Monday, November 06, 2006

Walking to work

I walked home from work the other day and happily discovered that it only takes 40 minutes. So I've been trying to walk more often. I ran next to one of my students on his scooter the other day. His 'mom' was there too, but I was there for the novelty. He absolutely flew on that thing! Anyway, this morning I took some photos of the park while walking through it. I'm looking out for curves in this city these days as the city, on a whole, is very angular. It's also very mathematical and celebral so I look for opportunities to escape the intensity! I don't know that you can ever escape the mathematics of things though.
So here are some pictures to please your eyes.

Field Trip to Green Meadows Farm

I was very excited about seeing how New York City does a farm. On arrival, I was somewhat impressed, but also found it very DEpressing. Like all things in New York City, the trip was tightly scheduled and well managed. Also like all things in New York City, it was a plastic representation of the real thing. The man-made, efficient in-and-out express farm.
Our bus pulled into a large grassed area with about 50-70 other yellow school buses. Once off the bus, we headed to a mass eating area where the children ate their lunches quickly.
There were SO many schools there, and as far as I could tell, it wasn't a particularly special day. This is just what they do! Hundreds of guides walked around, taking groups from one animal to the next.
The sample animal was placed in a big metal bin for the children to poke, prod and throw bark at. We got to see chicks, ducks and rabbits.

The first cow we looked at refused to stand up. The guides were poking her with a stick but she wasn't playing along. The second cow, wasn't as smart. The cow had to stand patiently while children took turns to squirt it's teets from both sides! Those poor cows must go through this HUNDREDS of times each day.

The hayride was a bit of fun, apart from the incessant demands of the children for "MORE BUMPS! MORE BUMPS!" The kids absolutely loved the whole thing.
The super efficient horse rides were something to marvel at. There's no doubt about it, New Yorkans don't waste a moment. The children "rode" their horses clockwise around the circle and were quickly processed off at the other end, with very little stopping from the horses! The next child was on in no time, and so it continued on and on. Some 'spare' horses took their break, eating a snack in the centre of the circle.

At the end, the children were allowed to choose a pumpkin each. Then it was back on the bus and off to school.
It was a very different experience to my childhood experience of farm trips, but I guess it gave these city children a chance to actually see some animals that they usually only see in books!
So different!