Thursday, September 10, 2009

School: Day Two

July 28, 2007

Day 2

My host father was running late the second day and so he just drove me to college and I couldn't meet up with Shivani which was disappointing, and a little scary since I had to manage to find my classroom and get through the college on my own. But I managed fine. I got to the classroom that I remembered being told to go to yesterday. For some reason the sections can't be A and B, instead they are Q and R. How strange is that? Anyway I'm in R, so I went to LR6, my classroom and immediately was stared down by everyone in the class, except Madhav my host brother who pretends not to know me in school. By this point, I'm really not phased by people staring at me. I walked right past everyone and sat down somewhat in the middle. Immediately the girl in front of me turned around. I smiled and introduced myself. A simple smile works awesome in situations like this, because everyone thinks you're friendly if you do that. Now, Khushboo and I are friends. She introduced me to a bunch of other curious girls around me. (The girls and boys are separated so I was around all girls) I met almost all the girls. A few minutes after that, a girl sat next to me whose name is Apurva (Ah-poor-va with a roll of the tongue between the r and v. It's pretty hard to say, but I practice while she laughs and tries to pronounce my name.) usually, I end up writing my name down for people and giving them my information. I don't know what they do with information afterward, they always put it in their bag. So I met more girls through Apurva. She doesn't speak too much English, which proves pretty beneficial because it forces me to speak some Hindi and she teaches me common phrases that the teachers use and stuff. I'm so glad that she happened to sit next to me. I can also ask her all sorts of random questions.

Everyone likes that I'm not too shy, and when they see this come over and talk. But the second day I didn't talk to too many people because i had to pay attention to the teachers.

So I'll describe a little bit of how the school part, besides meeting people, went. The first teacher came in a few minutes late. There are about 80 students in my class. The desks are wooden, with two to a bench. Girls on one side and boys are on the other, like I said earlier. Girls and boys do not interact in school, which is strange to me. The boys, of course, claimed the side of the room with the windows. Most of the time the fan isn't on so it gets hot. So the teacher came in and introduced himself. He was a funny guy, but hard to understand. He would start out talking in good English, but with a slight lisp. Eventually the lisp would get stronger, the accent heavier, and he would slip into full Hindi. Then back into English again. Basically he just gave us our time table. So the time table is: Science Science Science (fifteen minutes for breathing) math science hindi. Okay it isn't exactly like that, but basically. The fifteen minute recess thing isn't so nice.

The next teacher came in, with a nice appearance. He, I learned, is the biology teacher and started the lessons that very day. He asked the definition of biology first and randomly called on people to answer. If they got the answer incorrect, which everyone did, you had to stand until it was answered correctly. Luckily I wasn't called on. Apparently, despite popular belief, the definition of biology is not the study of living organisms. It is the 'range' of study dealing with living organisms, including the main two fields zoology and botany. We wrote in-depth notes after that. It was in that class that I noticed the bars on the windows...

Math followed and that was uneventful. The work is mostly writing and very repetitive. I have no problems understanding the lessons. They are somewhat in English, but if the teacher doesn't know how to explain something properly, they will say it in Hindi, and sometimes accidentally just start talking in Hindi. I can understand Hindi well enough and so I really have no problem. Plus, Apurva helps me by teaching me the phrases that the teachers commonly use like "write this" or "Do you understand?" Hindi is actually a pretty simple language. There isn't much embellishing the words, like English does. There aren't a million different ways to say something and words sound exactly how they are spelled.



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Ithaca, New York
Hey! I'm eighteen. I love elephants. My personal movie collection consists of Slumdog Millionaire, Mulan, and the Illusionist. (not saying those are my favorite movies, I just own them) I am a hookah fanatic. I am NOT a socialist, even if my Bio teacher wishes I was. I'm a college kid, a freshman journalism major. Oh I also eat popcorn daily.