Shanghai American School, Pu Dong

A normal school day. Or so it would seem. Up at 6AM, shower, eat breakfast as fast as possible and catch the bus. Looking out the window however (at everything except the traffic, see previous post) not much seems normal to me. First of all, it’s cold, Fahrenheit or Celsius, however you measure it and folks everywhere are riding bicycles to work. People are walking to work, doing marketing and picking up their breakfasts at small open air shops. (Did I mention it was cold AND raining?) The bus takes us through a small village and on to the school campus. This is a campus that is growing at an amazing rate — 300 students last year — 600 this year and 900 predicted for next year. The students are a mixture of many cultures, American, European, Korean, and many Chinese nationals all taking their studies in English. Just about everyone is at least bi-lingual, many have mastered three or more languages by middle school. Joining us at the school are a group of poetry jammers who have been flown in from Tenjeng for the assembly. I sat and listened to their lively performance of poems I wrote for my children a world away. It made me cry.

And get this — at SAS Pu Dong, it is cool to be smart. Like most middle schools, I have to do a little sales talk on the importance of poetry. But here it is because the students are so serious about their other studies they may question if they can take time out for poetry. Another magical day.

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