30.7.22

Musings and Photos: On First Meetings and How I Sort-Of Allude to Peekaboo in a Serious, Philosophy-Minded Kind of Way

In this post, I free associate about first meetings, love, and God knows what else!

Sometimes you have to lie back down on the concrete to see what's up there.

There’s something potentially powerful in a first meeting, So, which is why, if you watch like, um, Pre-K students or Kindergarten students, there's a struggle, a challenge in adapting to others because it's strange. It's not mother’s face; it's not home. It's not the womb. It's not the place where you grew up. It's not, it's not that, you know, and that's why like child psychologists or developmental psychologists will talk about like, um, the experiences of the young child, right before they go to school, where they, where they, um, experienced this back and forth between I'm scared; I'm safe; I'm welcomed. I'm, uh, I'm terrified; I'm. . . I'm taken in; I'm comforted, right? So this, like, gets encapsulated in the childhood game of like peekaboo. I'm here. I'm not there. So presence and absence. Um, and for me, you know, I can tap into some deep psychic shit, you know, like something, this, I can feel, like a child, when that love object is absent. I mean, it's such a strong visceral feeling, which is why I think first love for a teenager or a young adult can be so powerful and rip you apart. I mean, I can remember just longing for somebody who I was in love with, you know, wanting to be with them. And when I wasn't with them, it just was this physical feeling of absence. Um, so that's real. I mean, that's like kick to the gut emotion. Um, and perhaps you get out into the world — for me, moving from small town Louisiana to Europa to a Benedictine monastery (yes, that happened), to New York and the world again, I'm not sure what happens, but you get used to the pain — of that — of this — world. Offers or you take, or you look for; or, you pine. Are you able, you're able to sort of like sublimate, whatever you lost, what will you able to like, not replace, but you're able to sort of like transmute, whatever you lost into something new. Right? That's what art is. That's what creativity is and all that kind of stuff. Um, but going back to this original idea of like, when the, the potential power in a first meeting, right, the potential power there is, and just meeting someone for the first time, you know, um, uh, it can be such a satisfactory experience, right?

Photos (Read From Left and Clockwise):
Women in Red Dresses in Flushing;
Getting off the LIRR in Port Washington;
Two Dead Fish;
A Fishmonger and His Assistant

28.7.22

Teaching Peter and the Wolf: 2006 Oscar Winning Suzie Templeton Short Film

In this post, I talk about teaching the short film "Peter and the Wolf" in my Eighth Grade English Language Arts class in Queens.
Mr. Roselli's students attend his 8th Grade English Language Arts class in Queens
A typical day of learning in Mr. Roselli's English Language Arts classroom.

I Needed to Teach Something Quickly; I Chose "Peter and the Wolf"
It's interesting how I come across content to teach. Usually, deciding what to teach is not a problem because I spend a good chunk of the weeks leading up to the new school year mapping out my courses. However, this past year, teaching my Eighth graders, there was a day that I needed to fill with an engaging lesson. We had just completed a forty-day mythology unit. I say "forty days" as if we were in the desert or something, but it was forty discrete lessons, each about forty-five minutes in length. So I had a "free day" before we started our new unit. So, hence, Peter and the Wolf!

Suzie Templeton Short Film "Peter and the Wolf"
Suzie Templeton is a gifted director, and her animated short film, "Peter and the Wolf," is based on Sergei Prokofiev's famous score. The movie is only about twenty-five minutes, perfect for my lesson. Also, because of its fairy tale elements, it fits nicely with a unit on mythology.

Do Now: Setting a Work of Literature to Music
I like to get my kids' gears turning, so as they entered the class during the passing period, I asked them if they were to set a story or play or myth that they had read to music what would it be. I was hoping for something like Orpheus and Eurydice set to "Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water," but I got Daphne and Apollo set to A$AP Ferg. I'll take what I can get. Also, I was keen to set my lesson to a reading standard that states students should analyze a representation of a subject or a pivotal scene in two different artistic mediums (Reading Literature Standard RL.9-10.7).

Watching the Movie and Answering Questions
We watched the movie in class -- and I was surprised by how quickly they got into the story. I think what works is that the animation is so unique. It's not the standard, glossy Pixar style my kids are familiar with. It's a quirky, stop-motion animation-style feature. And the kids noticed the exciting way the animators brought the story alive, zooming in on the setting, a small town nestled in a somewhat cold rural landscape. The character of Peter is sufficiently adolescent, and the Grandfather and the boy's big fat cat serve as comic relief. There also isn't a lot of dialogue, so you have to pay attention to the visuals to follow the story's narrative pacing.

While watching the movie, students had to complete a worksheet, which included sixteen "right-there" viewing comprehension questions. It's just a way to keep them focused, and later, they turn it in as part of their grade for the lesson. As a teacher, I learned long ago that doing activities where students have to write and show their thinking is valuable. Not only is it an excellent way to show what you are doing in your classroom, but it also serves as a snapshot of students' overall thinking. I also like to use the Adobe Scan app to capture their work. So I have an archive of sorts.

Discussing Foreshadowing, Visual Imagery, Identity, and Other Themes
After watching the film, we talked about the movie. The first big English Language Arts point I wanted to convey was foreshadowing. And the kids definitely picked up on that one. There are images and references to wolves from the beginning, opening shot, and end. And another interesting discussion we had was why Peter let the wolf go in the end. I received several answers, but I remember one of the boys in my class commenting on how Peter understood the wolf. And I agreed, which led to a discussion about identity. If I say so myself, very much in keeping with my students' socio-psycho development.

Writing Activity: What Message Does the Movie Convey? 
And finally, at the end of class, I told the students to pull out their notebooks, and they wrote independently about what they thought the film's message was, and I made them include details from the movie to support their answers. Having completed the viewing questions helped to jog their memories. As they left the classroom, they had to turn in all of their written work, and I had them each tell me orally the gist of their writing exercise.
Finally . . .
Do you teach short films in your classroom? How does it work for you? I'd love to hear your comments.

14.7.22

Aesthetic Thursday: "You Got Color, Girl?" Chroma Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

In this post, I recount a recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I saw dozens of color reconstructions of ancient Greek and Roman works of art. Simply fabulous.
Greig poses in front of a bust of a youthful Marcus Aurelius.
Greig poses in front of a young Marcus Aurelius in the
Ancient Greek and Roman wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Bust of Youthful Marcus Aurelius
Marble head of the youthful
Marcus Aurelius ca. C.E. 138.
You got some color, girl? I knew ancient sculptures — especially those from Greece and Rome — were once cascaded in rich coloration. 


But go to a museum today, and you see staid marble and what appears to be a vast collection of grays, browns, and three-dimensional black and white photographs. But the pigments and paints decay. And the weathering of the seasons and the march of time have made most color drain away. 

But the coloration is still there, in small traces — which the Chroma exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has attempted to recapture — to see ancient artworks in color again. Alas, you won’t see the now lost statue of Zeus at Olympia, but you will see that same artist’s head of Athena, which at one time had ebony eyes. I especially liked the bronze warriors. And the Sphinx in color was fantastic. 

If you have a moment and you are in New York — take a moment and experience these reconstructions done by Prof. Dr. V. Brinkmann & Dr. U. Koch-Brinkmann. @metmuseum @metgreekandroman

Reconstruction of Bust of Caligula
Reconstruction of a marble portrait of the
Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus,
known as Caligula, Variant B.


Reconstruction of Bronze of Boxer
Reconstruction of bronze statue from 
the Quirinal in Rome of the so-called Terme Boxer.




Collage of Marble Archer, Sphinx, Athena Medici, and Greek Amphora Vase
Read Clockwise: [1] Reconstruction of a marble archer in the costume of a horsemen of the peoples to the north and east of Greece, from the west pediment of Temple of Aphaia, Variant C. [2] Reconstruction of a marble finial in the form of a sphinx. [3] Marble head of Athena: The so-called Athena Medici. [4] Terracotta neck-amphora (jar) ca. 330–310 B.C.E. Attributed to the Ixion Painter — On the body, obverse, Hippolytos, attendant, and Phaidra, with a Fury above. 

Detail of Bronze Reconstruction of Riace Warrior and Terme Ruler
 [1] Reconstruction the bronze statue from the Quirinal in Rome of the so-called Terme Rule. [2] Reconstruction of bronze Riace Warrior (mid-view detail).



2.7.22

110+ Listings — Let's Celebrate! With the Release of the Stones of Erasmus Educational Digital Download Catalog (as of Summer 2022)

In this post, I reveal how well-organized I am and as a result, you now have a bird's eye view of every educational digital download available in my TpT store.

Hello, Teachers, and Friends,

One thing I love about Teachers Pay Teachers is that it has forced me to become more organized. I am not naturally an organized person. In Kindergarten, my teachers bewailed my lunchroom messiness and in middle school, I barely kept my Trapper Keeper intact. However, flash forward to 2022 -- and I have at least become more organized on TpT and in my own teaching practice.

Remember when you used to receive the Sears catalog as a kid, and you would circle in red marker the items you wanted and hoped mom or dad would notice? Well, you are an adult now, with a bank account, so you don't have to beg mom or dad. But, you can click the link and add to your wish list any of the items listed. Not going to brag, but I think you will be delighted. As recent buyers have said:

"Thank you for scaffolding the reading into manageable reading chunks and providing writing opportunities."

- Margie 

"Love [your] products! Very thought-provoking. I used [it for] distance learning with students in zoom class."

- Aron 

So, there you go.

Here is the complete catalog for the Stones of Erasmus store. Feast your eyes.

Stones of Erasmus Catalog 

as of 
Summer 2022


A Growing Bundle from the Stones of Erasmus Educational Digital Download Store on Teachers Pay Teachers
Note: This catalog does not include bundles (except for a few exceptions). Listings with an asterisk * are free.


Thank you for following me on my journey. Don't forget to leave a comment, drop a line at greigroselli@stonesoferasmus.com or visit me on my website at stonesoferasmus.com.
A bundle of philosophy resources for the middle and high school classroom!

PDF Copy for Printing