1. A day in the life...Well, friends, this is a look at what a typical day may look like for me at Woodstock School.
6:15 AM--wake up for school...maybe. If it is heaping buckets of rain, I'll take the large umbrella today.
7:15--after breakfast and trying to orientate myself to being vertical (feeling well is a PLUS), I trek my way up the 1,000 feet to our state-of-the-art Win Mumby athletic complex to take my shower. I've decided to cut my losses, and a day of teaching in a damp WS polo, by hoofing it up the hill so I can clean up in a well-pressured, always-a-warm-shower locker room. Pack carefully or you may be pantsless for classes.
8:30--morning assembly for the 7-12 grades every other day. I am the advisor for 7 seventh graders so I sit up in the balcony and try to figure out this community just as much as the nubes I am advising. :) I love it.
8:55--first class of the day. We are on a 7-day cycle of classes, so each day is different. I teach 3rd and 4th grade art at the Junior School as well as 9th grade art, Drawing/Painting, and Sculpture in the Senior School.
A second class
10:40--TEA TIME! Morning snack, which has been known to have CREME PUFFS for the students every so often...
12:45--Lunch. When it's a good day at the cafeteria, it is oftentimes a GOOD DAY at the cafeteria. The same is true for the contrary.
2 more class periods
3:45--Afternoon tea. Yes, you may actually have tea 3 times a day if you wish: morning, lunch and afternoon.
2. Retrieval of the vacuum. So this past weekend I was supposed to make it out to Rishikesh with friends, the spot famed as the birthplace of about 48 songs by The Beatles in the late '60s including many that made up The White Album. (You say you want a revolution...) Instead of embarking upon my own self-actualization journey, I was meditating in my bedroom, hoping to transcend the bout of stomach sickness I was wallowing in. By the afternoon on Saturday, I felt I could gather some gumption to venture outside to enjoy one of the sunny days we had been gifted with that week. Maybe some exercise would do a body good. I decided I would go and pick up the vacuum belonging to another staff member for obvious reasons and encountered two fantastic experiences on my daytrip to nowhere.
Experience #1: Off on my trek around campus (they are ALWAYS treks...) I hit one of the main roads and headed east. I'm just walking along, watching the motorcycles pass me on their way to some higher ground, when I hear what sounds like a couple of vehicles approaching behind. The first cycle passes me with two men on it, man on the back unashamedly craning to look back at me, and they continue on just fine over the encroaching gravelly speed bump. The guy on the motorcycle following them decides he will do the same, except in his case, he's the driver as well. He passes me, craning his neck immediately in the overtake, but is on his way up the speed bump without a straight shot. Gottcha! The man realizes only too late that he has succumbed to the clutches of the gravelly speed bump with white girl on the side and loses his balance, not to mention his pride, over the edge of the round. Ungracefully, his cycle careens into the fence 5 meters before me, forcing I'm sure some choice Hindi expletives from his mouth. His friends up ahead take a knee while the man recovers his bike and his dignity from the rock pile.
Experience #2: I've got that vacuum now, been told how to care for it as if it is a child, and am ready to make my way back home. Who would have thought there would be wildlife on the route back?! The wildlife was me. I'm walking back down the main road, carrying a vacuum, ya know, living the Indian life. A set of bikers decide to take the safer way as compared to the aforementioned male and pass me on the left, stop about 25 meters later, and simply park it in the middle of the road...watching the local game do its thang on a day in the life of India.
3. Indian Independence Day was on Monday, August 15th. The school prepared for the occasion by readying nationally made textiles and crafters for the week's theme of "Fabric of a Nation" while the new staff especially made sure they had someone to wrap their saris for the big day. Feeling like prom all over again, we new staff white girls were draped, tucked, and sinched by regular "Good Indian Girls." (We did our research beforehand but were well aware of the importance of making everything look as perfect as possible...this is a big deal people!) Below are the outcomes--quite a success in the forgiving eyes of our Indian colleagues. :)