« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Tracy Frank, Published October 01 2013

Her Voice: Fargo grad finds dream job teaching in India

FARGO – Lindsay Boyd hikes 15 minutes through a mountainside just to get to work.

For the past two years, the Fargo South and North Dakota State University graduate has been teaching music at an international boarding school in India.

“I absolutely love my job,” the 26-year-old said. “The days are long but extremely fulfilling.”

Boyd lives in Mussoorie, India, a hill station in the first range of the Himalayan Mountains, where she works at Woodstock school, a K-12 boarding school, ranked the No. 1 international school in India.

Boyd directs two wind ensembles and a jazz band and teaches brass lessons to students from all over the world.

Since, it’s a boarding school, the students and faculty all live and work together.

“There is definitely a family dynamic, for the good and bad,” Boyd said, adding that living in India has been a life-changing experience.

“I have been exposed to almost a completely opposite culture from the life experience I had growing up in Fargo,” she said. “While here I have been working and living with people of all different religions, cultures and backgrounds. I have learned to appreciate people for all that they bring to the table and celebrate our differences.”

She has also become more patient because things she once took for granted – such as being on time, reliable transportation and clean drinking water – aren’t always an option, Boyd said.

“Things that used to really matter to me somehow seem a lot less important here when you are constantly surrounded by people who are less fortunate,” she said. “I have also learned how little you really need to be happy.”

Most families live in one room and are shocked that Boyd lives alone, she said.

She hasn’t encountered many language issues because most Indians speak English, but she has experienced culture shock.

“When I first arrived in India, nothing made sense,” she said. “The traffic was insane. It seemed there were no rules of the road. People were sleeping on the side of the street. There were stray dogs everywhere. People were burning trash to stay warm. It was frustrating and shocking.”

Overall, Boyd says living in India has been one of the hardest but most fulfilling things she’s ever done.

“India is an intense place. There are amazingly beautiful things here, such as the spice fields, all the colorful saris, Tibetan settlements and wonderful food. Families are extremely close, and people will always look after you and it seems people truly care for your well-being,” she said.

“On the other hand, there is a lot of over-population, extreme poverty, and a lot of injustice in the government,” she said.

Boyd’s mom, Linda Boyd, is executive director of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. She said while she didn’t expect her daughter to pursue a musical career, it has been a real thrill to see her blossom as a musician and develop into an outstanding conductor.

“We have shared some wonderful musical experiences – I even got to compose a band piece for her a few years ago,” Linda Boyd said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her and can’t wait until December when I will finally have the chance to go visit her and see her in action.”

Lindsay Boyd taught at Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo for two years before moving to India. She may return to the U.S. at the end of this school year or teach at Woodstock for one more year, she said.

Ultimately, she hopes to go back to school to get her master’s degree in conducting.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526