Showing posts from August, 2007


On Friday morning, I decided to have a cultural experience and visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I had hoped to see the Edward Hopper exhibit, who painted famous paintings such as The Lighthouse at Two Lights, painted in 1929 and Night-Hawk, painted in 1942. But sadly, this traveling exhibit left a few days before I got there! Instead, I toured around the MFA...a beautiful building itself and there was so much to see. It was truly overwhelming and I will have to take another trip there to continue exploring. The MFA has many collections, which are listed on their website. I was able to take a look at many things will be studying this coming year, particularly in the second half of the school year. The following is just a few topics that I found interesting:
Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
Himalayan Art
Islamic Art
Japanese Painting
Ancient Near East Art
Egyptian Art

Explore the MFA a bit...perhaps we can organize a field trip in the spring while studying these topics!

Western Massachusetts

Wow - what a weekend! I took a tour of Northwestern Massachusetts, and headed "out west" with some friends to go hiking and camping. I learned more about the geography of Massachusetts on this trip, heading west on the Mass Pike, and north on I-91, passing Northampton and Amherst, and just north of Deerfield (the first town burned in the King Philip's War - remember?!), headed west on Route 2, which runs east-west from the New York border into downtown Boston, where it becomes Commonwealth Avenue eventually.

Our first stop was North Adams, where we went to Mount Greylock, the tallest mountain in Massachusetts, placed right in the northwestern corner of the state. There are many trails to the summit, and we took Thunderbolt Trail, which is one of the steepest to the top. We were running a little late, so we couldn't take the longer, less steep, and more leisurely route. It was a great workout and an absoultely gorgeous hike. The views were just spectacular from both th…

The Adirondacks

The Adirondack Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain Range, was the site of my annual camping trip to Floodwood Creek and Rollins Pond, in upstate New York, just north of Tupper Lake, NY. Here, we stay on an island in the middle of the pond, so we canoe our supplies and gear out to the island, where I read my books, fished, canoed, played cards, went for some runs, and generally just relaxed. One memorable run led me down what I thought was a paved road...but eventually became dirt, and eventually I saw a state sign, "Floodwood Mountain, 1.0 miles." Being a bit ambitious, I decided to run (yes, run) up the trail. At first, I thought, "Hey, not too bad!" until the moutnain trail really became, well, a mountain trail. Nonetheless, I continued on running, despite my pace becoming a near-crawl. The vista was gorgeous, though, and worth the run/hike to the top: mountain tops scattered among lakes. Lesson learned? 1. A hike is definitely worth the patience…

Teaching Digital History

Thanks to the Gilder Lehrman Institute, a private history institute that is dedicated to increasing awareness of American History, I applied for and won a grant to study history in the digital age (today) in New York City for a week.

During the week, we stayed in the Iroquois Hotel, located on West 44th Street in Midtown Manahattan, adjacent to the New York City's Theater District, and three blocks from the NY Public Library Main Branch. It was here that we did most of our work. There were thirty teachers, who traveled from literally all over the country to attend the session: Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Orlando, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, Wichita KS, Los Angeles, Seattle, Juneau...just to name a few places! One neat thing about the conference was that I got to meet people from all around the country. We had great discussions about teaching and about history, as well as what their hometowns are like. There are huge differences, I found, between what topics teachers may di…