Today is Independence Day—the fourth of July—and we are in Mumbai, India, thousands of miles away from home. I have never been a very patriotic American; I watch fireworks distantly, I often eat Asian food for dinner on these nights, and I wear anything but red, white, and blue. It was never intentional, I just happened to do these things naturally. After reading Freire, however, it reminded me that I take advantage of my freedom every day and that I indeed am patriotic. “Education is the practice of freedom.” Definite food for thought for me. Education and school has been so much a part of my life, day after day, that I overlooked it on my list of privileges and freedoms. I took it for granted without realizing that there are people all over the world who do not have the freedom to create, learn and ask questions. Yesterday, we sat in on a sixth grade classroom at a government school with Teach for India; as the TFI fellow taught a lesson on geography to these eleven- and twelve-year-olds, I was stunned to realize that they could not locate the US on a world map or name all seven continents. What may have surprised me more, however, was their insatiable hunger to learn. “Didi! Bhaiya!” they shouted to us (Didi means big sister in Hindi and bhaiya means big brother), “why don’t the continents sink? What is underneath the earth? Why does the moon shine if it has no light?” Generations past, these children’s ancestors or even parents may not have had the freedom to go to school and ask these questions, but now they have this right, and they are taking full advantage of it. They exhibit patriotism every day just by showing up in the classroom with an eagerness to learn. So on this day of independence, as I sit in a cricket club in the Bandra Kurla Complex neighborhood of Mumbai, a city in India, I will celebrate my freedom as a proud American. --Marion