This baby, even though he or she does not realize it, is a traveling fool! The week before last I participated in the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Alfred Lerner Fellowship at Columbia University in New York City. It sounds very prestigious and truly is. I was one of 34 teachers selected from around the world to participate in this five day fellowship. I met some wonderful people and acquired more information about the Holocaust (which I only have two class periods to teach) and really adjusted my thought on how I want to teach the Holocaust next year. Several of our speakers, when giving information, helped guide us to certain conclusions that I think I would like to try with my little Sophomores. This past year I let the students determine the direction of what we were going to talk about in relation to the Holocaust (I felt that confident in my knowledge) and it worked really well. So next year (especially if I can squeeze in an extra day or so) I think I would like to add the challenging part too! A group of girls (and a few guys) on the trip and I decided that as long as we were living in a dorm (I had forgotten about dorm mattresses and sharing bathrooms suite style) we might as well live up the dorm life. We stayed up late several nights talking, laughing, and gorging on snacks. It was a good time had by all, except maybe the people in the room next to our "hangout" who had to hear us all night...
In addition to all of the scholarly things, I did revisit a few places that I had been before and a few new places while in the city. New things I accomplished: flying all by myself (thank goodness I am a good packer and know the airports fairly well), got into a car accident in NYC (not my fault obviously and we were all fine), rode the subway by myself twice (again, good thing I had ridden public transit before), travelled as a very pregnant woman (I was only a little pregnant in Europe), saw a Comedy show (yay for high school friend Katie Larsen and her comedy group the Harvard Sailing Team), and explored the Upper West Side of NYC (there are some really great food places up there!). Three major old things: visiting ground zero, going to Lombardi's, and walking around Times Square.
This is standing at Ground Zero
I had visited Ground Zero when we went with Matt's family in 2003 and it was, for me, a bit of a surreal experience. The day we were there it was a bit foggy and you could hear a fire truck off in the distance responding to a call. I immediately felt the weight of what had occurred less than two years before. This time it was a bit harder to get back into that mind set. New York and New Yorkers have started to move on... This is a good thing in some ways, but it is hard to see such literal emptiness in the skyline (as shown in the picture above), to see the construction still occurring, and feel like it matters less and less. I was glad for a chance to revisit and think I will revisit on any subsequent trips.
I honestly think that the baby bulge (it is so much more than a bump...maybe I should call it baby basketball) gets larger throughout the day. On our last night we all had a very nice dinner just off of the Theater district so a few of us walked around Times Square to buy overpriced trinkets and take stereotypical pictures. One thing we found amusing that I don't remember being there before was the people in lawn chairs. As you can see in the bottom corner of the picture there are people sitting in Times Square. Apparently this is something that enough people wanted to do that NYC tourism people have invested in chairs to place out for people to enjoy. While a little strange, I could see Mattie and I buying a slice of pizza, a pretzel, or some popcorn and watching and making fun of people as they passed by!
Random beauty and patriotism
This picture was just off one of the streets. It was pretty and patriotic (two of my favorite things) so I snapped a few. I will have to look at the larger prints to see if I want to enlarge any of them.
On a baby note, the baby is getting to be much more active and is kicking with more strength and consistency. I am enjoying the little bumps and love feeling that this baby is alive and growing inside of me! It is beginning to get very difficult to sleep and even worse is getting out of bed to use the restroom 4 times a night (which is at least double what I usually do for all of you who know my frequent urination tendencies).