28 April 2006


So while I was in Washington I read an article in the Washington Post about the Volvo Ocean Race. The boats were coming to visit to Baltimore, and were going to have some supporting events, including a regatta inside the Harbor. The boats race around the world stopping in a few choice ports (like NYC, Rio, and, uh, Baltimore). Next week (on Monday and/or Tuesday) the boats will be coming in to New York City for a break. To get ready the city had to dredge the North Cove because the boats draw too much water. The North Cove is usually host to the Manhattan Yacht Club and the Manhattan Sailing School (where I took my kids sailing, way back in 2003 - check out the video link on the left hand side of Persuasion's page). Last autumn the North Cove was host to Ellen MacArthur's boat as she waited for favorable weather for an attempt at the Atlantic crossing record. Compare the background of the boat basin with B&Q in it with the emptiness as they prep for the Volvo boats. (Thanks to Zephyr for reminding me about Volvo coming to Baltimore and NYC.)

I rode my bike down there to check out the dredging. When I got there the only thing there, literally, were two Coast Guard boats tied to a floating dock. I spoke to one of the Coasties about the race, the boat basin, and the preparations and learned that I missed the Dredger and tugs by about 15 minutes. I have a tugboat fetish so I look for them whenever I am near the water. I had spied them already from the bike path on my way down to the Cove. So I snapped a few pictures of the empty boat basin, the Coasties, and the Statue of Liberty. Then I raced back north and caught up with the dredging machines and the tugs. There was also a barge with them (probably full of poison/dredged material). They docked right by the Intrepid Air & Space Museum, at Pier 88-ish. (What's cool about the Intrepid space is the Intrepid itself of course, but also that there is a submarine from the Cold War there (smells just like the real thing!). But wait, there's more – one of the Concordes is there too. A plane on a boat! If you haven't been to the Intrepid, you should go. I went there with my dad for a class trip. When I was in college.) And while I was checking out the docking of the tugs and Dredger (while another stood off with the barge of muddy poison) the Coasties from North Cove came by. As the tugs docked, two kayakers (the two tiny dots behind the tug) came by. I mention this here for the benefit of Fraulein Frogma

There are articles in the paper every once and a while about how clean NY Harbor is and how the Hudson is making a rebound. I have no doubt it's true, but here, along the sea wall, is a parasite you can catch if you fall in.

I often think that I should have joined the Coast Guard instead of the Navy. I'd probably still be in, maybe. The Coast Guard is dope.

26 April 2006

Harbor School (cont)

My model lesson is scheduled for 10 May @ 2.40. Here is my assignment:

Rationale:  Model lessons give the hiring committee an objective assessment of the candidate’s teaching skill.  Obviously, 15 minutes is an artificially short period of time for a lesson; choose something small.  The committee is looking for rapport with students, lesson planning and assessment, general style and classroom management skills. 

Time:  15 minutes.  Candidates will be cut off if they go over time.

Content: Should be appropriate to subject area and New York State high school standards.  Bonus if connected to New York Harbor School theme. 

Teaching aids and technology:  Let us know if you have any special needs, however, materials used should be realistically available to teachers, and not over-the-top.

Audience:  About 15 NYHS students plus hiring committee.

Finally, we understand that this is a daunting task.  If you make a mistake, don't worry, just keep going!  No one expects perfection.  We thank you for your time and interest in our school.

Candidates who score high on the model lesson rubric will be asked to interview.  The final step in the hiring process is a reference check.  We hope to begin making offers in a few weeks and to have our hiring process wrapped up by the beginning of June.

Assistant Principal
New York Harbor School

25 April 2006

you are not going to believe the day I had!

Item 1, the bad: Right before Spring Break (which I will get to eventually) I took the hard top off the Jeep and stashed it in Lukeman's side yard. Very sweet of him. So to make a long story short I parked the Jeep in front of a High School on Irving Place. After school today I was going to drive over to my school and load some boxes of books to take home (the amount of stuff in my classroom that is actually mine is amazing). On the drive over to the school I noticed the back window of the soft top is flapping a little loudly, but that's not too unusual, really, and then I notice that my elbow is hitting the Mexican blanket I keep in there. I had left the Jeep with the blanket covering an assortment of boxes holding tools, boat parts, boat paints, boat waxes, varnish, thinner, brushes, and about a million other things (and I bet you can see where this is going). Some savvy thief unzipped the passenger side window and lifted out my tool box, a circular saw, and a cool old oil lantern I got as a gift for the boat. They left the extension cord, my two-man tent, and some other trinkets, but got all the good stuff. Yes, idiotic of me to leave that stuff in there with the soft top on - which is basically a very-permeable membrane.

Item 1, the good: I get to go tool shopping!

Item 2, the bad: on the way over the Queensboro Bridge some box trucking mofo dickfor sideswiped me and F'ed up the right fender of the Jeep. And kept going!

Item 2, the good: I keep a grease pencil in the visor to jot things down on the windshield in a snap and I got the license plate. I'm waiting for the cops to show up right now.

11 April 2006

Under the White Sky

Under the White Sky

Now I see the black city again,
It has always remained the same,
In it walk its sedentary, indoor dwellers,
As always, - the poor ones - so poor;
The scent of rustle-red Autumn leaves
Is not perceived by them.
But how lovely is Autumn in this
windy Winterland.

yours, Egon Schiele

Letter from ES to Arthur Roessler 17 October 1910

It's not a winter wonderland out there right now, and the Melville quote below suits the season better, but I copied this down a few months ago and never posted it. I like the imagery Schiele uses, and how the natural and the urban (not necessarily opposites) go about their business independently of each other.

05 April 2006

April & May

"When the red-cheeked, dancing girls, April and May, trip home to the wintry, misanthropic woods; even the barest, ruggedest, most thunder-cloven old oak will at least send forth some few green sprouts, to welcome such glad-hearted visitants." - Herman Melville

04 April 2006

How sails work

A little tutorial about how sails work.

Saw it first here.

New York Harbor School

So I went on an interview last Friday at the Harbor school. The school itself is located in Bushwick, which is in central Brooklyn. I have to admit that I don’t know jackshite about Brooklyn and can count the number of times I have been there on two hands and one foot. For real.

Anyway. The school reminds me a lot of the one I am at, with a few critical differences. I’m not going to give a play by play, or any kind of checklist comparison, but I will let you know how it went.

Next year they are adding the last of the “new kids.” Right now they have 9th, 10th, and 11th graders and as these classes move up they’ll add another and be a full school. I was there on a day when the 10th graders were on a field trip, so it seemed pretty empty.

The school is designed around the idea that each NYC kids has a right to have access to the waterfront, that because they live on an island, they should have some appreciation of the water, the Harbor, and the natural resources involved, etc. And a second idea is that all kids can go to college. I’m down with both of them.

They have a campus down at the South Street Seaport where kids do boatbuilding (they have been building a whaleboat) and they've already built three sea kayaks, all of wood. They actually go overnight sailing on the Lettie G Howard, which is very cool.

You can browse in all of the websites I left for you if you want a better taste, but it’s pretty exciting that this school exists, and even more exciting that I could possibly work there.

Next up is demo lessons and a second interview in May.