Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11 + 12

My view tonight from Brooklyn.

Today during our second period class and shortly after observing a moment of silence, my 12th grade students reminded me that the attacks of September 11, 2001 took place during their first full week of school.  They were kindergartners. 

Every year of their academic lives has been marked by war.  
Every year.

We've taught them how to read and write, we've encouraged them to grow and change, but we've handed them a violent legacy of uninterrupted conflict.

And yeah, they're a bit cynical.  They see no end to the saber rattling and airport pat-downs and they don't pretend believe that these battles will ever be won.  

But they aren't defeatists. These high school seniors pay close attention to political possibilities and have little tolerance for platitudes. They don't want to talk about Miley Cyrus because they are much more concerned with Syria. 

War makes them sad and resilience makes them proud.  

The Class of 2014 just seems to be totally unimpressed by the drama of fear.  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mt Rainier and the Berry Explosion!

In late August I joined an intrepid bunch of campers (9 adults and 10 children) for a weekend camping trip in Mt. Rainier Park in the state of Washington.
The following images were taken on a hike that revealed endless bushes of huckleberries.  
It's always nice to find a few of these yummy berries along the trail, but the abundance of them on this particular day stopped us in our tracks for over an hour.   
After a while, we were competitively shoving as many berries as possible into our mouths.  
You judge the winner:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sitting on Top of the World

Often I find myself packing too much into one little summer; running from airports and projects to picnics and jobs, I often slam into Labor Day weekend exhausted and unfocused.
But this year I made very few summer plans.  
I just let the season unfold.

As a result, I spent a lot of time surfing in the Pacific Ocean. 
I paddled with old friends, new acquaintances, and one adorable seal. The summer of 2013 taught me to slow down and appreciate the power of wind and tide and silence.  I fell down more than I stood up, but I learned to relax - both on the waves and off. 

By late August my body was exhausted but my mind was totally at ease.
Goodbye summer! 
See you on the other side...
Uncredited photo found on Pinterest

"But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of the ocean." 
- HP Lovecraft