Saturday, January 23, 2010


Our school is from grades preschool-12th. The really little kids don’t even go to school a full day; they leave after lunch. The smaller grades are Montessori, but Eliza and my grades don’t do that. You have eight classes a day plus lunch. Each class is taught by a different teacher but instead of moving to different teacher’s classrooms, the different teachers come to you.

The school campus is divided by a small dirt (mud) road. On one side of the road are the little kids’ classes, the squash court and the outdoor amphitheater. On the other side is 5th grade through 12th grade, the cafeteria, (called the canteen), the library, the basketball courts and the tennis courts. It also has the computer lab, labs for bio, physics, chemistry and math, and the yoga room. The younger kids’ side is lush and green while our side is pretty much cement.

Every morning, before our eight periods of classes, we go to the amphitheater for assembly. The four houses[1] sit separately. Here we say a couple prayers, sing this one song (in Hindi?) for reasons I can’t understand, and sing the school song. On Monday we sing the school song in English, on Tuesday Hindi, on Wednesday Kannada,[2] on Thursday English, and on Friday Hindi. If we have school on Saturday, which happens every other week, then we sing the school song in Kannada.[3] After singing, students will come up and perform skits or poetry recitation. The music teacher will come to the stage and lead us in yet another song. The principal will remind us of rules and make announcements, and then sometimes there will be competitions between houses and the winners will be awarded points. Then we cross back over to the other side of the campus and school begins.

At our school we don’t have every class every day because there are so many. Instead of just having English, there is English Literature and Whole Language as well as English class. Although you may not take “English” every day, you will always have one or two English-y classes. It is the same with science. We have biology, chemistry, physics, and environmental education. You can’t choose any electives because there is only one class per grade, but we do have yoga, chess, computers, and games (PE) spread out over the week. The classes are taught in English, but you also take French and either Hindi or Kannada. Because we will only be here for three months, I do not have to take Hindi, Kannada, or French. During these periods I just go to the library and do my homework, but again I don’t have these classes every day so don’t think that I have two free periods a day.

This is off topic but I have noticed that when we are touring sites like the red fort in Agra or even the Lalbagh gardens here in Bangalore, random people want to take pictures with us, especially me and Eliza. At first I just assumed it was because of our charming good looks,[4] but Mom says these people have probably lived in more rural India and have barely ever seen foreigners so they want a picture to prove to their friends back home that they have seen us.

[1] Every student is assigned to one house. There are four houses.
[2] Kannada is the local language here.
[3] It is going to take me forever to memorize all of these songs!
[4] Hee hee.


  1. hi! This is your mom's friend Anne. I have a couple of questions for you and Eliza, if you don't mind... Are you the best in your English classes, or are the other kids "native" English speakers too? Is the Indian accent in English rubbing off on you guys? ALSO--are the yoga classes just for exercise/stretching, or do they seem religious/spiritual too? Thanks! I'll look forward to hearing your answers, when your homework and busy lives give you a chance to write back. Hi to your parents too!

  2. Do you remember when you, your sister, your mom, my daughter and my husband went hiking at Chautauqua one day while I was attending a meeting at NCAR?

    An Italian family came across you on the trail and wanted to take a picture of a 'typical American family'. Your mom and Mark tried to explain they were married, but not to each other. (And, all three girls are beautiful, but Iris doesn't look anything like you and your sister.)

    But the tourists wanted to take the picture anyway.