Sunday, June 8, 2008
The Beginning: Boston, Concord and Salem
Hello! I just got back from my first weekend of literary travel and I had an awesome and educational time. I visited Boston, Concord and Salem and saw soo many things! The Boston area is just overflowing with historical and literary importance and all of the places I visited were beautiful and informative.
I took the Chinatown bus into Boston on Friday after school so that I could start fresh on Saturday morning. My friend, Amy, a Math teacher in a Boston charter school, was interested in this project and offered to come along and show me around her turf. On Saturday morning we started the day at WALDEN POND the infamous oasis where Henry David Thoreau conducted his experiment to Simplify! Simplify! Simplify! The pond is absolutely gorgeous. Ironically, they have a GIFT SHOP and only let 1,000 people in a day. What do you think Thoreau would say about that?
When you first walk into the park, there is a reconstruction of the "house" that Thoreau constructed himself in the woods. Even though his parents lived a few miles away, he lived for several months in isolation, pondering man's connection with nature. The descriptions of his home and its location in the woods allowed the Thoreau Society and historians, etc. to perfectly replicate his house.
After you walk about a half mile (I'm estimating) around the lake, you get to the site of Thoreau's house. The base posts are in the ground and you can see how tiny the space was. Next to this is a large Thoreau memorial. Visitors bring rocks of all shapes, sizes and colors here and place them on top of the pile to recognize the work and efforts of Thoreau. Some rocks were professionally engraved while other school children left behind rocks that were painted with neon nail polish. Not exactly natural, but I think Thoreau would appreciate it. Though, based on the information I read, he was a "humorless" man who took things very seriously, so perhaps the electric biue rock would turn him off ;).
The walk around the lake was very relaxing and many different types of people were visiting, swimming and canoeing in the water.
Afterwards, I DID stop by the gift shop to pick up some things for my classroom. I got an American authors poster, a Transcendentalist DVD and also a little paper model kit to reconstruct Thoreau's home. I thought that I could photocopy the blueprints and have my students make the replicas when we study Thoreau and excerpts from "Walden."
The last picture is me, with my Fund for Teachers backpack, writing at a replica of Thoreau's desk. Pretty cool, huh?
Overall, it was a beautiful day and a great experience to visit Walden Pond.