|Wire fencing keeps folks from entering the active Long Island Railroad grade-level tracks in Long Island City, Queens.|
Stones of Erasmus — Just plain good writing, teaching, thinking, doing, making, being, dreaming, seeing, feeling, building, creating, reading
I Go Walking Often in New York City: Tunnel Portals and Asian Comfort Food
Journey to Willow Lake in Queens (And There and Back Again, Out of the Bog)
In this post, I take a walk to a hiking trail next to Willow Lake in Queens. It's a marshland in the middle of a metropolis.
|View of Willow Lake in Queens (Looking Northwest)|
Would you believe me if I told you I'm still in New York City but surrounded by marshland, wet bugs, bees, and butterflies born from under the weeds of the milkweed plant? I am.
|Pat Dolan Trail|
|Another view from Willow Lake|
Teacher's Summer Diary #2398: On the Tedium of Making Educational Digital Content (And Why a Walk, a Stretch, and a Sip of Water is Essential)
In this post, I talk about making educational resources for the middle and high school classroom and why distraction is my friendly passenger (although they don't always feel so friendly).
As per my last email (don't you hate it when you receive a message that begins that way) — or, shall I say, post — I've learned some new tips. First — there is beauty in
|A message spray-painted on a side of|
a train car.
small details. But my iPhone finds it challenging to capture the subtle beauty, so you'll have to contend with the bigger picture.I read a quote today that I like — about achievement — "Before the gates of excellence, the high gods have placed sweat.”
I'm attempting to complete a monumental task this week, and I feel overwhelmed. I want to expand the teaching resources I created under my @stonesoferasmus brand — I have to go and proofread my inventory of 137 digital downloads I've created. I like the “making part” of the process — using design skills and creating incredible resources that middle and high school students can use. It's just very time-consuming. So to inspire me, I take long walks — hence the photos you see — and eat healthy — and stretch. Also — I got a bigger monitor for my computer. OMG. Having a large screen to work on makes a huge difference when creating digital stuff. OMG.
My goal is to have 200 products reviewed and created by the end of Summer. And on top of that, I'm taking a class on Special Education and Differentiation at Hunter College. The course is good — it solidifies some things I already knew about teaching and has already given me good ideas to move forward. Next year I'm teaching a section of Eighth Grade English, a World Religions class, a New York City history class — paired with Tenth and Eleventh graders in a combined section. Whew. I better get to planning. But. Oh. I see a bird in a tree. Ohh. Let me check this out. *Loses thirty minutes*. By the way, @kfs0520, is the last picture in this post an excellent example of Nantucket Red? Inquiring minds want to know.
Brief Philosophical Thought: On Everydayness and How to Live One's Life to the Zaniest
In this post, I tussle with Martin Heidegger's concept of "everydayness," — all the while having fun in the town of Catskill, New York (Why, not?!).
Put your feet in the air!
Martin Heidegger has this idea he calls everydayness. It’s a complex idea to explain, but somehow it has been on my mind. Everydayness is a condition of being in the world — with its routines, habits, conventions, etc. Let’s call them societal norms. And let’s further say societal norms were constructed to form a modicum of order and stability in living with others. Please don’t take my fish sticks, or I’ll murder you and all your kin. No one has time for that foolishness. So everydayness has its merits. But, then, it’s a tricky business when those same societal norms constructed to protect and carve out stability can also have the light effect of destroying freedom of self. Everydayness is being in a world where one is so caught up in the mundane busyness of living that one forgets how to live. For me — I feel a break from everydayness when I travel. When I’m not plugged into the typical 9 to 5 life. But something is terrifying about breaking away from everydayness. Because to break away from everydayness is to be authentic. And authenticity is most terrifying for one when one doesn’t know how to live outside the habits and conventions laid out for one. To wake up with nothing on one’s schedule, no one calling, no emails to answer, nothing demanding conformity — what’s left is the empty well of the self where authenticity is carved out. So I stick out my tongue. Get caught in the rain. Sit by the river. And feel the ache. The terror of being alive. Because life is so damn limited. A quick breath of air. Poof. You’re gone. What am I to do? And no — the answer is not in any advice or life coach’s guidance. I don’t know the answer. But at least let’s try.
Wag your tongue. Catskill, New York populates its street corners with quirky cat sculptures. Cosmic Cat Kiss me, Kate!
A Visit to Chicago, Illinois and a Brief Re-Encounter with a Favorite Painting at the Art Institute of Chicago
In this post, I finish a voyage on Amtrak's Empire Builder route, and stopover in Chicago for a spell where I re-encounter one of my favorite paintings of all time!
|Chicago's Millenium Park Near Sunset|
|All masked up in Chicago, Illinois|
|A Chicago straphanger rides a Red Line train|
|One of the Art Institute's Lions|
|A Red Line train approaches |
the station in Chicago.
I’m also worried about @britneyspears, and I hope she and her lawyers can roll back the strictures placed on her by her conservatorship. Leave Britney alone!
Bonus points — name as many Chicago locations as you can find in my post. Go! The winner receives a free digital download about Mythology from @stonesoferasmus