Wednesday, March 31, 2010

“Kissing Doesn’t Kill: Greed and Indifference Do.” –Gran Fury*

Corn fields and empty roads, heroin needles and experimental art: two worlds that seemingly couldn’t be further. Two worlds which have led to Marvin Taylor’s ability to curate “The Downtown Collection” at New York University’s Fales Library.

David Wojnarowicz, Untitled, n.d. Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 in. David Wojnarowicz Papers, Grey Art Gallery online
The collection’s birth, and Marvin’s place in it, both sprang from practical concerns born from undesirable situations. But, they have resulted in astounding success.

“If you’re the one lone fag in your school study hall can be really hard,” said Marvin. So, he spent a lot of time in the library shelving books. This eventually led to his position as curator of the Downtown Collection in Fales Library at NYU. There he purchased the only art the school could afford: art that no one else wanted.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Missing Tampa

If I were in Tampa still I would probably be working with the two students I worked with most days at this time, Brandon and Joel. We mostly did reading together which was always really fun because Brandon and Joel would help each other with the words they didn't know. They were both ELL students. When Joel couldn't think of a word he would go into Spanish, "como." Sometimes he would figure it out himself, sometimes Brandon would help him, sometimes I would.

They were both quiet and shy at first but every time I entered the room a smile spread across their faces. We'd go outside and read and talk about their pets, where their from, brothers and sisters. Brandon was an especially good reader for his age, I think. He would read sentences together rather than each word as its own unit. As the story progressed he would tire of sitting and start reading standing up. Joel liked to move around when he read, going from the bench to the table to standing on the table and leaning on the pole for its umbrella.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tampa Day 1

"I like to play animals," she said. "But I don't like playing by myself." We soon found a group of other kids. She was a tiger. I was a monkey. He was an alligator. She was a bird. Roars, clomps and squawks soon followed my own anxious chatter: everyone else wanted to eat me for lunch! Saved by the bell, we lined up for our real lunches and left for the cafeteria.

For spring break this year I am leading an Alternative Break in Tampa Bay, Florida. Alternative Breaks is a national program that allows college students to spend one week in a community away from their university to engage in direct service work. My group is tutoring at Bay Crest Elementary School.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Birding BPC

With winter breathing its last icy breath, the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy hosted a winter bird walk program on March 6 to help residents learn more about birding for the spring migration season. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March: In like a Lion, a Lion like Aslan

Four days in and March is already treating me better than February. February wasn't terrible but between snowstorms, retreats, meetings and homework I was beginning to drown. March 1 woke me up with sunshine and a wide, blue sky.