Saturday, July 2

can't... stop... thinking... about... bagels...

Don't ask me why. The cravings just keep coming.

I don't even eat bagels that frequently in the U.S. but there's something about an "everything" bagel, not toasted with cream cheese (real cream cheese not that low fat crap) that sounds absolutely to. die. for. right about now. Ok, I'm salivating, I really need to stop it... just thought I'd share!

ANYWAYS, the past few days have been good and pretty busy as well. I'm getting in the swing of the teaching, but throughout the past week, I have noticed that their "English" books are actually written in...well...very poor English. For a person who happens to be a grammar nut and spent the past year-ish editing things at The Vista and San Diego Magazine, this is a huge nightmare. It makes me cringe every time. For example, "all the animals were very happy and made celebrations" and " so the number of animals in the forest was getting reduced day by day" and "while the lion got ready to kill it, it requested him to wait." Trust me, it gets worse, but I'll spare you the pain. Unfortunately, there's no getting around this material in the book, because the government issues a test, evaluating the children on the material they learned in these books. Talk about a pickle! I spent days and nights thinking about how the heck to improve this (mind you without access to other books, a copy machine etc etc).

Finally, I came up with a solution: I will teach from the books (ONLY so that they can do well on these tests) but in addition, I will make up my own stories and teach them, in order to teach new vocabulary and correct grammar. Win! This has been my method for the past two days and both the kids and teachers are loving it (and it's pretty fun getting to come up with ridiculous stories geared towards children). I'll post a good one on here soon. The important thing is that I think they are really learning!

Kindergarten class

And speaking of learning, I've been doing some of that myself. Every morning, before class, the children line up by grade and pray, the older kids do a skit and then they sing this fun song (that even has some background music)! I have really come to like this jam, it's totally catchy and I find myself humming/singing the [completely wrong] words, since it's in Telagu and boppin' my head to the beatzzz. So finally, I asked one of the nuns, Berna, what the heck this song was? I thought it was a Bible song or something. She had no idea what I was talking about, so I gave her a little preview in my tone deaf voice and she started cracking up. Apparently, it's the national anthem. Oops. And apparently, you're supposed to stand with your feet in a certain way (first position, ballet anyone?) and your hands by your sides in fists. Double oops. Basically, the moral of this story, is that I've been completely disrespectful to India for two weeks now. Good thing no one noticed. Still, I have to commend this country, quite the tune for a national anthem, I love it... think I can download it on iTunes?

On the food front, things have improved! I discovered a cheese called Happy Cow (basically Laughing Cow) and between that, some good bread Sister Lilly brought back from Hyderabad and their panini press, I have been treating myself to some nice little sandos. Also, CUCUMBERS! Who'd have thought? They never tasted better. And finally my last new favorite, custard apples. It's a fruit that looks similar to an artichoke from the outside but inside are tons of seeds covered in a custard-like gel, totally delicious (though a little time consuming to eat with all of the seeds).

So many people are asking about my buddy Santhosh! He is doing well, although I walked by his classroom the other day and he was totally passed out on his desk. It's funny, he can't seem to stay awake and I can't seem to fall asleep. But nonetheless, that little nugget makes me smile so big! He giggles a lot and it is probably the cutest thing ever. Perhaps I'll make some videos soon!
'Tis all for now. But I'll leave you with this...
Sister Alfi... no big deal, just ridin' her motorcycle around. She promised she'd teach me how to drive it (though I don't think we'll be making it to those crazy and terrifying public streets).

Love from INDIA <3

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