Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Little Boxes

Started the day at ten am - TEN AM - with french toast and coffee at the little diner down the street. By this time, the sun was shining and the streets were clear enough for regular traffic. Everything had an extra-bright look like a clorox ad or a sunny day after a snowstorm.

Took the train uptown to check out an apartment that V. is considering buying. Then walked around Harlem and the upper Upper East Side to get a feel for which areas might be good places to live - decided that most of Adam Clayton Powell between Central Park and 125th St. isn't for me, Lexington is better, especially between 90th and 100th St. That neighborhood is called "Carnegie Hill" and seemed perfect. Close to the train, shopping not too far away, plenty of neighborhood shops, little restaurants, buildings seemed kept up (at least on the outside). In judging neighborhoods on a walk-through like this, I look at the number of broken windows, boarded up buildings, and shops, as well as who is out and about and what they are doing. I like neighborhoods with families, people taking their kids out, people on little errands. I try to go by what I see, not what I imagine.

Must have walked five miles... took the train back downtown and walked most of the way home from Union Square. I realized part way that I need a whole bunch of those little translucent plastic boxes that come in different colors and sizes. Looked at a bunch of different stores but could not find any. So, I took another train over to the West 3rd Bazaar, where I've seen them in the past. One of the things I love about being a teacher, especially a science teacher, is that I get to go to ordinary stores and buy large numbers of random items. Like today: When the man asked what I needed, I told him, "Six of every size you have!" I walked out of there with a giant shopping bag full of plastic boxes, which will be measured in cm and then filled with water to compare cubic centimeters with milliliters. Hopefully, we will find that one cubic centimeter equals one milliliter. I am determined to show my students why scientists love the metric system. They will NOT grow up to be metric system complainers, if I have my way!

Just because teachers and students love snow days does not mean we dread school, by the way! (Though some do). Snow days have a special exciting feeling about them which is not quite the same as scheduled holidays... plus you can play in the snow.


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