In Yann Martel's Life of Pi, what was Pi's plan for the first day at Petit Seminaire?

Expert Answers
tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Previously, at his first school named St. Joseph's, Pi was bullied for his full name Piscine. Other students would make fun of his name because it sounded like the English word "pissing." Like anyone, Pi didn't appreciate the way the other students teased him about his name. So when he finally was able to go to a private secondary school in Pondicherry, he took his circumstances into his own hands and made sure that everyone would call him Pi. He did this by walking up to the black board at the beginning of every class period and presenting himself in an nontraditional manner during roll-call. He didn't even ask the teacher if he would be permitted to write on the black board, that's how determined Pi was to secure his name in everyone's heads at the beginning of the year. Once he got to the black board he wrote "My name is Piscine Molitor Patel, known to all as Pi Patel" (22-23). In order to make himself clear, he would then write the mathematical figure for Pi=3.14 so everyone would pronounce it correctly. This event indirectly characterizes Pi as assertive and confident--two traits that later save him when he is stranded on the ocean.

Ada Sison | Student

Pi's full name is Piscine, a name that gets the young Pi made fun of in his primary school, St. Josephs. The other boys turn Pi's elegant french swimming pool into a cruel nickname, "Pissing" (chapter 5). 

He then enters a secondary school, Petit Seminaire, with a "better plan"(chapter 5) to escape from his name's stinking reputation.

On the first day, the class roll is called and Pi is ready. Before his name is called, he gets up from his desk and introduces himself as "Piscine Molitor Patel, known to all as, Pi Patel." (chapter 5) He then gives the class a "basic lesson in geometry" (chapter 5) on the properties of Pi. He repeats this with every class as "repetition is important in the training...of animals [and] humans". (chapter 5)