February 26, 2018 - Michael Salinger
American International School of Chennai
“Friends stick to you like lice to a scalp.”
So surmised a 7th grade class as we worked on a co-created definition poem describing the word Friendship.
Pretty apropos seeing as we made whole bunch of new friend during our visit to AISC. Librarian extraordinaire Jeremy Willette being one and I’d be remiss to not mention Sonia David – queen of administrative assistants. These two kept us on track, fed, watered and housed for our duration in Chennai. Now I might not compare the duo to head parasites, but they were persistent in their desire to see us cared for as if it were a part of a symbiotic equation. There is an Indian adage that goes “Atithi Devo Bhava” meaning “The guest is equivalent to God” This school walks that walk.
We got to work with students from pre-K through 12th grade – this is our favorite kind of visit – we love getting to rubber band stretch amongst the grade levels. Throughout our visit we were treated with engaged students, administrators, staff and teachers. Plus – the kids were as sweet as coconut chutney.
Speaking of chutney, top things off with the fact the cafeteria served better Indian fare than the highest Yelp reviewed offerings in Cleveland and there is little that could go wrong in my book.
We wrote infomercials selling literary character traits in 7th grade – memoir in 9th – talked about extended metaphor in 12th – explored subjective and objective description in 3rd – wrote definition pieces in 6th – practiced public speaking skills in 5th – personification in 10th – wrote refrain poems about plants in 2nd – you get the picture we were all over the map and back.
The week prior we were on campus for a librarian conference and author John Coy told us we would love our school visit to follow. The man was right – our stay was stellar.
This isn’t to say we weren’t working hard – they wore us out. But it’s that good kind of tired where you feel you’ve accomplished something.
So AISC – we love you like leeches love bare feet.
Let us know when you need us again – ‘cause we’d be happy to affix ourselves to you guys again anytime.