Thankfully, Scholastic changed my ticket from 5:30am Monday morning to the night before, so I was able to arrive, settle in, and actually get a night of sleep. The Residency Hotel is upscale bourgeoisie but so much so that style sometimes bludgeons sense. The bathroom, for instance, has all glass walls, so not only are you in grave danger any moment of face-planting into a floor-to-ceiling glass door or glass wall, but your options for having guests, spouses, friends, lovers, groupies, floppers, and flappers (who might need to heed nature’s call) is limited to those said guests, spouses, friends, lovers, groupies, floppers, and flappers whom you might not mind seeing hunched on the pot. And that, at least for me, is a limited set indeed.
**since writing this, I've been told that there may have been a screen to pull down... I'm obviously not clever enough to figure these things out.**
But to return to matters of more meat, Monday was the beginning of a more intense school visit phase: three schools today, three tomorrow (with Sampurna Chattarji, yipyee!); and then in Calcutta, one day with only one special event (more on that later), and then a day with two and a day with three school visits. And so off I went with Mohana Krishnana my Scholastic Mumbai Beatrice, to the first of three: the SM Shetty International School, in Powai.
|SM Shetty International School|
Scholastic seems to find it wise to send me to somewhat more internationally-minded schools, which in some ways is quite nice. The students are sharp and willing to interact freely, without the trepidation that comes sometimes with too much stern discipline. They also tend to have the skills to appreciate nonsense; that is, they are well-read, and their command of English is such that they can pick out the sense from the non-sense. These groups are more comfortable getting a bit crazier in a school setting—and it’s therefore easier for me. Still, I wonder how the set would work with different children, from less-advantaged backgrounds. Of course, they have just as much nonsense in them—but how to access it, especially in a cross-cultural, cross-class experience… I suppose I won’t find out on this trip at least.
Here are a few more shots from Billabong High, in Santz Cruz, and Ecole Mondial, in Juhu. Thank you to all the schools for welcoming me in and letting me loose!
|Ecole Mondial Madness!|