My students at AHS handed in their first writing assignment a couple weeks ago.  160 essays on three goals students hope to accomplish in their lives. 

Much to my dismay, I can probably count on one hand how many essays were completely original.  This isn't surprising though, 10th graders are all at the same point in life, so it of course they all want to get their licensee.  That makes sense. 

However, what ultimately left me frustrated about these essays was that nearly every student included that they wanted to get good grades.  Good grades make your parents proud.  Good grades get you into college.

Let me be clear: I'm glad my students want to be academically successful. 

However, I feel that their goals are misguided.  And I feel like it is our fault. 

There's a difference between getting good grades and actually learning. My students don't want to push themselves, they don't want to learn. In fact, they resist it every chance they get.  They want to jump through the hoops to get A's with as little mental strain as possible.  

This means that instead of thinking critically, they want to know the right answer in the most concise way possible. They want to be handed the answer so they can memorize it for the test.

I had a homework assignment where one of the questions began with, "What do you think...?"  Students didn't know what to do. 

"Ms. Pridemore, I can't find the answer to number two." 

"That's because it isn't in the book.  I'm not asking you to search the text to find the answers.  I'm asking you to analyze the text and have an opinion."

Teacher frustration.

I will make them think.
I will make them think. 
I will make them think. 


Highlight of my life.


Three months into my time in India, Mysore has come to hold a very special place in my heart.  These photos are from my very first visit.
Turns out there isn't a while lot to photograph there other than the palace at various times of the day. :)
Oh and elephants!

Morning Palace.

This is pretty, I got to ride her!

The palace entrance at twilight.

I tried to hold very still for this one.

Last Badami post, promise.

I was only in Badami for about 2 days, but I just can't say how much I loved it.  A huge part of my affection for this tiny village is the people in it.  They were so beautiful and kind. The kids just blew me away.

I would have taken this one home in a heartbeat.
Those eyes. 

The monkeys of Badami.

These guys were just a bundle of fun a huge bunch of thieving menaces.


Shortly after Hampi, I journeyed to Badami via Hubli. I was already blistered, bruised, bug-bitten and sun burnt, but I absolutely fell in love with Badami.  The people. The caves. The crispness of the stone temples against the blue sky.  The 5 am wake up call (reading of the Koran). And the hotel room that, unlike Hospet, was not full of giant cockroaches for me to trap under water glasses. 

 I loved this place.

Lady Travelers chilling in a cave that reeks of urine.

Laundry Day.
This face broke my heart.

2,000 year old hives!



Hampi is a village in northern Karnataka.  Because of its historic temples, like Virupaksha, Hampi is World Heritage site. Some of the temples and sites that I climbed or tripped over or rested in the shade of date back to 1 B.C!

The cows here are very chill.

I loved this fish.  I miss this fish. I tried to steal this fish.

Hampi: it's where the cool kids hang out.

It's a bird, it's a plane...

Life is all about balance.