Saturday, May 29, 2010

Paradox of Memory

For you who are still mulling over the paradox of remembering and moving on from our past, here is a beautiful blog post about a park in East Boston. Enjoy.

My Day Serving East Boston

I have done a lot at City Year this year. I have stepped into many roles and have stepped out of my previous comfort zone more times than I can count, but nothing compares to the scope and the results of what my team and I were able to do on Saturday, May 22nd.

To sum up the day quickly, it was fantastic. Completely, totally, unrelentingly fantastic. That is not my highlight however… my highlight took place after the volunteers had left, after my team had left, while I was sitting on a bench in the park that we just transformed. Sitting there, all alone, I had the experience that made my year, and the experience that quite possibly put my entire life into a new perspective.

My site contained a wall with the letters M.A.D. painted onto it, covered by about three decades of wear, decay, and graffiti. We wanted to mural the site, so on the first day of prep we went out to survey the area. An East Boston local came over and basically warned us not to mess with M.A.D.; it was a memorial to Michael Anthony D’avella, who was murdered years before. We decided right there that we had to leave it… or did we? We would make it better, we would redo it! So we set out scraping and priming. Multiple people came over, worried that we were erasing a hero from their history, but we assured all of them that it would be fine, that we were going to do it justice.

So it went on, three weeks of prep, over 150 man hours of work, then it was the big day, Serve-a-thon 2010. The mural came to life. Michael’s full name, previously just ambiguous initials to an outsider, finally came to life. Shane Quigley, the mural’s designer, beautifully weaved the name into the river along the Boston skyline, rendering most onlookers speechless. We had many community members come out and observe and compliment, but none like one man, after everyone else had left.

He was an East Boston native, born and raised. He walked into the park as I was sitting there, and his jaw just dropped. It was like in a comic book; it literally dropped and he just stood there, staring all around. He turned to me and said “This couldn’t be more beautiful…” He started walking around just taking it all in, then he walked towards the court. He stopped suddenly, turned to me and started walking back. As he got closer, I could see tears on his face. The man was a childhood friend of Michael Anthony D’Avella. He was crying to me, a complete stranger, thanking me for making the M.A.D. memory live on so beautifully. He choked through numerous ‘thank yous’ but then he couldn’t speak anymore… he shook my hand, and he walked out of the park, taken over by emotions and his memories that we helped to preserve. With the man gone, I sat there, put my hands behind my head, and I felt the power of what had just taken place. Whether it was the emotion of what I just experienced, or realizing the weeks of work had actually finally paid off, or maybe it was realizing that my year was coming to an end, whatever it was, it was beautiful, and I savor the memory of how I felt right then. I never want to forget that moment.

This shows what an incredible thing that we at City Year Boston did this past weekend. I can guarantee that stories like this happened all throughout the city, and that they are happening right now. What we accomplished on Saturday is nothing short of breathtaking, and the sentiments that he made to me were echoed by the smiles and laughter of the families that came out to the park, enjoying an area that was long neglected and misused.

East Boston will remember us, and they thank us. As well do I. I want to personally thank everyone that came out with so much for their time, their effort, and their commitment to making beautiful positive change.

This is City Year, this is what we do.

Memorial Day Homework

1) honor those who give (and have given) their time and lives to make the American dream a possibility

2) Huck Finn Socratic Circle #3 on Wednesday. Chapters 20-26

3) ROAR post #1 on Tuesday. Check the right column for other due dates

4) Vocab Quiz #19 on Thursday

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Homework 5/27

1) be ready for Socratic Circle #2, ch. 15-20

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Homework 5/25

Period 1&2
-bring your ROAR book and a blanket for outside reading

Period 5
-be ready to discuss Huck Finn ch. 9-14

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Homework 5/20

1) Huck Finn- be read through chapter 14 for Tuesday

2) keep on with the novella

very well done with the presentations. They were great!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

hmmmm. Why I choose not to live in Southborough

Silly Bandz a no-no at Finn

by susan on May 19, 2010

Post image for Silly Bandz a no-no at Finn

Last night WBZ-TV ran a piece on the latest fad in kid accessories: Silly Bandz. Those of you with young ones know that Silly Bandz are brightly-colored rubber bracelets in the shape of things like animals. A private school in Milton recently banned the bracelets because they’ve become such a distraction for students. Turns out, they’re a distraction in our town, too.

While she didn’t call out Silly Bandz by name, Finn principal Mary Ryan sent a note home to parents last week asking them to not send their kids to school with “jelly bracelets,” saying they’re causing similar issues as trading cards.

“The bracelets are distracting, they are being traded, and children are having conflicts because of them,” Ryan wrote in the letter. “I ask that these be kept as special bracelets to be worn outside of school.”

Oh the fashion fads of the young. We had jelly bracelets in my day too, but the only way to wear them was layered over your Swatch. What about you?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Homework 5/17

1) Hand in your presentation outline and works cited on Tuesday

2) Remember to dress professionally for your presentation day

3) Extra credit given for bringing snacks/drinks or paper goods

enjoy a good bit of satire:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homework 5/14

1) hand in your ROAR poster outline on Monday

2) create a works cited for your ROAR presentation

3) get a head start on your ROAR reading

4) get caught up, or push ahead for your Huck Finn reading

Presentation Dates:
Wednesday Thursday Friday
Jeremy Michael Lynnett
Daphney Kayla B. Crisamar
Pavel Alfredo Jordan
Agostinha Lynn Kiara
Pascal Genesis Melissa
Cassandra Kayla G. Meghan
Amy Bianca

Rosa Benni Ayana
Nate Anamol Xiomara
Victoria Sayyida Michael
Rony Adrienne Josie
Yaritza Jean Deidra
Kevron Jie Olumide
Raquel Andreau Sara

Whitley Eagle Marissa M.
Saul Courtney Peter
Shannon Samantha Ambar
Jazmin Amy Marissa S.
Alex Deanna Clarissa
Tyler Kiara Susanna
Shaniesha Talal Kevin


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Homework 5/12

1) Huck Finn Chapters 5 & 6

2) Vocab Quiz #16

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homework 5/11

1) read and think about Huck Finn ch. 3-4

2) Vocab #16 on Thursday

3) look over the ROAR Presentation handouts

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homework 5/6

1) check out a copy of Huck Finn from the library. Any edition will do fine.

2) begin hunting down your Term 5 ROAR. Check the blog for good novella suggestions.

3) work on your history research paper

Monday, May 3, 2010

Homework 5/2

Happy May Day (slightly late)!

Read the Twain biography/view the movies at this site:

There are 14 pages of text (click on "print" to view as a single page) and five short videos.

Also, think of the event that for your family/culture provides a paradox of memory.

For me, it's Gallipoli:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Homework 4/30

Enjoy the last days of April, and bring in your Culture Vulture Proposal, Rough Draft response, and proof for Monday.

If you wish, check out the Term V ROAR selections. The ROAR proposal is due May 10.

ROAR Term V: Classic Novellas

ROAR Term V:
Classic Novellas

Animal Farm
George Orwell
-animal fable shows the problems of communism and democracy

Ayn Rand
-a future world where technology is prohibited so all humans are equal

Bartleby, the Scrivener
Herman Melville
-a boss tries to fire a secretary who “prefers not to” do any work, but Bartleby keeps returning

-a biting satire of faith in God and the futility of finding hope in the midst of disasters

Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Gabriel García Márquez
-you and the entire town know he is about to be killed, but Santiago Nasar has no idea

Walter Mosley
-a boy is visited by a mysterious visitor who teaches him to not be a slave or a master

Lan Samantha Chang
-a family struggles with isolation, adapting to a new culture and broken dreams

Pafko at the Wall (Underworld)
Don DeLillo
-a famous baseball game is the background for America entering the Cold War

Seize the Day
Saul Bellow
-one day in the life of a man who has lost his family and his money

Herman Hesse
-a wealthy young man leaves his home to search for meaning in life

The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho
-a Spanish shepherd travels to the Great Pyramids for a promised treasure

The Day the Leader Was Killed
Naguib Mahfouz
-an account of a modern assassination in Egypt

The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy
-a man dies from a freak accident with curtains, but it’s really caused from living a bad life

The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka
-Gregor wakes up one morning, and has been turned into a beetle

The Old Man and the Sea
Ernest Hemingway
-a fateful fishing trip to regain honor ends with the largest fish the Cuban village had ever seen

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Muriel Spark
-the lives of many students are impacted by this remarkable teacher