9.6.19

Video Installation: Flyover Woodside, Queens (with a Church Steeple and Cross in the Foreground)

I've documented a flyover of a passenger jet gliding over Eastern Queens on its way to Laguardia Airport. It was a bright, semi-cloudy day in Woodside - a quiet neighborhood in Queens. Folks were going to church (as shown in the picture). I took this amateur video on my iPhone and later uploaded it and added a soundtrack.

8.6.19

Bathroom List: There Ain't No Place to Pee in New York City (Unless You Know a Few Spots)

It's a common occurrence. You have to pee. And you're in the city. You probably don't want to risk peeing in an alley or behind a tree (although I must admit I have been forced to do that). New York City, unfortunately, has very few public places to relieve oneself. When nature calls, what are you going to do?
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash


5.6.19

Short Film Review: Reckless (2013)


The Short Film "Reckless" - 2013 (22 minutes, in Norwegian with English subtitles)
Film still from the short "Reckless" (2013)


The 2013 Norwegian short film "Reckless" is the work of director Bjørn Erik Pihlmann Sørensen and writer Einar Sverdrup. I saw the film in 2013 and passed it off as a public service announcement about the need to rein in irresponsible teenagers. But as you will notice as I write about the movie, my views have changed a bit since I last saw it. To give you a brief rundown, the movie is about a teenage girl who has to babysit her younger child-age brother - and through a series of related events tragedy strikes. I thought maybe the movie was funded by parents who want their adolescent-aged kids to take better care of their siblings. However, I recently watched it again and the short made me think more about what message it is trying to convey. I haven't read much about the movie online nor have I talked to anyone else I know who has seen it. I am going to take a critical plunge and articulate in a flat-footed way what I think the movie might be suggesting about adolescence, sexuality, and responsibility. It's also a movie about the absence of authority.

21.5.19

May Teacher Journal: Teacher Gonna Teach Animated GIF

Teacher Gonna Teach GIF
Teacher Gonna Teach
So, I wanted to make an animated GIF to represent teaching in May - and here it is (see above).

15.5.19

Family History: My Mother’s Doctor is a Roselli

Mom with Dr. Eric Roselli at the Cleveland Clinic
Mom called me the other day. “Greig,” she said. “I met your cousin.” She had been in Cleveland, Ohio to visit an aortic specialist. Mom has been battling an auto-immune disorder for a decade now. The latest development has been an inflammation of her aorta which doctors have told her point to a possible aneurysm. So my mom and older brother went to see Dr. Eric Roselli. Dr. Roselli will perform surgery on her sometime in September. So I asked my mom how she knows for sure Dr. Roselli is my cousin. The surname “Roselli” is not uncommon among Italian Americans. Lake Michigan is, according to legend, filled with Roselli’s attached to cement shoes. And in the Vatican City, one can find examples of the work of Cosimo Roselli.
    Mom had a hunch; there was a connection with this particular Roselli because she told me she had a feeling he was related. She said, ”So when I asked him to tell his story he said his grandfather Ercole (Hercules in Italian) emigrated from Italy and he had had a brother named Joseph.” Mom said her eyes lit up. My grandfather, Joseph, emigrated from Italy in 1923. He had a brother named Ercole. They were separated after my grandfather came to the United States after the death of his mother and they didn’t see each other for decades until they were finally reunited as adults. The stories matched! My grandfather, when he emigrated, lived in Detroit. He was a young man, and eventually, he moved to Louisiana. Ercole finally settled in Detroit too and stayed there. So if both stories corroborate - my father and Dr. Roselli are first cousins.
    Dr. Roselli’s father is my father’s uncle. We both share a common paternal grandfather. And this Dr. Roselli will take care of my mom (who is a Roselli by marriage). Mom kept the surname even after she divorced my father twenty-five years ago. I guess she liked the name! And she was raising my two brothers and me, so it made it more comfortable when she was dealing with stuff related to us kids. She never changed the name. So this story is really about my mom who is a cancer survivor, and now she’s battling this recent inflammation of her artery. She’ll have surgery done, and the chances are good she’ll come out of it with a clean bill of health. You've got the Roselli’s on your side!

I've written about family history on my blog - check out related articles here.

8.5.19

On the Imagination: Doors Are Indicators of Openings Into Other Worlds

The original Poltergeist movie (1982) perfectly utilizes the
ancient idea of a portal to another world.
I took a class in Graduate school on the Arthurian Legend. I wrote a paper on the duality of evil and good children in the myth - relating it to the Hollywood movies The Sixth Sense and The Good Son. Anyway. One thing I took away from that class was how the idea of doors as portals into other worlds is an old archetype located in the oldest myths and stories that have sprung from humankind's first stories. In the Hindu story of Krishna opening his mouth as a child to show his mother the universe, to the Celtic stories of fairy mounds and magical portals, to the Lady of the Lake breaking the surface of the water to reveal the legendary sword Excalibur. If you live in New York City, stepping into the underground concourse of subterranean subway tunnels is a daily excursion into the upside, downside aspect of city-living. The Netflix Television series Stranger Things is a recent foray into this genre. The show has created an entire mythology around this old concept in its imaginative world-building of the Upside Down. I like how Phillip Pullman in his fantasy series The Golden Compass has his hero wield a blade that cuts into the fabric of space and time, thus able to cross between worlds. Or, that famous image from the movie Poltergeist in which Carol Anne extends her hand toward the white, emanating glow of the television set. Portals can be sunken into the imagination of tales and storytelling told by the fire, but there is a truth in the telling. Fantasy fiction, as well as science fiction, uses portals and doorways. For example - Dr. Who's T.A.R.D.I.S. is the stuff of science fiction lore, but the idea of a quantum-powered engine that can skip across space and time seems plausible. And with images from astronomers showing us what Black Holes sort of look like, the idea of traversing across the universe through cosmic doorways seems real to me somehow. We (i.e., humans) just don't have the technology. Yet. I wonder if in the forthcoming centuries we humans will make the old legends true. We first have to figure out the problem of massive incoming changes in the earth's climate that is fastly becoming our next existential threat - but after that! - we have goals to tend to - ad astra!

I found this whimsical video on the video streaming app Tik Tok. I am not sure if this place actually exists - but if it does I want to go there! Video Source: @elliedothoe

Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Not Grade Specific - TeachersPayTeachers.com
I sell lesson plans for the
English and Humanities crowd (and more!)

4.5.19

Cycladic Sculptures Explained: Millennia-Old Faces of Aegean Art

Exploring the enigmatic Cycladic art at the Met Museum, where ancient sculptures blend timelessly with modern aesthetics.
A Sculpture of a Man's Face and Head from the Cylades in the Aegean Sea on Display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the Aegean Bronze Age section at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, you can find Cycladic art, famous for its abstract and stylized human figures, predominantly female, dating from around 2800 to 2300 BCE.
I'm at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, looking at the museum's collection of Cycladic art. Located in the Greek wing of the @metmuseum's Cycladic art collection, this ancient sculptural representation of a human face is perhaps one of my favorite art objects (ever!). Dating from the 3rd millennium BCE to the 1st millennium B.C.E., these sculptures represent a culture that developed around 3300 B.C.E. in the Aegean Sea.
An aerial, stylized view of the Aegean Sea, dotted with the Cyclades islands, nestled between Greece, Anatolia, and Crete.

🗣️ Known for their abstract, stylized forms, these ancient works could easily be placed in the Museum of Modern Art @MoMA) and fit right in. We don't know exactly what the objects were used for, but some scholars believe that they may have been used as votive offerings, grave goods, or even status symbols.