same language, until my Ibu broke the silence.


“Can I make your hair straight?” My Ibu asked, a hopeful look on her face. I gave her my permission. I didn’t really care about my hair being straight, but I did want to make Ibu happy. Out came the hairdryer, combs, and flatiron, and Ibu got to work. My Ibu and littlest homestay sister, Naya, sat behind me for about 30 minutes drying, combing, and ironing my hair straight. My Ibu was half laughing, half growling as she yanked her comb through the tangles in my admittedly unruly hair, Naya giggling the whole time. It’s worth mentioning that all this time (with the hot and humid climate, combined with the added heat from the hair dryer) I’m trying my hardest not to sweat, for it would ruin Ibu’s hard work.


After the transformation was complete my Ibu took a picture of me on her phone. Then flipped back to a picture she had taken of me earlier, so that we could compare the before and after. The look of satisfaction on my Ibu’s face made the whole production worth it. And I spent the rest of the evening trying not to sweat.


Naturally, the next morning my curls had begun to reform, and as quickly as I had appeared downstairs in front on Ibu, I was having my hair flat ironed yet again. That was when my Ibu announced that we would be going to the hair spa over the weekend. I was both a little excited and a little nervous. Chemical hair straightening is popular here in Indonesia, and honestly I was a little scared that was going to be my fate.


When Sunday came around we indeed went to the spa. The woman who did my hair put what looked like mayonnaise in my hair (which wouldn’t be too surprising, because they love mayonnaise here). Then she put what looked like green mayonnaise in my hair. Luckily, the smell of the stuff suggested that it was in fact something other that mayonnaise. I was skeptical, but an hour and a great neck massage later, my hair was styled as smooth and straight as any Indonesians. Needless to say my Ibu was delighted, and more pictures were taken.


After many instances of me trying to leave the house with wet hair, and my Ibu offering me to use her hair dryer, I’ve come to recognize that this is also more of a requirement than a choice. And leaving the house with wet hair, really isn’t an option if I wish to keep Ibu happy.


So while I’ve somehow managed to avoid the flatiron over the past week, i have surrendered to drying my hair before leaving the house. In addition to this I’ve even strategized a way to dry it semi-straight, which I like to pretend will earn me bonus points with Ibu.


I know my story may make my Ibu seem a little overbearing, but that’s not the way I feel at all. She’s just a mom. She’s done an excellent job at making me feel like her child. In fact she’s even asked me when I am going to get married, as well as confirmed that she will be invited. It’s become clear to me that she runs the show. I can tell that she wants the absolute best for her children, and for the time that I am living with her family, I will be treated as one of her children. Her maternal instincts, her strong personality, and the culture she’s a part of of all contribute to who she is. An absolutely fierce mom.

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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The Problems With Curly Hair

Lauren Harper,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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I’ve been living with a family here in Yogyakarta for two weeks now, with two weeks to go. I have a great family, with a caring and generous Ibu (mom) and Ayah (dad), and three great younger siblings. The day I was introduced to my homestay family I knew my Ibu had high standards. We […]

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10/3/12

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Lauren Harper

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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More photos from Jogja

Instructors,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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10/3/12

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Instructors

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Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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Jogja photos!

Instructors,Indonesia Semester, Fall 2012

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10/3/12

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Instructors

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