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What I did when I turned thirty…

(actually, I haven’t turned thirty yet… not ’til Wednesday). Enjoy! 🙂



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Earlier this week,

I was going off a little bit on a class that was wasting time instead of doing what they were asked to do. My back to the whiteboard, I stood looking out across the class, and in the middle of a sentence, I suddenly saw a huge bird on the window ledge. A defunct air conditioner fills most of that window, leaving less than a foot on either side of it. A metal gate protects children from jumping or being pushed or accidently falling out of this fifth floor window, and the gate is cut to go around the AC unit. Pigeons squeeze under the bottom and around the sides of the gate to roost on the windowsill and nest there. We’ve had eggs and baby birds all spring, though this year we didn’t see them hatch, as they did in a previous year.  I’m looking at the window and lecturing the class, when I see a bird, light brown, tawny, much too big to be a pigeon, and mid-sentence, I realize it’s a hawk! The shade is down part way, further obscuring the view, and the whole bird is larger than the little square of window, but it’s unmistakably a hawk.

Okay, everyone, I want to show you something but you have to be very, very quiet and still and not jump up or shout…

I point them towards the window. They try to be quiet, but there’s a commotion anyway. Kids in the back of the room, who can’t see that section of the window, rush forward. I walk very slowly closer to the window, but the hawk takes off, lands briefly in another window, then flies away. Some of us get one last, momentary look at the whole bird as it soars by – others never glimpsed it at all.

The tension is defused. I send the kids back to work.


I found an apartment to move into in Brooklyn at the end of the month. But as soon as I had that out of the way, talent show rehearsals started, and I did something to my back (posture-while-typing-related), so now my afternoons go roughly like this: Monday – physical therapy, Tuesday – doctor or lab for x-rays/MRI or if I’m lucky, gym, Wednesday – physical therapy, Thursday – leave home at 7, talent show then gym then writing class, home at 11, bed, Friday – time with people I really like. Somewhere in there I have to do things like feed myself, do schoolwork, complete assignments for my class… Running doesn’t make my back worse so I’m sticking to the 10K plan as best I can – it’s marvelous to feel myself getting faster and breathing more smoothly. Anyway, I’m not saying any of this to garner sympathy or over-share, just to explain my neglect of the blog.

I’m reading a fascinating book; here are some bits & pieces. I wish I could fit an Arabic or Greek (classical) class into my schedule and finances. You know, after the French and Spanish classes I want to take. Ha ha.

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Spring #1

Cameraphone pix are my new postcards. People don’t seem able to receive them, though. I miss my little Canon, which is still in the shop. Fix it quickly, camera doctors! Then again, my regular camera can’t email them… I went to the gym on the east side today, ran a crazy speed interval workout – I am getting faster already! (but an hour later I get a massive stomachache) – then walked across the park by the reservoir and saw the cherry trees, the ground beneath them blanketed with pink petals, and watched the sun setting silver-gold across the water, and listened to this song on repeat:

Here Comes the Sun Again (M. Ward)

Kingdoms and queens they all bow down to you,
Branches and ranch hands are bowin' too
And I've taken off my straw hat for you, singing
Here comes the sun again

The leaves on the trees they all call out your name,
Chrome on the freight line shines the same
And the stars in their cars roll their tops down for you singing,
Here comes the sun again

Oh but if you're gonna stay show some mercy today
Blow a little breeze on my face

Snow banks drift down the hillside for you,
Slides inside sandy river before the day is through,
And before evenin' falls I may find myself there too, singing
Here comes the sun again

life = beautiful

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Tired of the primaries?

Forget presidential politics and go vote for your favorite education weblog over at Ed in ’08.  There are a LOT of candidates.

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So much going on…. more dramatic events with students (kids removed from the school in handcuffs for damaging city property), grades due last week, house guest last week, visiting apartments all over the city (though mostly in Brooklyn, which makes for at least an hour’s journey from where I am now to spend 10 minutes chatting with a stranger, only to decide the place is too small, not my style, too expensive, too fratty, too arty, too dirty, or in a neighborhood I hate), a couple of big tests/projects to grade, a friend’s thesis to edit, personal essay homework assignments to do… I barely have time to eat, let alone blog.  Change is time-consuming.  Also, why does spring keep teasing us?  I’m ready for a run of 4 sunny, warm days in a row.

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God owed us a field trip to beat all field trips…

because everything was awesome.  SonyWonder, which is largely under renovation and not accepting field trip groups, had no problem with three “families” of one adult and four children.  We entered without incident, the kids had a blast playing Playstation games, designing a video trailer, and playing electronic “instruments” along with a video of BowWow.  Personally, I think the so-called creative elements of the place are actually quite limiting, mostly just following directions and, at most, choosing from a few options and combining them in new ways.  Maybe it’s better when not being renovated?  But the kids had a great time.  From there, we went to Chelsea to visit the studio of a man who makes violins, violas, cellos, etc. for concert musicians.  It was incredible… he had a real way with the kids, walked them through the process of building a musical instrument, answered their myriad questions with inspiring thoughts about the value of learning as many things as possible and finding a career that you feel passionate about.  Even the other chaperones were impressed by his talk, and time flew by.

Meanwhile, the creative writing enrichment group was walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, then responding to it in writing.  The pouring rain stopped before they arrived, and who was on the bridge but the entire NY Giants team, filming a commercial… The kids got to talk to the Giants!  And the entrepreneurship group went to Wall St. and visited the corporate headquarters of… SweetRiot – a chocolate company.  I didn’t hear much about the other groups’ experiences but as far as I know, everyone had a fantastic day.

Clearly, we had some karma coming to us.


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