Monday, September 28, 2009



A Novel By Gregory David Roberts

About the Author

"Gregory David Roberts, like the hero of his novel, spent many years as a fugitive.  In 1978, after his divorce, losing custody of his daughter, and being convicted of a series of robberies committed to support his heroin habit, he was jailed in an Australian maximum security prison and sentenced to nineteen years.  In 1980, he escaped over the prison's front wall, and for the next ten years eluded authorities, living in New Zealand, Asia, Africa, and Europe- but for most of that time in Bombay, where he established a free medical clinic for slum-dwellers, and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for the Bombay mafia.  He was finally captured in Germany and served out his sentence there and in Australia, during which time he role Shantaram.  He is now a full-time writer and lives in Bombay."  

Chapter One

"It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.  I realized, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free:  free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them.  It doesn't sound like much, I know.  But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it's all you've got, that freedom is a universe of possibility.  And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life."


FIRST ASSIGNMENT:  Go to the website for Shantaram.  Read through all of the different poems written by Roberts.  Choose one poem to analyze.  Copy and paste the poem below, and write a 100 word response to the poem you chose. 

SECOND ASSIGNMENT:  Read the section about the author.  As you can see, Roberts has lived a wild life and has been convicted of many crimes which put him behind bars for years.  As a reader, do you think an incarcerated person should have the freedom to write and have their work be published?  Explain your thoughts in 100+ words.

THRIRD ASSIGNMENT:  Read the first paragraph of the first chapter of Shantaram.  The author mentions love, fate, hating, forgiving, and freedom.  What point do you think the author is trying to make?  Do you agree or disagree with the author and what he is saying in this paragraph?  Explain your thoughts in 100+ words.  

FOURTH ASSIGNMENT:  Please review posts written by your peers and write responses to their posts.  Make sure you clearly indicate which peer post you are responding to, and state whether you agree or disagree with the peer response while respectfully adding your opinion below their post.  

DIRECTIONS:  When adding a post, you need to title your post with your first and last name, indicate which assignment you are responding to, and then post your response to the assignment.  


Breanna Reynolds
Second Assignment
100+ word response


Reynolds delivers Bailin's Pen-Pal letters to Indian Students! Over 500 letters have been passed between American students and Indian students.

Bailin's students from Mercury Mine Elementary sent boxes and boxes of letters and gifts to their Indian pen-pals at KV #4 in Delhi Cantt.  The Indian students were thrilled to receive yet another exchange from their pen-pals, and celebrated their 4th big letter and gift swap with American students.  THANK YOU TO MISS BAILIN AND HER MERCURY MINE STUDENTS!

Reynolds has seen over 500 pen-pal letters pass through KV #4 from different schools in the Paradise Valley School District, Including Horizon High School, Shadow Mountain High School, and Mercury Mine Elementary School.  

Reynolds Returns to India as Resident Director for a Summer Teaching Program

Miss Reynolds:  

I returned to India this summer with American Councils of International Education as Resident Director of a Summer Teaching Program in India.  Eight American Teachers were sent on this program and were posted in Delhi while teaching at different KV schools for six weeks.  I was lucky enough to work with The Department of State to improve the summer program, help design the summer calendar, organize community service events, and help construct the overall mission for the teachers on the summer program.   I requested to return to my home school, KV Delhi Cantt. #4.  During my six weeks revisiting the Indian teachers and students that I know and I love, I saw an India I felt I had never seen before.  I was finally home.  I was comfortable and content.  I understood my environment and the people in it.  Returning to India completely validated everything I learned about Indian people, Indian culture, and of course,  myself.  

I feel so blessed.  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Welcome Horizon Students!

Hello Horizon students! You have been fortunate enough to have had a foreign exchange teacher, Ms. Shalini, in your classroom for a semester. I have enjoyed discussing my experiences with you, and have also enjoyed hearing about your cultural experiences with an Indian teacher. I hope you have fun checking out the blog. Please post a response to any of the questions below. Be sure to include your first and last name, grade level, and class period at the bottom of each post. Please print out your response and bring it to school to share in a class discussion. I would highly encourage you to read other student’s responses and build on their discussions as well. You can also post a second response anywhere on the blog, just be sure to print that out as well. Check out the index to the right and review the blog thoroughly. Thanks for sharing!

1. What did you learn about being an American citizen and what did you learn about your OWN culture after having a foreign teacher in the classroom?

2. What do you respect most about Indian people, culture, and traditions after meeting Ms. Shalini and watching Ms. Reynolds’ presentation on her experiences in India?

3. If you were to go to India, what would you do, where would you want to visit, and what would you want to experience? Why?

4. What did you learn after watching Ms. Reynolds’ presentation on India? How did this presentation make you reflect on your own views of the world and your own values?

5. If you could change anything about your semester with Ms. Shalini, what would you change?

6. Would you say that you are a more knowing person after this experience? A more worldly person after this experience? A more cultured person? Please reflect and tell me how you have changed.