12 September 2009

NY Harbor School

I interviewed at the NY Harbor School three years ago. They offered me a job teaching Social Studies the day after 'Pequa gave me an offer I couldn't refuse (teaching English). I was convinced that NYC would not do the right thing and put them on Governor's Island. They were in Bushwick! It's about 40 minutes by subway from the Harbor.

The school, the principal, and Murray Fisher deserve recognition. Harbor School deserves the 10k. Can you imagine the dedication it takes to run a maritime-based high school that is almost an hour from the Harbor?

Vote early and vote often in this GQ poll.

7. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

A damning indictment of American conformity.

This was one of the best books I have ever read. The writing was sharp, fresh and interesting. Even though it was written in 1920, the problems facing George Babbitt are surprisingly modern.

Babbitt is a real-estate salesman and member of all the booster clubs and business associations in his town - think Elks and Rotary club and all that. But something is nagging his conscience. Facing the beginning of his middle age, his regrets begin to pile up. He yearns for a break out. But as his restlessness grows, so does the resistance from his community, putting a friction on his revolution.

I very strongly recommend this book. Lewis is a master as diagnosing the problems with too much commercialism. Unfortunately, he doesn't offer any solution, but maybe he thought that simply showing us the mess we're in would be enough for us to reform our ways. Obviously things have only gotten worse in the last 90 years, but that only makes the book more important now. Read it!