Saturday, June 30, 2012

Learning, Living and Loving in NYC (Part II)

Day 3 - 7 all had a similar routine for the students.  Breakfast, school, homework and some time to see and explore various parts of New York City.  The students in the writing module were focused on writing that was "showing, not telling."  They did a lot of practice and took a field trip to the New York Times to learn about writing from some of the best in the business.

The photography students spent a lot of time doing there homework while we were out.  They were getting a better grasp of depth of field and points of view.  Looking at their photography that they are doing now, I can instantly tell that their time of purposeful instruction and practice has had an influence on their work.

Monday night we went to Times Square.  We enjoyed a meal at Ellen's Singing Stardust Diner - a 50's diner for wannabe broadway stars who sing and dance while taking orders and delivering food.  Students got the chance to take in the bright lights and shop.  While they tended to the more familiar fashion staples like H&M and Forever 21, I enjoyed the 5 story Toys R Us, and just sitting on the steps watching the billboards change.
Time Square Banners
Tuesday night we went to a broadway show - "Newsies."  The show was AMAZING.  There are quite a few dancers in our group, and many of the Newsies cast members had been on various seasons of the show "So You Think You Can Dance."  We decided to stay afterwards to get a few autographs - which turned into photos and full on interviews!  The students in the writing course were suppose to write an article that involved the principle of "showing, not telling."  They were busy making notes in the theatre and interviewing the ushers.  They never anticipated that they could get interviews from the stars themselves.  The dancers/actors were SO kind to stay after their long day at work and answer all their questions.  It was a powerful opportunity for the girls to practice what they were learning and better experience the world of journalism.
Me and my friend Luke (who chaperoned)
Students in front of the Nederlander Theatre
R & L with Thayne

M with Jess

Students interviewing and photographing cast member Jess

Girls with dancer/actor Alex Wong

Interviewing Alex Wong

Girls with dancer/actor Evan L. 

Interviewing/Photographing Evan

Wednesday night we went to Union Square and had dinner at Max Brenner's Chocolate Restaurant.  The food there is amazing, but nothing like the deserts.  But we were so tired, full and hot that we never got to desert.  Instead took a warm summer night stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge!
View from the Brooklyn Bridge at the Financial Distinct (tallest tower = World Trade Center)

Students on the Brooklyn Bridge
Thursday was our last night in the city.  We went to Lincoln Center and grabbed some sandwiches from 'Wichcraft, and ate by the fountain.  It was a mellow and calm evening.  We ended with one last (and begged for) shopping outing at Macy's - world's largest store and the Herald Square shops.
Girls (very coordinated) in front of the fountain at Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center Fountain.  Lincoln Center to Right, New York Opera to Left, American Ballet straight ahead

Friday was our last day.  Students had a final class in the morning and then we met at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - one of many museums and cultural staples in the city.  However, the students were not as interested in the museum as I had hoped.  After 45 minutes they resorted to taking in the 37 degree heat (celcius to my American viewers) on the roof and enjoying the view.  We walked back through Central Park and had our final dinner at the Shake Shack, another New York Staple,  before heading back to JFK.
The roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, looking into the city
The entire trip was an amazing, exhilarating, exhausting whirlwind.  Watching my students experience the city was an incredible opportunity.  Helping them learn and grow and providing them with new opportunities to learn and grow was also a wonderful treat.  But I'm not going to lie - it was exhausting.  Being someone who loves to travel, and is use to the "go go go!" of it all, it isn't the same when you are constantly looking out for the wellbeing of others.  By the time I got home I was ready to sleep for three days straight.  I am so lucky to have such wonderful and well behaved students.  New York is a big exciting city and I wish I would had more time to share more it with them, and had them share their experiences of it with me.  But regardless, our 7 days of shared experience is one that I hope will be as rich and meaningful in the scheme of their lives, as it was in mine.

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