This is my first official blog, and I can now see why I have not done it in the past. I have no idea where to start. Most of my time and energy is going into teaching right now. The kids are great, the administration is great, and my co-workers are great. Because everybody is so great I feel obligated, and even inspired to try and be great myself.
I guess I will describe a "typical" day here. I get up at 5:00 in the morning. I meet up with some friends and go for a run in the morning. It is hard to get up so early, but the run is worth it because it is a time that I can have Mumbai to myself. The rickshaws drivers are sleeping in their rickshaws, the stray dogs are asleep, and nobody feels the need to honk. The pollution is also not as bad in the mornings. By the time I get back to the apartment I am soaked to the bone and really hot. I turn on the AC and all of the fans and try to cool down before I take my shower (that does not get cold). I then head out and say good morning to the guards and walk out of the gate and down the driveway where I catch my bus to school. The ride in the morning is a pretty amazing experience in itself. Driving in Mumbai is crazy, and nobody uses lanes, and they don't even really pay attention to stoplights or any other traffic rules. The bus is bigger than most vehicles so we basically get to pick our line and it is everybody else s job to get out of the way. For as crazy as it is, it works amazingly well. Nobody gets mad, and nobody is out to be malicious, even though at times it has that appearance. On the way to school I pass several slums, where I can watch the naked children walk around on trash heaps and make their morning movements. We actually get to watch all kinds of people using the restroom outside as there are not public toilets around and all of the shops and stores have guards to keep the poor out. When I get to school I am met by the school security and they guide us through rotating gates one by one (only accessed with our badges) onto the school campus. The real India has now melted away and I am in an entirely different world. I buy my double late and go to my office (cubical) and start my day. I am still a traveling teacher, so I have to move classrooms from time to time, but it is not a big deal since everything is done on computers and overheads. The day is busy and I am working all day to try and get ready for my classes. I get a lot of planning time, but I need every bit of it. The students are great, they care about school and they all have the goal of going to a good college. There is very little in the way of behavior problems, and they seem to be enjoying school, largely because they are successful at it. My class size range from 6 to 14 and I am given lots of plan time and technology to help make my lessons interesting. I think that can help the overall experience too. My fellow math teachers are amazing teachers and I am learning a lot from them everyday. They are very open and love to share their ideas. At the end of the day (usually at about 4:40) I catch a bus home. Traffic in the afternoon is really crazy and takes a lot longer to get home. I am usually exhausted when I get home. Sometimes we do yoga with our neighbors, sometimes I take a nap, and sometimes we go out and walk around (which is an adventure for another time.)
Well, I guess that is kind of boring, and I am leaving a lot out, like the fact our students come from over 50 different nations, and did things with their summer like hang out in Spain and Paris. I promise I will try to make my blogs more interesting in the future. I love hearing from everybody, including my past students. Keep the comments coming and let me know how your lives are going too. We miss a lot of people, but we are loving it here. Today was the Parsee new year. I found out they have a tower in town where they put their dead to have the vultures eat them. I mean how cool is it to live in a city that has that.