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Showing posts from 2005

New York City Day #6

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This morning was one of the most memorable of this week. Why, you may ask? This little piece of history is actually a piece of popular culture history. I got to eat breakfast this morning at the diner from one of my favorite TV shows of all time: Seinfeld. I am living this week in the neighborhood that inspired Jerry Seinfeld's TV show, and the diner from the TV show is 2 streets away. I ate with a few teachers this morning before heading to class for our final lecture and discussion.

It was absolutely raining cats and dogs this morning; not having an umbrella, I just put on my Yankees cap and bolted across campus as fast as I could through the rain. Out of the window of our classroom is a clear view of the neighborhood of Harlem. There was a Battle of Harlem, which although it was minor in the Revolutionary War, was significant, because it was an important stronghold that George Washington lost before entirely abandoning New York as a lost cause.

Harlem used to have an awful reputa…

New York City Day #5

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Another day that has flown by! This morning, we had a lecture to finish up the actual events of the American Revolution. It was great; we discussed slaves' roles in the American Revolution, as well as ways that the Americans gathered support when their morale got low. We talked a lot about how American patriotic symbols are different and similar to those in other countries, and discussed similarities between the American Revolution and the Vietnam War and Iraq War. We ended the morning with a discussion of the last battle of the war, Yorktown, Virginia.

A few interesting points I learned:

While in Valley Forge for the winter, the Continental Army were forced to use "The Vault" to use the bathroom. The Vault was basically a series of shallow ditches where soldiers went to the bathroom. If they were caught not using The Vault, they could be punished or even put to death, because of the diseases they could be spreading.
Benedict Arnold, who committed treason against America by…

New York City Day #4

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This morning, we had another rich discussion of the American Revolution. We had a discussion of Paul Revere's midnight ride, the Battles of Concord and Lexington, Evacuation Day in Boston, and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Being only one of two Massachusetts residents in a room of about 35, everyone was relying on me to speak up about what Massachusetts' view is of the Revolution and the importance of our local cities and towns. It was pretty neat to have people from around the United States discussing towns that are a few mere miles from Medfield. We certainly are lucky to have so much history right in our backyards....

After a nice lunch, our group took a trip to the New York Historical Society. Here, we had a presentation by the Gilder Lehrman Institute, which is the group that is sponsoring our visit to New York City this week. One of the coolest things all week to happen so far happened at the NYHS (New York Historical Society) - the presenters took out several primary source…

New York City Day #3

Today was a great day....not as hands-on as the two previous days, but nonetheless important. We had lectures all day today from our professor (he teaches at the City University of New York at Lehman College) on the American Revolution. Since I am pretty familiar with the info from the American Revolution, the teachers all used the time as a chance to share good ways to make history come alive for students - so I got some good ideas! It was also neat to hear another person's thoughts about why certain things occurred during the war and look at events from a different point of view.

A couple of cool facts about the American Revolution Time Period:
American Colonists were willing to lose everything for their independence: their homes, their families, their land, their lives!
Harvard, Yale, and William & Mary were the first colleges in America; once religions other than Anglican were able to start schools, then Princeton, Rutgers, and Columbia Colleges were founded.
An incredible am…

New York City Day #2 - Independence Day!

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I woke up nice and early this morning to a great sunrise, and ran down south down the Hudson River. The run was beautiful; I ran along the Henry Hudson Parkway, the Hudson River, in Manhattan, looking the entire time at New Jersey. Talk about awesome geography!

We had quite a day today...and after my run, we had breakfast and a mini-lecture, refreshing our teacher brains about what happened in the American Revolution, particularly in New York City.

We took the subway downtown (really south, but on a map, it is "down," so it is called "downtown.") to the southernmost tip of Manhattan, called Battery Park. Why is it called Battery Park? No, they do not dump wasted Energizer and Duracell batteries here...but are named for the batteries of ammunition that was stored here by both King George III and later George Washington. If you take a look to the map at the right, you will see the island of Manhattan. This is considered "downtown" New York City.

Imagine it is …

New York City Day #1

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I made it through Day #1 with meeting new people and seeing new places. I boarded an Amtrak train early this morning at 9:45 from Back Bay in Boston, and arrived at Penn Station in New York City. I should have taken pictures; it is incredibly crazy and busy there. There were so many more people than in any Boston train station. Plus - there were lots of Yankees fans everywhere!

After I checked into my dorm at Columbia University, I took a few pictures. This is the view out of my room - it looks down upon the Columbia University quad. The large light stone building in the middle with the rotunda/dome roof is the Columbia University Library. The green is the quad, where students will hang out, read, study, play frisbee...A bit of info on Columbia University: it was originally founded as "King's College" on what is known locally as "Morningside Hill," in 1754.

There are 16 schools at Columbia -- undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. Columbia had an extr…