Sunday, April 29, 2012
"Trees" and Poetry Month
8:29 am edt
April 1 post below mentioned Poetry Month. My daughter, a first-grader, has enjoyed extra poetry this month
at her New Haven public school. Preparing for “poem in your pocket day,” she selected a poem
from an anthology. We both aimed to memorize her selection: “Trees,” by Sara Coleridge.
With leaves emerging early this spring, my daughter and I rehearsed “Trees” – just eight lines, from
oak to beech. Together, we made this small chore a shared pleasure.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Political Protest in Malaysia
7:32 am edt
in Kuala Lumpur are demanding electoral reforms in Malaysia, where my wife’s parents
are currently living.
December 2008 posts described a trip that my family made
to Malaysia, including Kuala Lumpur.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
6:55 am edt
April 1 post below cited Earth Month, of which April 22 is the most visible day. Greater action is needed.
May there be many happy days and decades, centuries and epochs, ahead for our planet.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
More Recognition for Biographer
9:37 am edt
Yale historian of the Cold War John Lewis Gaddis received the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of George F. Kennan.
John Gaddis had already received other honors for that book, including from the National Book Critics Circle.
As noted in a (March 18) March 2012 post below, he is leading a Yale-New Haven
Teachers Institute seminar this year on “The Art of Biography.”
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Discovery Place (and Basketball)
11:59 pm edt
family is on a trip to North Carolina, primarily to see the Blue Ridge Mountains around Asheville, where we arrived tonight.
the past day, we were in Charlotte. A highlight was Discovery Place, which my two young children as well as
my wife and I enjoyed for its hands-on introduction to scientific principles and exploration. Stationed
outside were volunteers with Charlotte’s “Parent University,” inviting families to enter the museum with
their kids. A block away was the impressive main branch of the Charlotte Public Library, with wonderful
literary quotations printed attractively outside. We spent half an hour inside this community asset.
Charlotte hotel, which we had identified blindly through the discount service Hotwire, coincidentally turned out to be hosting
many of the players taking part in the (Michael) Jordan Brand Classic, a series of basketball games held blocks away at the
city arena. Yesterday evening, who should emerge from the hotel but Anthony Davis, the 6 foot 10 Kentucky freshman who just
led his team to a national collegiate championship and will be the top pick in the NBA draft. In the hotel
elevator today, I struck up a brief conversation with a 6 foot 7 fifteen-year-old who was in Charlotte to play in the Jordan
Brand game for European prospects. Jan Niklas Wimberg, who humbly introduced himself as “Niklas
Wimberg, from Germany,” seemed startled when (thanks to my mother’s German origins and my own limited study) I
replied in German! Tonight, there was more basketball as my son and I attended a Celtics-Bobcats game.
Despite playing on the road without three of their star players, the Celtics won handily. A rare
highlight for the Bobcats occurred when Kemba Walker – last mentioned here in an April 2011 post after he led the University of Connecticut
to an improbable NCAA championship – stole the ball from Rajon Rondo of the Celtics and went the length of the court
for a lay-up.
we see the Biltmore Estate – the next day, the Blue Ridge Parkway…
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Earth Month, Poetry Month
10:38 am edt
is the first day of Earth Month and Poetry Month. As noted in a (January 18) January 2009 post about such designations, they have
an arbitrary aspect. Still, they can be reminders to parents especially about conversations to initiate
with our children. For teachers, such months can provide latitude to give greater emphasis to lessons that
integrate student learning across disciplines.
Beyond many poetry curricular resources on the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute’s
website, I was interested recently to encounter a book of poetry for children that Caroline Kennedy compiled.
It’s called A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children. Her observation resonates:
“If our parents read to us as children, we remember the closeness of the moments together, the sound and power of voice
and expression, the sense of wonder that a poem inspires.”
An April 2011 post included comments and links related to Earth
Month, among them a link to April 2010 reflections.