Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Day Off From School

Today is Republic Day, the anniversary of India signing their constitution and officially becoming a republic. We have the day off school, and they are showing patriotic movies on TV. Also, while I was eating breakfast I heard shouting from outside in the courtyard, but not angry shouting. It was almost like chanting. It went like this:

Single person: “Mahatma Gandhi!”
Crowd: “Ya!”
Single person: “Mahatma Gandhi!”
Crowd: “Ya!

Sophia had already finished her breakfast. She was down in the courtyard, and later she told me about something else that happened before the shouting. It was a sort of flag unfurling ceremony. She said they hoisted the Indian national flag up to the top of the pole while it was still furled up. Once it was up, they pulled the string that was holding it together off and as it opened, flowers fell out. Flowers are a pretty big thing here. There is a whole garland-making industry and people will hang garlands on anything from their hair to rear-view mirrors to cows’ horns.

On another topic I’ve noticed almost everybody in my class is very neat. Their handwriting is gorgeous and they always take notes in full sentences. Whenever they have to draw a line, be it for a final project or a quick t-chart, they use a ruler. They use copious amounts of white-out.

Also, I’ve noticed that sometimes the assignments are very vague, like the teacher will say, “Please compare the case studies in Chapter 9 of your textbook and turn it in on Friday.” I’ll be left scratching my head and thinking ‘What? Should I write an essay? A t-chart? A Venn diagram? Brief notes?’ I’ve found that the best answer in those situations is to write in whichever format I feel best fits the topic. The teacher doesn’t usually care.

In response to the comment from Anne (see comment under School), I’d say in English my sister and I are slightly ahead of some kids and at the same level as other kids, because a few kids in my class are “native” speakers, but the rest aren’t. My sister now says the word “very” with a slight Indian accent. The yoga class seems to be mostly stretching and exercise, although I have only had two classes so I haven’t had a lot of time to observe. Thanks for commenting.

Sorry everybody for not posting in such a long time. I've had a lot of homework.

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