Whitman Field Trips

aggregating posts from project site visitations

Archive for the ‘fieldtrip’ Category

Camden Trip

without comments

Despite having taken at least 200 photo’s, filmed at least 30 minutes worth of video  and helping to contribute to a semesters worth of well researched, creative Whitman related projects, I’ve actually had quite a bit of trouble writing this post.

Although I was the only Tech student able to attend the Whitman Conference, there was a diverse mix of opinions, cultures and presentations that somehow managed to include all aspects of the project. For example the students from Novi Sad translated Whitman’s poems into Serbian while the students from Mary Washington came up with a mix of Papers, Poems and Video Projects.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. To start with, the train ride over was absolutely gorgeous. Looking out the window, I saw streams, open fields and old buildings – things you don’t see that often in the city (At least not without having to pay or wander deep into the middle of a large park).

DSC04311 DSC04411

DSC04410 DSC04393

In a way, there was a physical time line along the tracks. The closer we got to Camden, the older the buildings. Most of the remaining structures were churches, mansions or old factories.

DSC04409 DSC04431

The Camden Campus was everything you’d expect from a dorm college. Besides large yet somehow unimposing buildings that housed classes, the campus was large with plenty of areas to lounge around or study outside of class, and of course a Starbucks because far and few between are the college students who can go the entirety of their academic career without coffee.

After a short wait, the rest of the students arrived and I was finally able to put faces to some of the writers whose work I’d read over the semester. It’s one thing to see an image of a person online, but it’s completely different to meet them in person.

There was a Whitman statue on campus that everyone stopped to look at on the way to the campus center to lounge, talk about our experience and wait for pizza.

DSC04531DSC04534

The lounge in the Camden Campus Center

The lounge in the Camden Campus Center

Everyone I talked with agreed that the project and the various types of work that went into it were completely new and challenging experiences. Personally that surprised me since most of the students were english majors and graduating ones at that. However challenging the class was, everyone’s opinion of the course was the same. The Looking for Whitman project was something that made the college experience unique not only for the students, but for the professors as well. The mixing of technology – blogging, tweeting and  making use of social networking- with classic poetry made for a class that produced work as original and quirky as Whitman himself.

A perfect example of that is Sam P’s final video project ‘In search of Wendell Slickman’  which mixed the life of Elvis Presley with Walt Whitman’s which as unlikely as the idea sounds, works perfectly.

We watched Sam’s project along with the presentation of a few others over pizza before hopping on the bus to take a tour of Whitman’s final home at 328 Mickle Street.

No cameras were allowed inside the house, but everything in it was photo worthy. Chairs that Whitman sat in, the stove he cooked on, the stairs he walked up and the bed he slept in – we got to see it all and experience Whitman in a way you can’t get just by reading his work. I couldn’t get any pictures of inside, but I got plenty of photos outside the house and of  his garden.

From Whitman's back yard into the light

From Whitman's back yard into the light

DSC04587

DSC04626DSC04624

DSC04616DSC04600

The trip didn’t end here. After visiting Whitman’s home we went to the only other place in Camden where we could feel a physical connection to him – his grave.

DSC04631Unfortunately the Cemetery was closed, but that didn’t stop us from getting in to see Whitman. A conveniently placed and obviously well used hole in the fence allowed us to get to the final resting place of the great writer and bring some closure to the semester. The area in which Whitman and his family are interred is absolutely beautiful.

DSC04635DSC04637

DSC04639DSC04648

It was an emotional moment for many of the students as we took turns reading the last few lines of  Whitman’s ‘Song of Myself’. Reading one of Whitman’s greatest works in a place where he could be truly felt brought some closure to what has been the most challenging and rewarding project I’ve ever participated in.  The Looking for Whitman project was a long journey that led many a student in frustrating circles, searching for some link to Whitman to make his presence more tangible than just some old writer remembered only through his books and honestly I don’t think anyone could phrase it better than Whitman himself:


Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

– Walt Whitman “Song of Myself”



Written by Koharu

June 1st, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Camden Trip

without comments

Despite having taken at least 200 photo’s, filmed at least 30 minutes worth of video  and helping to contribute to a semesters worth of well researched, creative Whitman related projects, I’ve actually had quite a bit of trouble writing this post.

Although I was the only Tech student able to attend the Whitman Conference, there was a diverse mix of opinions, cultures and presentations that somehow managed to include all aspects of the project. For example the students from Novi Sad translated Whitman’s poems into Serbian while the students from Mary Washington came up with a mix of Papers, Poems and Video Projects.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. To start with, the train ride over was absolutely gorgeous. Looking out the window, I saw streams, open fields and old buildings – things you don’t see that often in the city (At least not without having to pay or wander deep into the middle of a large park).

DSC04311 DSC04411

DSC04410 DSC04393

In a way, there was a physical time line along the tracks. The closer we got to Camden, the older the buildings. Most of the remaining structures were churches, mansions or old factories.

DSC04409 DSC04431

The Camden Campus was everything you’d expect from a dorm college. Besides large yet somehow unimposing buildings that housed classes, the campus was large with plenty of areas to lounge around or study outside of class, and of course a Starbucks because far and few between are the college students who can go the entirety of their academic career without coffee.

After a short wait, the rest of the students arrived and I was finally able to put faces to some of the writers whose work I’d read over the semester. It’s one thing to see an image of a person online, but it’s completely different to meet them in person.

There was a Whitman statue on campus that everyone stopped to look at on the way to the campus center to lounge, talk about our experience and wait for pizza.

DSC04531DSC04534

The lounge in the Camden Campus Center

The lounge in the Camden Campus Center

Everyone I talked with agreed that the project and the various types of work that went into it were completely new and challenging experiences. Personally that surprised me since most of the students were english majors and graduating ones at that. However challenging the class was, everyone’s opinion of the course was the same. The Looking for Whitman project was something that made the college experience unique not only for the students, but for the professors as well. The mixing of technology – blogging, tweeting and  making use of social networking- with classic poetry made for a class that produced work as original and quirky as Whitman himself.

A perfect example of that is Sam P’s final video project ‘In search of Wendell Slickman’  which mixed the life of Elvis Presley with Walt Whitman’s which as unlikely as the idea sounds, works perfectly.

We watched Sam’s project along with the presentation of a few others over pizza before hopping on the bus to take a tour of Whitman’s final home at 328 Mickle Street.

No cameras were allowed inside the house, but everything in it was photo worthy. Chairs that Whitman sat in, the stove he cooked on, the stairs he walked up and the bed he slept in – we got to see it all and experience Whitman in a way you can’t get just by reading his work. I couldn’t get any pictures of inside, but I got plenty of photos outside the house and of  his garden.

From Whitman's back yard into the light

From Whitman's back yard into the light

DSC04587

DSC04626DSC04624

DSC04616DSC04600

The trip didn’t end here. After visiting Whitman’s home we went to the only other place in Camden where we could feel a physical connection to him – his grave.

DSC04631Unfortunately the Cemetery was closed, but that didn’t stop us from getting in to see Whitman. A conveniently placed and obviously well used hole in the fence allowed us to get to the final resting place of the great writer and bring some closure to the semester. The area in which Whitman and his family are interred is absolutely beautiful.

DSC04635DSC04637

DSC04639DSC04648

It was an emotional moment for many of the students as we took turns reading the last few lines of  Whitman’s ‘Song of Myself’. Reading one of Whitman’s greatest works in a place where he could be truly felt brought some closure to what has been the most challenging and rewarding project I’ve ever participated in.  The Looking for Whitman project was a long journey that led many a student in frustrating circles, searching for some link to Whitman to make his presence more tangible than just some old writer remembered only through his books and honestly I don’t think anyone could phrase it better than Whitman himself:


Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

– Walt Whitman “Song of Myself”



Written by Koharu

June 1st, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Posted in fieldtrip,fieldtrips

Onward and Outward . . . .

without comments

“All goes onward and outward . . . . and nothing collapses”
– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)

Last week’s student conference in Camden brought “Looking for Whitman” to a rousing, poignant close. Four months after the classes involved in the project had ended, students from the University of Mary Washington, Rutgers-Camden, and City Tech gathered together to share their experiences and to meet one another in person. Understandably, students from the University of Novi Sad were not able to make the trip across the Atlantic Ocean to be with us in person.

There was something special about this day that reflected the entire spirit of the project. It was fed, no doubt, by the amazing cadre of students from UMW who boarded a bus at 6am on a Saturday morning to take a five-hour bus ride up to Camden for a conference related to a class that they had taken in the previous semester. Led by faculty members who had devoted intense amounts of energy to the project, these students arrived at Camden at a fever pitch. They weren’t there for a conference; they were there for a revival.

whitmannn

What intensity these students brought with them!! They came into the room wearing Whitmanic beards, clutching their texts, brimming with excitement. And that excitement bolstered us throughout the day.

2010-04-10 11.18.04

UMW students arrive in Camden festooned with Whitman beards, t-shirts, and shoes.

We knew we were very lucky to have this group with us. It can be difficult — particularly at commuter campuses like City Tech and Rutgers — to round up students four months after a class has ended, let along to convince them to take a two-hour trip from NYC or a five-hour trip from Virginia for a student conference–especially at the end of the semester, with finals and senior thesis projects looming. I know that many students wanted to attend but couldn’t because of work or family obligations. Many Rutgers graduate students couldn’t because of concurrently scheduled comprehensive exams.

UMW students felt right at home on the RU campus; here are Sam and Brendan posing with a statue of Walt:

2010-04-10 11.54.31

Sam P. and Brendan B. pose with Walt himself.

 

A Generative Conference
Early on, we decided that this conference would not be presentational, but generative. We wanted the conference to be an active event that embodied the pedagogical imperatives of the project as a whole: students would not just lecture about the work they had done during the Fall 2009 semester, but would also create new work to accompany it. To this end, we handed out FlipCams to all students there and encouraged them to take footage of the day. In the coming days and weeks, I look forward to seeing the posts that will come out of that footage.

Some of the highlights of the day included:

– Small group discussions in which students and faculty members shared their experiences in the project and discussed the Whitman they had found in their project location.

– A viewing, over lunch, of several videos created during the course of the project. These included:

Two Videos from Novi Sad
We watched two videos from students at the University of Novi Sad that deserve special mention. As Professor Karbiener noted, many Whitman poems have not yet been translated into Serbian. In her class, Prof. Karbiener chose to concentrate on the Calamus section of Leaves of Grass, which contains some of Whitman’s most sexual poems. This was a brave choice, given Whitman’s sexuality and a Serbian culture that is not always understanding of gay rights.

Even braver and more inspiring, Prof. Karbiener’s students chose to translate some of Whitman’s most openly sexual verse into Serbian for the first time. Here are two deeply moving films depicting readings and interpretations of those verses:

 

“to a stranger (Calamus 22)”


This film from Indira at the University of Novi Sad feels like a mashup of Godard, neorealist Italian film, and Whitman. It’s a stunning piece of work that gets to the heart of Whitman’s democratic vision by putting his most open words in the mouths of ordinary Serbian citizens as they go about their daily lives.

 

“Walt Whitman, Calamus 9

A powerful meditation on and translation of Whitman’s poem from Elma at the University of Novi Sad

 

Wonderful Videos From Other Campuses:

In Search of Wendall Slickman

A rollicking twenty-minute rock ‘n roll mockumentary by Sam P. of UMW about a figure named “Wendall Slickman,” a hybrid figure of Walt Whitman and Elvis Presley

 

Whitman, Commercialism, and the Digital Age. Will Whitman Survive?


Virginia S. of UMW created this beautiful cinepoem marked by a moving reading of Leaves of Grass playing over video footage of traveled roads, sweeping waves, and setting suns.

 

City of Ships

A moving cinepoem that takes us through Whitman’s Camden and Philadelphia by Rutgers-Camden student Tara Wood. This video was highlighted in an article about the Looking for Whitman project.

 

City Tech students bring us Whitman’s New York by finding his presence in two busy hubs of the city Whitman loved:

Ermir finds Whitman In Times Square:

And Fabricio finds him in Grand Central:

 

To be sure, these videos are just a sample of the amazing student work completed during the Fall 2009 semester. In the coming weeks and months, the Looking for Whitman team will continue to unearth and organize riches from the project. Stay tuned, and thanks so much to all students involved in the project for their good work!

 

A Trip to Mickle Street
At mid-afternoon, we hopped on a bus and rode a few blocks to visit Whitman’s House on Mickle Street — the only house he ever owned, and the house in which he spent the last eight years of his life. (During the course of our own project, Prof. Hoffman’s class wrote scripts for the Visitor’s Center that will soon be built at the site).

2010-04-10 16.08.29

Students gather in the backyard of the Whitman house after a tour.

I’ll let the students who were visiting the house for the first time speak about this experience, but I’ll just say that it was wonderful to observe the awe with which these students approached the house.

Many thanks to Leo Blake, curator of the House, and his volunteer staff for a wonderful tour.

 

Whitman’s Tomb at Harleigh Cemetery
After our tour of the house, we headed over to Whitman’s gravesite. We arrived to find the front gates shut and locked, even though we arrived a few minutes before closing time. While we tried to figure out what to do, I walked around the the cemetery looking for someone to talk to. Nearby, I found a section of the wrought-iron fence that had been bent open. After I went through, hoping to talk to a representative of the cemetery, I turned to find students and faculty from the project following me through the hole in the fence!

2010-04-10 17.03.04

Entrance to the Harleigh cemetery. Note the closed gate.

Finding no one around, we walked down the road a bit until we arrived at the tomb that Whitman had designed for himself and his family members:

whitman-gravesite-visit

Students and faculty members gather in front of Whitman's tomb. Thanks to Claire Fontaine for the shot.

And then, we read together the closing lines of Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” (video to follow). It was a fitting and beautiful way to end our time together.

 

The Smallest Sprout Shows There is Really No Death
Onward and outward. The project is drawing to a close, of sorts, but I have the sense that it will never end for many of us. Like one of the elastic, limber, ellipsis-trailing lines of Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass, Looking for Whitman will continue to fling its likeness outward; and those of us who were a part of it, or who watched it from afar, will continue to draw from it as we find it under our bootsoles, filtering and fibering the soil in which we grow.

 

Acknowledgments
My deepest thanks to those who supported this project, including:

The NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant Program, offered through the NEH Office of Digital Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services. I am grateful to the NEH and to the Office of Digital Humanities for their support, and I hope that this project can serve as an example for others interested in multi-campus educational projects.

I am also grateful to the colleges represented in this project for the generous support and encouragement that they have given to the participants. In particular, I would like to thank the following people for their support of this project:

    Dr. Bonne August, Provost and Vice President, New York City College of
    Technology, CUNY

    Barbara Burke, Patty Barba, Eleanor Bergonzo, Yasemin Jones from the Grants Office of the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

    Dr. Teresa A. Kennedy, Professor and Chair, Department of English,
    Linguistics, and Communication, University of Mary Washington

    Dr. Nina Mikhalevsky, Acting Provost and Vice President for Strategy and
    Policy, Professor of Philosophy, University of Mary Washington

    Dr. Michael A. Palis, Interim Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Graduate
    School, Rutgers University-Camden

This project would not have been successful without the efforts of its deeply committed faculty members and staff. For their enthusiasm, excitement, energy, and expertise, I would like to thank:

Most of all, I’d like to thank the students who took part in Looking for Whitman. Without your hard work, none of this would have been possible.

 

“Looking for Whitman” has been designated a “We the People” project by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH

wtp

IMLS_Logo_2c

Written by Matthew Gold

April 17th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Onward and Outward . . . .

without comments

“All goes onward and outward . . . . and nothing collapses”
– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)

Last week’s student conference in Camden brought “Looking for Whitman” to a rousing, poignant close. Four months after the classes involved in the project had ended, students from the University of Mary Washington, Rutgers-Camden, and City Tech gathered together to share their experiences and to meet one another in person. Understandably, students from the University of Novi Sad were not able to make the trip across the Atlantic Ocean to be with us in person.

There was something special about this day that reflected the entire spirit of the project. It was fed, no doubt, by the amazing cadre of students from UMW who boarded a bus at 6am on a Saturday morning to take a five-hour bus ride up to Camden for a conference related to a class that they had taken in the previous semester. Led by faculty members who had devoted intense amounts of energy to the project, these students arrived at Camden at a fever pitch. They weren’t there for a conference; they were there for a revival.

whitmannn

What intensity these students brought with them!! They came into the room wearing Whitmanic beards, clutching their texts, brimming with excitement. And that excitement bolstered us throughout the day.

2010-04-10 11.18.04

UMW students arrive in Camden festooned with Whitman beards, t-shirts, and shoes.

We knew we were very lucky to have this group with us. It can be difficult — particularly at commuter campuses like City Tech and Rutgers — to round up students four months after a class has ended, let along to convince them to take a two-hour trip from NYC or a five-hour trip from Virginia for a student conference–especially at the end of the semester, with finals and senior thesis projects looming. I know that many students wanted to attend but couldn’t because of work or family obligations. Many Rutgers graduate students couldn’t because of concurrently scheduled comprehensive exams.

UMW students felt right at home on the RU campus; here are Sam and Brendan posing with a statue of Walt:

2010-04-10 11.54.31

Sam P. and Brendan B. pose with Walt himself.

 

A Generative Conference
Early on, we decided that this conference would not be presentational, but generative. We wanted the conference to be an active event that embodied the pedagogical imperatives of the project as a whole: students would not just lecture about the work they had done during the Fall 2009 semester, but would also create new work to accompany it. To this end, we handed out FlipCams to all students there and encouraged them to take footage of the day. In the coming days and weeks, I look forward to seeing the posts that will come out of that footage.

Some of the highlights of the day included:

– Small group discussions in which students and faculty members shared their experiences in the project and discussed the Whitman they had found in their project location.

– A viewing, over lunch, of several videos created during the course of the project. These included:

Two Videos from Novi Sad
We watched two videos from students at the University of Novi Sad that deserve special mention. As Professor Karbiener noted, many Whitman poems have not yet been translated into Serbian. In her class, Prof. Karbiener chose to concentrate on the Calamus section of Leaves of Grass, which contains some of Whitman’s most sexual poems. This was a brave choice, given Whitman’s sexuality and a Serbian culture that is not always understanding of gay rights.

Even braver and more inspiring, Prof. Karbiener’s students chose to translate some of Whitman’s most openly sexual verse into Serbian for the first time. Here are two deeply moving films depicting readings and interpretations of those verses:

 

“to a stranger (Calamus 22)”


This film from Indira at the University of Novi Sad feels like a mashup of Godard, neorealist Italian film, and Whitman. It’s a stunning piece of work that gets to the heart of Whitman’s democratic vision by putting his most open words in the mouths of ordinary Serbian citizens as they go about their daily lives.

 

“Walt Whitman, Calamus 9

A powerful meditation on and translation of Whitman’s poem from Elma at the University of Novi Sad

 

Wonderful Videos From Other Campuses:

In Search of Wendall Slickman

A rollicking twenty-minute rock ‘n roll mockumentary by Sam P. of UMW about a figure named “Wendall Slickman,” a hybrid figure of Walt Whitman and Elvis Presley

 

Whitman, Commercialism, and the Digital Age. Will Whitman Survive?


Virginia S. of UMW created this beautiful cinepoem marked by a moving reading of Leaves of Grass playing over video footage of traveled roads, sweeping waves, and setting suns.

 

City of Ships

Click here to view the embedded video.


A moving cinepoem that takes us through Whitman’s Camden and Philadelphia by Rutgers-Camden student Tara Wood. This video was highlighted in an article about the Looking for Whitman project.

 

City Tech students bring us Whitman’s New York by finding his presence in two busy hubs of the city Whitman loved:

Ermir finds Whitman In Times Square:

And Fabricio finds him in Grand Central:

 

To be sure, these videos are just a sample of the amazing student work completed during the Fall 2009 semester. In the coming weeks and months, the Looking for Whitman team will continue to unearth and organize riches from the project. Stay tuned, and thanks so much to all students involved in the project for their good work!

 

A Trip to Mickle Street
At mid-afternoon, we hopped on a bus and rode a few blocks to visit Whitman’s House on Mickle Street — the only house he ever owned, and the house in which he spent the last eight years of his life. (During the course of our own project, Prof. Hoffman’s class wrote scripts for the Visitor’s Center that will soon be built at the site).

2010-04-10 16.08.29

Students gather in the backyard of the Whitman house after a tour.

I’ll let the students who were visiting the house for the first time speak about this experience, but I’ll just say that it was wonderful to observe the awe with which these students approached the house.

Many thanks to Leo Blake, curator of the House, and his volunteer staff for a wonderful tour.

 

Whitman’s Tomb at Harleigh Cemetery
After our tour of the house, we headed over to Whitman’s gravesite. We arrived to find the front gates shut and locked, even though we arrived a few minutes before closing time. While we tried to figure out what to do, I walked around the the cemetery looking for someone to talk to. Nearby, I found a section of the wrought-iron fence that had been bent open. After I went through, hoping to talk to a representative of the cemetery, I turned to find students and faculty from the project following me through the hole in the fence!

2010-04-10 17.03.04

Entrance to the Harleigh cemetery. Note the closed gate.

Finding no one around, we walked down the road a bit until we arrived at the tomb that Whitman had designed for himself and his family members:

whitman-gravesite-visit

Students and faculty members gather in front of Whitman's tomb. Thanks to Claire Fontaine for the shot.

And then, we read together the closing lines of Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” (video to follow). It was a fitting and beautiful way to end our time together.

 

The Smallest Sprout Shows There is Really No Death
Onward and outward. The project is drawing to a close, of sorts, but I have the sense that it will never end for many of us. Like one of the elastic, limber, ellipsis-trailing lines of Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass, Looking for Whitman will continue to fling its likeness outward; and those of us who were a part of it, or who watched it from afar, will continue to draw from it as we find it under our bootsoles, filtering and fibering the soil in which we grow.

 

Acknowledgments
My deepest thanks to those who supported this project, including:

The NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant Program, offered through the NEH Office of Digital Humanities in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services. I am grateful to the NEH and to the Office of Digital Humanities for their support, and I hope that this project can serve as an example for others interested in multi-campus educational projects.

I am also grateful to the colleges represented in this project for the generous support and encouragement that they have given to the participants. In particular, I would like to thank the following people for their support of this project:

    Dr. Bonne August, Provost and Vice President, New York City College of
    Technology, CUNY

    Barbara Burke, Patty Barba, Eleanor Bergonzo, Yasemin Jones from the Grants Office of the New York City College of Technology, CUNY.

    Dr. Teresa A. Kennedy, Professor and Chair, Department of English,
    Linguistics, and Communication, University of Mary Washington

    Dr. Nina Mikhalevsky, Acting Provost and Vice President for Strategy and
    Policy, Professor of Philosophy, University of Mary Washington

    Dr. Michael A. Palis, Interim Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Graduate
    School, Rutgers University-Camden

This project would not have been successful without the efforts of its deeply committed faculty members and staff. For their enthusiasm, excitement, energy, and expertise, I would like to thank:

Most of all, I’d like to thank the students who took part in Looking for Whitman. Without your hard work, none of this would have been possible.

 

“Looking for Whitman” has been designated a “We the People” project by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NEH

wtp

IMLS_Logo_2c

Written by Matthew Gold

April 17th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

The most famous resurrection…

without comments

may have belonged to…Walt Whitman. In my dreams. Not kidding either. I got home Friday afternoon and yesterday after having a Guitar Hero/Band Hero marathon with my friends, I drove back to my house in freezing rain and contemplated this class. I remembered that I hadn’t done a post on the field trip to DC which, ironically enough, touched me the most in this class.

Meeting under similar weather conditions to the one today (i.e. cold with rain), I was still super excited to see everything. Even though I am a native Virginian, it takes about four and a half hours to get to Washington, D.C. and thus, I have only explored the city (minus trips to Dulles, traveling through or past, etc) once on a field trip in 7th grade. Sad, I know. So, I was extremely excited and and the whole ride up I was chomping at the bit to finally get out of the car and race around D.C. acting like Mrs. Whitman (Sorry, Brendan ;] ). I think pictures captured my favorite moment…you know, when I started tearing up and had to fight back a break down when his haversack was revealed to us. Even his hair or glasses didn’t have the same effect on my emotions as that old, crumbly leather bag. That bag saw things we can’t even imagine, it sat on the ground, on the ferry, on the wooden boards of hospitals. Who knows the kinds of dangerous, gangrenous bacteria that lived on it because of the hospital trips. Could that bag be the a main reason Whitman’s health declined so much? Would Whitman touch the bag, then touch his eyes, nose, or mouth with the same hand and, in that infinitesimal moment, compromise his wellbeing and health? It fascinates me to think “if only that bag could talk”. I wanted to hug and kiss our Library of Congress guide (her name has left me, I’m sad to say-Laurie Ann?) and just thank her for appreciating our enthusiasm and understanding our rabid adoration for this man who some Americans don’t even know about.

Flash forward ([shoutout] to a really great show!) to last night and my contemplation must have stirred something in Whitman. I had a dream where I sat with Whitman (in his last days, think the photo of him with his caretaker in a shipyard, I think it was) and we talked. I held his hand and told him that he left an imprint on my heart a hundred and half years from when he walked the earth. He told me it was simply coincidence that it all happened. He wanted something great to happen and feels like he achieved it with my experience. I don’t remember much more from that magical dream, but when I woke up I couldn’t believe it. I told my mom and she just frowned and said, “Oh, that’s weird…and kind of creepy,” while paying bills or something. I know no one else will appreciate this except for the people who traveled this Whitmanian journey with me. So there ’tis…I hope I meet him again in dreamland, maybe he’ll tell me he’s choosing Brendan over me, and if he does, I’ll just have to smile and hold his hand.

Written by missvirginia

December 13th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

The most famous resurrection…

without comments

may have belonged to…Walt Whitman. In my dreams. Not kidding either. I got home Friday afternoon and yesterday after having a Guitar Hero/Band Hero marathon with my friends, I drove back to my house in freezing rain and contemplated this class. I remembered that I hadn’t done a post on the field trip to DC which, ironically enough, touched me the most in this class.

Meeting under similar weather conditions to the one today (i.e. cold with rain), I was still super excited to see everything. Even though I am a native Virginian, it takes about four and a half hours to get to Washington, D.C. and thus, I have only explored the city (minus trips to Dulles, traveling through or past, etc) once on a field trip in 7th grade. Sad, I know. So, I was extremely excited and and the whole ride up I was chomping at the bit to finally get out of the car and race around D.C. acting like Mrs. Whitman (Sorry, Brendan ;] ). I think pictures captured my favorite moment…you know, when I started tearing up and had to fight back a break down when his haversack was revealed to us. Even his hair or glasses didn’t have the same effect on my emotions as that old, crumbly leather bag. That bag saw things we can’t even imagine, it sat on the ground, on the ferry, on the wooden boards of hospitals. Who knows the kinds of dangerous, gangrenous bacteria that lived on it because of the hospital trips. Could that bag be the a main reason Whitman’s health declined so much? Would Whitman touch the bag, then touch his eyes, nose, or mouth with the same hand and, in that infinitesimal moment, compromise his wellbeing and health? It fascinates me to think “if only that bag could talk”. I wanted to hug and kiss our Library of Congress guide (her name has left me, I’m sad to say-Laurie Ann?) and just thank her for appreciating our enthusiasm and understanding our rabid adoration for this man who some Americans don’t even know about.

Flash forward ([shoutout] to a really great show!) to last night and my contemplation must have stirred something in Whitman. I had a dream where I sat with Whitman (in his last days, think the photo of him with his caretaker in a shipyard, I think it was) and we talked. I held his hand and told him that he left an imprint on my heart a hundred and half years from when he walked the earth. He told me it was simply coincidence that it all happened. He wanted something great to happen and feels like he achieved it with my experience. I don’t remember much more from that magical dream, but when I woke up I couldn’t believe it. I told my mom and she just frowned and said, “Oh, that’s weird…and kind of creepy,” while paying bills or something. I know no one else will appreciate this except for the people who traveled this Whitmanian journey with me. So there ’tis…I hope I meet him again in dreamland, maybe he’ll tell me he’s choosing Brendan over me, and if he does, I’ll just have to smile and hold his hand.

Written by missvirginia

December 13th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

The most famous resurrection…

without comments

may have belonged to…Walt Whitman. In my dreams. Not kidding either. I got home Friday afternoon and yesterday after having a Guitar Hero/Band Hero marathon with my friends, I drove back to my house in freezing rain and contemplated this class. I remembered that I hadn’t done a post on the field trip to DC which, ironically enough, touched me the most in this class.

Meeting under similar weather conditions to the one today (i.e. cold with rain), I was still super excited to see everything. Even though I am a native Virginian, it takes about four and a half hours to get to Washington, D.C. and thus, I have only explored the city (minus trips to Dulles, traveling through or past, etc) once on a field trip in 7th grade. Sad, I know. So, I was extremely excited and and the whole ride up I was chomping at the bit to finally get out of the car and race around D.C. acting like Mrs. Whitman (Sorry, Brendan ;] ). I think pictures captured my favorite moment…you know, when I started tearing up and had to fight back a break down when his haversack was revealed to us. Even his hair or glasses didn’t have the same effect on my emotions as that old, crumbly leather bag. That bag saw things we can’t even imagine, it sat on the ground, on the ferry, on the wooden boards of hospitals. Who knows the kinds of dangerous, gangrenous bacteria that lived on it because of the hospital trips. Could that bag be the a main reason Whitman’s health declined so much? Would Whitman touch the bag, then touch his eyes, nose, or mouth with the same hand and, in that infinitesimal moment, compromise his wellbeing and health? It fascinates me to think “if only that bag could talk”. I wanted to hug and kiss our Library of Congress guide (her name has left me, I’m sad to say-Laurie Ann?) and just thank her for appreciating our enthusiasm and understanding our rabid adoration for this man who some Americans don’t even know about.

Flash forward ([shoutout] to a really great show!) to last night and my contemplation must have stirred something in Whitman. I had a dream where I sat with Whitman (in his last days, think the photo of him with his caretaker in a shipyard, I think it was) and we talked. I held his hand and told him that he left an imprint on my heart a hundred and half years from when he walked the earth. He told me it was simply coincidence that it all happened. He wanted something great to happen and feels like he achieved it with my experience. I don’t remember much more from that magical dream, but when I woke up I couldn’t believe it. I told my mom and she just frowned and said, “Oh, that’s weird…and kind of creepy,” while paying bills or something. I know no one else will appreciate this except for the people who traveled this Whitmanian journey with me. So there ’tis…I hope I meet him again in dreamland, maybe he’ll tell me he’s choosing Brendan over me, and if he does, I’ll just have to smile and hold his hand.

Written by missvirginia

December 13th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

The most famous resurrection…

without comments

may have belonged to…Walt Whitman. In my dreams. Not kidding either. I got home Friday afternoon and yesterday after having a Guitar Hero/Band Hero marathon with my friends, I drove back to my house in freezing rain and contemplated this class. I remembered that I hadn’t done a post on the field trip to DC which, ironically enough, touched me the most in this class.

Meeting under similar weather conditions to the one today (i.e. cold with rain), I was still super excited to see everything. Even though I am a native Virginian, it takes about four and a half hours to get to Washington, D.C. and thus, I have only explored the city (minus trips to Dulles, traveling through or past, etc) once on a field trip in 7th grade. Sad, I know. So, I was extremely excited and and the whole ride up I was chomping at the bit to finally get out of the car and race around D.C. acting like Mrs. Whitman (Sorry, Brendan ;] ). I think pictures captured my favorite moment…you know, when I started tearing up and had to fight back a break down when his haversack was revealed to us. Even his hair or glasses didn’t have the same effect on my emotions as that old, crumbly leather bag. That bag saw things we can’t even imagine, it sat on the ground, on the ferry, on the wooden boards of hospitals. Who knows the kinds of dangerous, gangrenous bacteria that lived on it because of the hospital trips. Could that bag be the a main reason Whitman’s health declined so much? Would Whitman touch the bag, then touch his eyes, nose, or mouth with the same hand and, in that infinitesimal moment, compromise his wellbeing and health? It fascinates me to think “if only that bag could talk”. I wanted to hug and kiss our Library of Congress guide (her name has left me, I’m sad to say-Laurie Ann?) and just thank her for appreciating our enthusiasm and understanding our rabid adoration for this man who some Americans don’t even know about.

Flash forward ([shoutout] to a really great show!) to last night and my contemplation must have stirred something in Whitman. I had a dream where I sat with Whitman (in his last days, think the photo of him with his caretaker in a shipyard, I think it was) and we talked. I held his hand and told him that he left an imprint on my heart a hundred and half years from when he walked the earth. He told me it was simply coincidence that it all happened. He wanted something great to happen and feels like he achieved it with my experience. I don’t remember much more from that magical dream, but when I woke up I couldn’t believe it. I told my mom and she just frowned and said, “Oh, that’s weird…and kind of creepy,” while paying bills or something. I know no one else will appreciate this except for the people who traveled this Whitmanian journey with me. So there ’tis…I hope I meet him again in dreamland, maybe he’ll tell me he’s choosing Brendan over me, and if he does, I’ll just have to smile and hold his hand.

Written by missvirginia

December 13th, 2009 at 4:27 pm

DC Field Trip

without comments

Since I just realized I never put up the DC field trip post…

The field trip to DC, as I’m sure everyone would agree, was a fantastic experience for all of us. One of the things that I found the most interesting was going to places I’d already been, but wearing my Whitman goggles. A week or two before the field trip I had been in the National Equality March (something I think Whitman would have supported) which started in almost the same place as the tour and took a similar path. It was very interesting to wander those same streets and imagine Whitman wandering the streets while pigs wandered through the mud.

During this class I’ve found myself more and more able to imagine the people of the past as I stand in places with a lot of history. The field trip definitely was one of the reasons that this happened for me. Listening to Kim list to us in detail various differences between Whitman’s time and ours, like the view he had from his office of the Washington monument, transported me back to that time, I felt as if I could see the mud streets and wandering soldiers.

I had  similar reaction to Ford’s Theater. Listening to the presenter speak about the details of Lincoln’s death made me feel as if I had been there. If Peter Doyle was able to describe that night in as much detail as the presenter I can see why Whitman felt like he had been there that night.

I’m trying to upload the video of the Ford’s Theater presentation since some of you mysteriously don’t remember it even though we were all paying attention, but for some reason youtube hates me and won’t upload it. I’ll keep trying and see if I can get it up there.

Written by bcbottle

December 13th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

DC Field Trip

without comments

Since I just realized I never put up the DC field trip post…

The field trip to DC, as I’m sure everyone would agree, was a fantastic experience for all of us. One of the things that I found the most interesting was going to places I’d already been, but wearing my Whitman goggles. A week or two before the field trip I had been in the National Equality March (something I think Whitman would have supported) which started in almost the same place as the tour and took a similar path. It was very interesting to wander those same streets and imagine Whitman wandering the streets while pigs wandered through the mud.

During this class I’ve found myself more and more able to imagine the people of the past as I stand in places with a lot of history. The field trip definitely was one of the reasons that this happened for me. Listening to Kim list to us in detail various differences between Whitman’s time and ours, like the view he had from his office of the Washington monument, transported me back to that time, I felt as if I could see the mud streets and wandering soldiers.

I had  similar reaction to Ford’s Theater. Listening to the presenter speak about the details of Lincoln’s death made me feel as if I had been there. If Peter Doyle was able to describe that night in as much detail as the presenter I can see why Whitman felt like he had been there that night.

I’m trying to upload the video of the Ford’s Theater presentation since some of you mysteriously don’t remember it even though we were all paying attention, but for some reason youtube hates me and won’t upload it. I’ll keep trying and see if I can get it up there.

Written by bcbottle

December 13th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Posted in fieldtrip

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