Monday, August 31, 2009

Public Schools Embracing Slow Schooling

I was thrilled to read an article in the NY Times yesterday called "Students Get New Reading Assignment: Pick Books You Like" which gives an example of a public school teacher embracing slow schooling. Lorrie McNeill, an English teacher at Jonesborro Middle School in Atlanta, is allowing her students to freely choose the books they read this year and has tossed her required reading list out the window. No more bored kids forcing themselves to read a book they hate and sleeping through a discussion of that book, brain disengaged through the entire process. Instead, the kids in Ms. McNeill's classroom are allowed to read any book they choose, which allows for deep connection with their reading material and builds a life-long love of reading.

I am encouraged by what Ms. McNeill is doing in her classroom and hope that many other teachers follow suit. My experience with my son has been that the more freedom I give him in his reading choice, the more he reads and the more he loves to read. Shouldn't love of reading be what we most want to give our children? An opportunity to engage with a book in a deep way? To lose themselves for hours, ignoring the video games and the TV- so engrossed they would rather read than even play with their friends or eat dinner? A solid foundation built around teaching kids to love reading will allow them to read the classics down the road if they choose to, but the love of reading may be lost forever if you force the classics on them now and they hate the experience.

I suspect, rushing to stuff the classics into kids is just another way to try and get them to perform better on standardized tests, a great formula in theory, but it may not be working. In Ms. McNeill's classroom, her students performed better on standardized tests after a year of free reading choice than the year before when they were not allowed to choose. Her findings supports my thinking that when students are allowed to engage with a book they love, the learning will be of a deeper, more lasting quality. If they love what they are reading, they grasp it better than if they don't. That really is the whole premise of slow schooling. To slow down and experience learning in an intimate way in order to feel a strong connection and sense of engagement with what you are studying.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Homeschooling, Embracing the Slow School Movement

It was three years ago that I took my now 13 year old son out of the public schools and began to homeschool him. As a young child my son loved being read to and spent lots of his free time reading books. Driven by this love, in 3rd grade he embarked on a mission of reading all of the Harry Potter books and was half way through the series when he suddenly refused to read any further. Along with that refusal, he also refused to write or go to school.
His refusal to attend school was done with his entire being and was not to be taken lightly. He claimed that the constant changing of subjects didn't allow him to spend the time we wanted to on each subject. That he would no sooner get involved with math when it was time for reading. I knew after many weeks of forcing him to attend using threats and punishments, that I needed to stop and take notice that school simply wasn't working for him.
I wonder if the way we do public school really works for any kid. Days filled with rote memorization of facts in preparation for tests keeps kids from really getting to know their subject intimately. Teaching to the test allows students to perform well on standardized tests but doesn't allow them to think beyond the tests, to fall in love with what they are learning.
Slow Schooling allows children to study at a gentle pace. To explore subjects deeply and make connections to what they are learning, to learn how to think, not just how to pass tests. Slow Schooling doesn't mean doing school slower by letting the kids fool around all day. Kids are still expected to tackle hard material, it is just the process that is different.
Homeschooling and its ability to take time to learn subjects deeply is a great way to embrace the Slow School Movement. After many years of homeschooling, allowing my son to learn at his pace, freely choosing the books he reads, he now loves to read. It took about a year to undo the damage of school before my son really began to read or write again though. Initially, reading was encouraged with the use of graphic novels and writing was discovered through the use of creating cartoons, and slowly he worked his way up from there. He still hasn't gone back to the Harry Potter series. Kinda like when you eat something that makes you sick and you avoid that food for awhile, I suppose that is why he can't go back to Harry Potter. He was reading that series when the school sickness set in and that distaste may stay with him for awhile. For now, he is working on the books in the picture at the top of this post.

Our Slow Schooling Plans For This Year...

Like many homeschoolers I suppose, my dining room table is where it all starts. Books are stacked, planners lay open, and notebooks are at the ready. But the real learning happens on the family room floor, in the hammock outside, or on the computer in the bedroom. It can't be contained to one room or one building or even one town, it happens in many different places. I have found learning can't be done with just one person either- a mom running herself ragged trying to do it all, but by many folks offering up their expertise. Finally, it can't be done using just one set of materials- textbooks, calculators, or posters of facts to study on the wall. Instead, I feel that deeper connections to knowledge is found using a variety of places, people and things.

We will travel many places this year as we make our way around the city discovering different museums and places of interest. Each week we plan on visiting a different New York City site as we learn about history and art in an experiential way. Look under the category of Slow Schooling on my side bar and click on the embedded link to see the places we plan on visiting this year.
Over the years we have been homeschooling, Ryan has taken an interest in independent bookstores, coffee shops, restaurants and local shops. He enjoys the uniqueness each of these places hold and the shop owners we meet there. I think it is because he finds these people to be free spirited and creative. This year as in the last three, we will be sure to pop into as many of these places of business as possible.
Of course, the one place that most homeschoolers frequent and could not do without is the library. Not only can we find great books to read, but educational DVD's, music CD's great programming, a place to study, and all at a great price.
Ryan will come in contact with many different people as he works on learning to play the guitar, designing video games, rock climbing, studying environmental science and nature. He will be taking a video design class through the local community college and attending a rock climbing class with other kids his age at a local climbing wall. He will learn about sustainable living at a local farm based in the Hudson Valley and study nature at a wilderness school in Connecticut. All of these different people will bring a perspective to their areas of expertise that is infectious and it is wonderful to learn from those who love what they do.
When we lived in the Chicago area, we enjoyed the support and friendship we received from the homeschooling groups we were a part of and look forward to making those same sorts of connections here. We have joined four different homeschooling support organizations in this area and look forward to participating with them throughout the year.
Contact is not just made face to face. The Internet brings the whole world to your doorstep and this year Ryan discovered that he wants to write a 50,000 word novel during National Novel Writing Month. While kids are able to set their own word goal, at age 13 kids can sign up for the adult challenge and Ryan wants to work toward that. The site has many great novel writing resources for kids such as how to develop characters and plot.
I am amazed at all of the resources and things that are available to those who choose to homeschool their children. One book I found really helpful when trying to figure out how to homeschool teens is Homeschooling the Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13-18 Year Old by Cafi Cohen. The book is filled with lots of great suggestions no matter what your homeschooling philosophy may be.
Because my homeschool philosophy is closely aligned with Waldorf methods, I have found the Oak Meadow curriculum to be especially pertinent to my way of thinking. Waldorf methods believe in teaching to the whole child, allowing for free thinking and creativity. We will be using their History, Life Science, and Math curriculums this year.
Because Ryan is more of a visual thinker, I will be also be using the book Harold Jacobs Elementary Algebra for math this year. This book makes the typical left-brained subject of algebra more appealing to those who are right-brained. So far, Ryan is enjoying learning algebra using the methods in this book.
After discovering that one of his good friends is learning Spanish, Ryan decided he wants to learn Spanish this year and after much research, I found a great CD that includes a text, workbook and audio lessons at the middle school level. Ryan does each lesson on the computer and has also switched his video games over so that they are in Spanish.
Finally, the best thing about slow schooling, is that Ryan has lots of control over his education. He has selected much of what he will be studying this year, and because he has chosen and is interested in his subjects, he is more invested in the process. The end result is a deeper connection to knowledge and in essence to life.
For those of you also slow schooling, enjoy the ride!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Drying Clothes Without a Dryer

I seriously think one of the things my family likes best about living where we do now is that we finally have a clothes dryer. It isn't our dryer. It belongs to our landlord who so graciously provided it with the house we are renting. The dryer is well loved by my kids because the lint catcher removes dog hair from their clothes and our family can finally give the appearance of being normal because we don't have our laundry flying from a line in the backyard.

I, on the other hand, dislike how it heats up the house on hot summer days and increases our electric bill, especially when the air will do it for free. How it takes me away from the enjoyment of line drying- being outside, feeling the wind and hearing the birds, clipping my clothes to the line, and the biggest reward of all- the smell of fresh line-dried clothing. I missed all that with the humming of the mechanical dryer going round and round, wasting resources with each spin. I felt disconnected from the natural course of things. Maybe line drying is in my roots. My mother recently made a post about my grandmother line drying her clothing, and that resonated with me, pulling me back to a habit I had adopted and recently given up due to my move.

So, yesterday, despite it being too late in the day to line dry outdoors, and despite not having a line to dry on, I dragged out my drying racks and hung my clothing to dry indoors. It took two racks to dry one load, but today I will do a second and place the racks outside. I look forward to the sun on my face, and the smell of the wind in my clothes once again. A little dog hair on clothing and looking abnormal to the neighbors never hurt anyone.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cleaning up my Blog

Just in case you were wondering...I have been working on cleaning up my sidebar today and moving the bulk of my favorite blogs, books, and links into a post format that can be retrieved by clicking on just a single link on the sidebar. This allows me to have a much clearer sidebar uncluttered with tons and tons of suggested blogs, books, etc... This move has required me to put much of my previous sidebar information in posts which have come across my blog today. Just finished up the bulk of this work so there shouldn't be any more of this kind of thing for awhile.

Nature Resources

Nature Links:

Great Hollow Wilderness School
Two Coyotes Wilderness School
Rain, Snow & Hail Network
Project Feeder Watch
Wilderness Awareness School
Nature Education Programs
Leave No Child Inside
Mighty Acorns

Environmental/Sustainability Resources

Sustainability/Environmental Links:

Chicago Wilderness
Chicago Wilderness Magazine
Environmental Working Group
Mother Earth News
National Wildlife Federation
Safer Pest Control Project

Sustainability/Environmental Books:

The New Village Green: Living Light, Living Local, Living Large
Living Like Ed: A Guide to the Eco-Friendly Life
Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano
Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community
Ecological Literacy: Educating our Children for a Sustainable World

Sustainability/Environmental Blogs:

No Impact Man
Fake Plastic Fish
She Loves Bicycles
Living Cheap and Green
These Days in French Life

Homeschooling/Natural Learning Resources

Natural Learning is about forming connection to knowledge and to learning. Homeschooling allows the process of Natural Learning to unfold as children explore the world experientially and have freedom in what they learn.

Humane Education

Home Education Magazine


In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore

Homeschooling The Teen Years: Your Complete Guide to Successfully Homeschooling the 13-18 Year Old by Cafi Cohen

Place Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities by David Sobel

A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflection on the Gentle Art of Learning

Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self Discovery by David Albert

Teach Your Own by John Holt

Waldorf Education A Family Guide


Blue Skies Urban Farm
The Thinking Mother
Handbook of Nature Study
The Life Without School Community Blog

Walking Everywhere

One of the biggest considerations I made when trying to figure out where to live when we first moved to the NYC area was walkability. I wanted every place I visited within a given week to be within walking distance- coffeeshops, restaurants, grocery stores, library, bookstores, hardware stores, drug stores, post office, public transportation, etc. I didn't want to have to get into the car for anything. Now that I am here, I find that I don't have to walk any more than ten minutes to get to any of the places on my list. It is amazing! I wonder about my car though- how long can it sit without being run before the battery dies? I found a great site for determining the walkability of your town or determining the walkability of a future place you may consider a move to-check out Walk Score.

Cultural Heritage New York City- a list of all the places we are going to visit this year:

American Folk Art Museum
The museum's permanent collection of more than five thousand artworks spans three centuries of visual expression and speaks to a diversity of heritage and shared national experience, individual creativity, and community values.
located on the Upper West Side, Manhattan, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. Located in park-like grounds, the Museum comprises 25 interconnected buildings that house 46 permanent exhibition halls, research laboratories, and its renowned library.
Theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 large professional theaters with 500 seats or more located in the Theatre District, New York (plus one theatre in Lincoln Center) in Manhattan.
Whether you're a tourist or a New York City resident, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge won't be a disappointing experience. From your perch above the East River, you'll see unparalleled views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines.
One of the premier art institutions in the world, its permanent collection includes more than one-and-a-half million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and the art of many other cultures.
Central Park, visited 6/13/09
Central Park is one of the urban wonders of the world, a green oasis in the great concrete, high-rise landscape of New York City. It is so naturally part of the Manhattan environment that many people may not realize it is entirely man-made.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The Museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational and curatorial programming.
Ellis Island, visited 7/4/09
Opened on January 1, 1892, Ellis Island became the nation's premier federal immigration station. In operation until 1954, the station processed over 12 million immigrant steamship passengers. The main building was restored after 30 years of abandonment and opened as a museum on September 10, 1990. Today, over 40 percent of America's population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island.
The Empire State Building is cemented in both New York and U.S. History. Built during the Depression, the building was the center of a competition between Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corp.) and John Jakob Raskob (creator of General Motors) to see who could build the tallest building.
Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum visited 9/07/09
Our visitor experience focuses on the structures, spaces, and artifacts that will tell you stories related to our mission to honor our heroes, educate the public, and inspire our youth. We invite you to discover our collections and exhibitions related to sea, air, space, and life - themes that explore the history of technology - the hardware of those categories - as well as the stories of people behind them - the humanity behind the hardware.
A permanent collection containing more than two million works of art, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, often referred to simply as "the Met," is one of the world's largest art galleries.
Located in midtown Manhattan at Madison Avenue and 36th Street, the Morgan houses one of the world's greatest collections of artistic, literary, and musical works, from ancient times to the medieval and Renaissance periods to the present day.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust honors those who died by celebrating their lives - cherishing the civilization that they built, their achievements and faith, their joys and hopes, and the vibrant Jewish community that is their legacy today.
Museum of Modern Art visited 10/12/09
It has been singularly important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. The museum's collection offers an unparalleled overview of modern and contemporary art.
Museum of the City of New York
Among the city’s major museums, there is only one with the words “New,” “York,” and “City” in its name, and this is precisely what gives the Museum of the City of New York its unique mandate: to explore the past, present, and future of this fascinating and particular place and to celebrate its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. A variety of exhibitions, public programs, and publications all investigate what gives New York City its singular character.
Museum of the Moving Image is an ideal destination for families. In the hands-on interactive exhibition Behind the Screen, children and adults can make animated stop-motion films, add sound effects and music to famous movie scenes, star in a personalized flipbook, watch a classic short film, play video arcade games from the early 1980s, and participate in a workshop to learn how to make films.
Incorporated in 1998, The New York City Police Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the New York City Police Department, the world’s largest and most famous police force. The Museum strives to be an accessible resource for all the communities of the city of New York. Through its exhibitions, collections and educational programming, the Museum illustrates how the policies and culture of the NYPD have evolved over time to meet the changing needs of the City.
The New York City Fire Museum houses one of the nation's most important collections of fire related art and artifacts from the late 18th century to the present. Among its holdings are painted leather buckets, helmets, parade hats and belts, lanterns and tools, pre Civil War hand pumped fire engines, horse drawn vehicles and early motorized apparatus.
The Society is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and public programs, and fostering research that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, its holdings cover four centuries of American history, and include one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, American art and other materials documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York City and State.
New York Public Library
Probably the greatest Beaux-Arts building in America.
The New York Transit Museum, one of the city's leading cultural institutions is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. The Museum explores the development of the greater New York Metropolitan region through the presentations of exhibitions, tours, educational programs, and workshops dealing with the cultural, social, and technological history of public transportation.
More than 300 million people have come to the Music Hall to enjoy stage shows, movies, concerts and special events. There's no place like it to see a show or stage a show. Everything about it is larger than life. Radio City Music Hall is the largest indoor theatre in the world. Its marquee is a full city-block long.
Rockefeller Center
From the soaring views of Top of the Rock to a backstage pass at NBC Studios, every Tour at Rockefeller Center brings you inside and behind-the-scenes of some of the city's most beloved treasures.
Explore exciting NEW exhibits in a dynamic, state-of the art facility that brings technology and creativity together to make learning experiential, entertaining and fun. Located in mid-town Manhattan, SWTL inspires creativity in a high-quality, engaging, and family friendly learning environment.
Statue of Liberty visited 7/4/09
This 122 year old engineering marvel welcomes visitors to tour the museum gallery and enjoy the breathtaking views from the Statue's observation deck.
We tell the stories of 97 Orchard Street. Built on Manhattan's Lower East Side in 1863, this tenement apartment building was home to nearly 7000 working class immigrants.
They faced challenges we understand today: making a new life, working for a better future, starting a family with limited means.
The Cloisters collection comprises approximately five thousand works of art from medieval Europe, dating from about the ninth to the fifteenth century.
The Frick Collection includes some of the best-known paintings by the greatest European artists, major works of sculpture (among them one of the finest groups of small bronzes in the world), superb eighteenth-century French furniture and porcelains, Limoges enamels, Oriental rugs, and other works of remarkable quality.
The Guggenheim Museum, visited 8/8/09
An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum is at once a vital cultural center, an educational institution, and the heart of an international network of museums.
The Whitney Museum houses one of the world's foremost collections of twentieth-century American art. The Permanent Collection of some 12,000 works encompasses paintings, sculptures, multimedia installations, drawings, prints, and photographs—and is still growing.
Times Square, visited 8/8/09
Times Square, sometimes known as the "Crossroads of the World," has achieved the status of an iconic world landmark and has become a symbol of New York City. Times Square is principally defined by its spectaculars, animated, digital advertisements.
United Nations visited 11/2/09
The United Nations is the site of some of the most significant events in recent history, from the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 to the unprecedented Millennium Summit in September 2000 that brought together about 150 heads of State and Government.
World Trade Center
Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers visitors to the World Trade Center site a place where they can connect with people from the September 11th community. Through walking tours, exhibits and programs, the Tribute WTC Visitor Center offers "Person to Person History," linking visitors who want to understand and appreciate these historic events with those who experienced them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Remembering My Brother Erik, November 5th, 1963- August 19th, 2008

I love this picture of my brother Erik because it reminds me of when he was young and enjoyed building forts in the woods, our house, or in the snow. The household forts would be built of boxes or blankets and would stretch through many rooms. Erik didn't enjoy just the construction of the forts, but also the use of them. One time he built an igloo in our backyard and spent the night in it with a friend. Another time he tried to spend the night in a fort constructed in a shed on a piece of property near our home but fear drove him home in the middle of the night.
A life long lover of all sports, Erik could usually be found at a local ball field playing baseball in the summer, football in the fall, or hockey in the winter with a large group of neighborhood guys. Erik was a huge sports fan, enjoying Michigan State football, the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, and of course the Detroit Red Wings. If you tried to call him while he was watching one of his favorite teams on television, he wouldn't answer the phone. This didn't mean he didn't care about you, just that there was a time and place for everything.

And he certainly made plenty of time for family. Whenever we had a family gathering Erik was there, usually organizing some sort of game for all to participate in. I can remember many nights spent with Erik gathered around a table, playing board games or card games like euchre. Other times would find us outdoors playing croquet, badminton, or other lawn games. Fiercely competitive, Erik would usually announce at the beginning of a game that he was going to win, and he usually did. If you ever did beat him, it was usually that much sweeter due to his bluster. Typically much teasing was bantered back and forth until the winner was determined.

In typical Erik fashion, one year Erik arranged a series of old time games like an egg toss, sack race, and a balloon toss for his daughter Cassie's birthday and much fun was had by all. Erik was a fantastic father and encouraged Cassie to participate in sports, starting her in hockey from the time she was a young girl. Cassie was the love of Erik's life and he loved spending time with her. Sadly, Cassie and the rest of us have a huge void in our lives now that Erik is gone. His love of family and enduring smile will live on in our hearts forever.
If you knew my brother, I would love to hear from you!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Jim leaves for his senior year at Indiana University tomorrow morning after a three week visit home. Jim spent most of his summer doing an internship in Florida so it has been nice for Ryan to finally have his big brother around to hang out with over the last few weeks.

Despite their age difference, the boys enjoy each others company a lot and seem to grow closer with each passing year.

While we will all miss Jim over the next few months, I know his departure will especially be felt by Ryan. Neither Mike nor I can be to Ryan what Jim can be--lots of fun like a friend, but also someone to look up to like a parent...a perfect combination!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Homeschooling in New York City

When we first got notice that Mike was going to be working in midtown Manhattan for eighteen months, we wondered if we should uproot the family for such a short period of time, but the idea of homeschooling in NYC and all that it would offer was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Because our time here is short and we would like to experience as much as possible, we have decided to devote one day each week to visiting New York museums and sites, hopefully covering thirty of them over the course of this year.

I am calling this grand plan "Homeschooling NYC" and I have spent the last several days researching all of the places Ryan and I would like to visit and making a list of them. This list is located on my sidebar and I will be making an online journal of our experiences by posting about it on my blog each week. While we have already visited some of the places on the list, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island etc..., we plan on going back in order to learn about them in a more in-depth kind of way. I am looking forward to this part of our homeschooling journey and all that will come our way!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

From Within Outward, Homeschooling NYC

Yesterday the boys and I headed over to the Guggenheim to see the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit called "From Within Outward". The exhibition is being held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the museum which was designed by Wright. Containing scale models and blueprints of his work, the exhibit showcases Wright's design philosophy of creating a building from within, then outward. Wright designed his buildings by first considering how the building was to be used and making sure the interior spaces blended function with aesthetics. He then worked outward to create the exterior space. Prior to this point in time, building design considered exteriors first and interiors last, resulting in unimaginative boxlike rooms within the building. Wright felt, "The solution of every problem is contained within itself." These words of his really struck me later that day as I gazed upon the many gaudy billboards of Times Square.

The hundreds of people filling the square were clearly captivated with the billboards of bright lights in every direction, caught up in a haze similar to what one feels when under the spell of an advertiser. "Be this, do this, buy this" the signs shouted with their lights, focusing on the external parts of ourselves, distracting us from what is within. Remembering Wright's words from earlier in the day, that the solution to every problem is found within, I felt that his wisdom could be useful in how we approach the environmental crisis that we face today. If we could look inside ourselves and see that life isn't about what is outside us, but what is inside. Looking within and focusing on our relationships with others or our love of this planet which provides for us could be part of the solution. Making external choices, and the drain it makes on our resources no longer matter. From within, outward.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I just want to be an urban farmer

Many of my close girlfriends, as they approach fifty, have been wondering what they want to do with the remainder of their lives. They have tended to children and husbands and careers, but now they want to tend to themselves. To accomplish something that will bring a new sense of meaning to their lives. Something just for them. This restlessness my friends feel has slowly seeped into my brain as well and made me wonder about what great project I would like to tackle in the second half of my life. For the last month, I have been pondering this idea. Ideas spinning around and around without any kind of concrete conclusions.

That was until today. As I headed into a local Barnes and Noble, I was drawn to the nature section and subsequently to a book called "Farm City, The Education of an Urban Farmer" by Novella Carpenter. I immediately sat down and as I read the first chapter, I found parts of myself within its pages. It was a reminder to me of who I was and where I wanted to travel to. That I wanted to continue to pursue a sustainable lifestyle, much as I had when living in Chicago, but that I also wanted to figure out a way to expand this desire to others living in an urban setting.

Providing a way for city dwellers to be sustainable was work I thought would be rewarding, but being new to the New York City area, I was unaware of any organization providing this sort of support. As it should happen, just this morning, my husband sent me a link to an environmental organization called The Council on the Environment of NYC (CENYC). The mission statement of CENYC is as follows:

"The Council on the Environment of NYC (CENYC) is a hands-on non-profit which improves New York City’s quality of life through environmental programs that transform communities block by block and empower all New Yorkers to secure a clean and healthy environment for future generations."

CENYC accomplishes its mission by participating in environmental education, encouraging recycling, establishing community gardens, etc... and it is exactly the type of organization I would love to be part of at some point.

It seems my recent move somehow derailed me from my path, but buried beneath all of my recent upheaval, was a desire to continue in much the same way I had orginally set out on many months ago. To find that as I settle into my life here, I settle back into myself.