In the middle of second period today, everyone was called to the auditorium for a special assembly. Without giving too many details, the head of high school announced that, because of what's going on in the country, a national strike had been called, and students would be dismissed immediately following the assembly.
This is the second strike of the year, second half-day like this. And I'm still not too sure what's going on, except that it's something about religious/political tensions. Also, this might not be the best time to live and work in India. Then again, whenever there are problems and changes, wherever there's action, that might be the best time to live in a particular place.
Our first priority is the students, so I'll be heading up to dorms in a few minutes to relieve staff there for a while. It'll be another afternoon of just hanging out with the eleventh and twelfth grade boys.
After the assembly this morning, one of my students said, "I was thinking about you. Thinking how you probably had been thinking that we'd have a whole week of school this week." He was right. It seems that, with so many things going on here at this school, there's rarely a full, uninterrupted week of classes. That's one thing that makes it great and interesting, but it also makes it tough to teach sometimes.
Another student said, "I heard about the strike this morning. And during your class, I was praying the whole time that we'd get the day off."
"Maybe your prayers came true," I said. "But I just thank God that at least I had my twelfth grade English class today."
She just scowled. "You must have been such a nerd in high school," she said.
"Are you kidding?" I said. "I was an awful student. I hated school. I was fairly smart, but I was lazy. And now, this is my punishment, being a teacher to students just like me."
Not sure she believed me. Or even listened. But as she walked off, I yelled after her, "Since you have the rest of the day off, work on your poetry!"
I know I wouldn't.