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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Last weekend our synagogue took part in a ‘place of worship crawl’ of sorts… where we walked around the neighborhood and explored a number of different churches and temples all in a 10 block radius.  Rumor has it that Flushing Queens boasts up to 200 different places of worship – synagogues, Catholic and Methodist churches and Buddhist temples, Shinto temples.  At the end of our trip we got to go to the Flushing Quaker Meeting House – built in 1694!  Of course it’s chalk full of ghost stories and best of all, it seems to be the first site of religious freedom in America.  Its first members created a remonstrance to be accepted in Peter Stuyvesant‘s rigid idea of what New York/America should worship.  See the actual remonstrance here!

(to add: this is called the ‘Interfaith Unity Walk‘ and it happens twice a year in Queens.  I should also add that I did something like this with my mom when I was about 11 years old and it was really moving then, as it is now – how much we all have in common despite differing religions)

 

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Ah to be by the sea… only this time we were “virtually” IN THE OCEAN via the magic of VDR and other cool affects at the National Geographic Ocean show.  I have to admit, I thought this show at the NY Hall of Science was slicker as we felt like it was wayyyyy more interactive than this Nat Goe show.  But the VR movie at the end is amazing .. when we got swallowed by a whale! IMG_9820

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down the escalator into the sea

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playing with virtual sea lions

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The VR movie of being eaten by a whale was the best!

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Ezra enjoys some Nat Geo reads

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WSF always has an indoor event where we can visit multiple tables and learn about various fun science tips and facts!  Once again we dragged grandma along (although she was easy to convince to come) to see how gravity works, how to engineer pedestals that withstand earthquakes and recreate the ‘glide’ of a flying squirrel.  Best of all we got to bump into E and Z’s dad while he worked (and sometimes stand in as models if he needed) –

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creating a parachute man and watching him fly out of the chute!

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Zoe tries her ‘flying squirrel’ made of fabric and popsicle sticks

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and of course, pink tape

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giant patterned blocks

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Once again E and Z’s dad was hired to shoot a week of fun science events around the city, and we had grandma in to help with staying on top of things while parents were working like crazy.  The WSF had some great outdoor activities – like exploring the water life around our local park (Gantry), as well as an amazing Star Gazing event later in the evening in Brooklyn! I think we were wiped out after a whole day of activity but were happy we could show grandma the ropes on the WSF!

 

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grandma helping us fish the east river!

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Ezra under his night umbrella while star gazing

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The kids loved exploring Art Tech last week – a pop up event of kid art and technology activities that they could explore.  For some reason the ‘large ball pit’ is so much more challenging than little balls.  I love how hands-on everything was … making cars in the ‘Velocity’ learning zone, racing them down various tracks, building structures with gears and brackets, and a wall that had pivoting tiles that react to your shadow.  Tomorrow is the last day to try this out so check it out while you can!

http://cmany.org/classes-and-activities/events/artech-adventures-art-technology/

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this wall’s tiles move when a shadow passes over! So cool! attachments-5attachments-6attachments-7attachments-8IMG_7461

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is pretty fabulously diverse. It’s why we moved here. It’s why we raise our kids here.

That’s Ezra to the right in a photo taken by his dad (below). His last school – and most of our neighborhood – is predominantly Spanish speaking or Asian/South East Asian and Bangladeshi, Hindu, Muslim and Chinese.

My in laws joke that if they want to travel the world, all they have to do is come and visit us.

We all live on top of each other with the same goals: love our kids, stay well, help our kids thrive. When I travelled to India and South East Asia that was my takeaway – we all seem culturally different but we really have so much in common.
And kids in Ezra and Zoe’s classes are hungry for knowledge .. future doctors and lawyers and teachers. The gratefulness for opportunity is palpable – when you cross a border or an ocean to do something new for yourself you don’t sit around waiting for opportunity. You find it and take it. It’s a great vibe to be around.

Recently everyone’s been seeming and feeling a little scared, even if here legally. It’s ironic to me that the President elect is from Queens. I think he’s lost touch with his origins – but then realize that I’m assuming something that younger New Yorkers experience. Maybe he grew up in Queens when Archie Bunker’s character was developed? See here.

It never occurred to me that having my kids in a dual-language Spanish speaking program (or that our neighbors have their kids learning Chinese) would be an ‘elitist’ endeavor. I thought growing globally was a ‘looking toward the future’ thing that we were all on board with. It’s ironic how you perceive ‘success in the future’ as one thing, and then it can in theory shift so quickly. I can’t imagine now that we know how to access global information so readily, we would want to shut it out so thoroughly. But only time will tell.

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and scenes from Zoe’s Multicultural Day Celebrations at school:
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Doctor’s Without Borders (known as MSF of Medicines Sans Frontieres) put on a moving exhibit in NYC.  The kids got a glimpse of what it might be like to live as a refugee or fleeing, and were asked as we moved through the exhibit to eliminate a card at each station.  We got to CHOOSE 5 cards representing things we might consider fleeing with:  Clothes, medicine, toys, etc.  As we moved along through the show there were circumstances that caused you to leave things behind.   At the end there were fascinating interviews with refugees and MSF worker in a virtual reality booth – where you could wear viewing goggles to view the interview, and feel like you were really in the camp at the same time.

 

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