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May 16 – some scenes from the day

May 17, 2010 am31 12:46 am

Herald Square is eerily quiet at 10:30 on Sunday evening. The beach chairs almost looked appropriate. People were holding conversations. Real conversations as they walked. Without shouting. And a cab didn’t see the light turn green. The limo behind him did. So he leaned on the horn stuck his head out the window and said “let’s go.”

Walking home in the late afternoon, on a street alongside a park, I heard loud music thumping. But it wasn’t new stuff, it was latin jazz, a loud but slightly muted bass line. My feet slipped into time as my eyes scanned for the car with the sound system turned up. Saw the guy at the front of an SUV, but the SUV wasn’t moving. And the guy, guys actually, were kind of middle-aged. Something was off? Yup. Another few steps and I saw where the sound was really coming from: a four piece band on the sidewalk, including a pair of conga drums in Puerto Rican, or were they Cuban? colors.

There’s usually something boring and unoriginal about tattoos. But today on the train, I kept glancing over at the salt shaker a young woman had on her bicep.

I was going to meet some students at the college today. First, 10AM, the library was closed. And no students were there. One had canceled. I sat and looked over grades. It was quiet, except for the mocking bird in the top of the tree near me. He was calling sparrow calls, and black birds, and a bunch of others. I think he did the variable volume car alarm. Chatterbox. Show off. I calculated averages. Two Canada Geese approached. I backed them away. I checked my notes, and found phone numbers for the no shows, and called, and confirmed that no one was coming. I noticed a red tail, swooping slowly close to me, and swinging past the Old Gym. Right, there were no squirrels clicking, none on the ground… the hide when hawks are near… I walked towards the sunken lawn. Quiet and peaceful. Another hawk, this one landed on the corner of the roof of the Concert Hall. A little motion? Yup. Another mocking bird was next to the hawk, decided he was too close, and hopped a bit further. I looked back at the lawn. The fake dogs (to scare the geese) had been removed. A mourning dove cooed behind me. Nope, it was the mocking bird, still next to the hawk. A linden tree looked heavy with seed strips. I saw smaller birds by the old gym, and then I heard a shriek and sensed motion and turned back to see… the hawk sitting still… it was the mockingbird that had tricked me. I laughed at the ridiculous bird, then at myself.

I met an ex-blogger downtown. She was much as I’d imagined. And this was a good thing. Also, she helped me plan a lesson for today, and forced me to start thinking about summer plans… And crafted a secret message that I will bring back for a student.

Earlier in the day I had been mentally planning the same lesson. “Mr. 2718!” I heard and turned. And say hi and half-waved to the student. I could have added “I was just thinking of how to bore you tomorrow.”  (I hate teaching regression)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 17, 2010 am31 10:31 am 10:31 am

    thanks!

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