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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 2 of Drama Trip to New York

Thursday was our second day in New York, and we really made the most of it. In the morning, we had an appointment for a guided tour of the United Nations Headquarters, which was a very interesting experience. Inspiring in a lot of ways. It made me proud as a teacher of international studies students that my students know about the United Nations Declarations of Human Rights and about the UN's human right's work. The gift shop was also really neat, since it had little gifts and trinkets from tons of different countries, and I enjoyed seeing the vast differences between each country's items.

The girls loved messing with Christian's hair. He is too good of a sport about it. 
In the afternoon, we split up to go sightseeing. I took a small group of students out to lunch at a Greek restaurant and then did some shopping in the garment district. We ended up heading back pretty early, since they were still tired from the day before (and probably stayed up later than they admitted to me). Honestly, this was sort of nice for me, since I hate the cold. They went back to their rooms to nap, and I turned on the heater and cuddled up with my book and read for almost two hours, which was a wonderful feeling, especially since it was a really good book.

Marc actually ended up with a large group of students who wanted to go to Times Square. I think the size of his group had more to do with the students not wanting to spend every minute with their teacher. Haha. They all loved Marc. He kind of has that effect on people.  Apparently, Marc was a very good sport, who put up with an excessive amount of time shopping in Forever 21.

In the evening, we got all dressed up nice and headed out for dinner at John's Pizzeria. This place was a combination of everything I wanted the students to experience. It was packed with people and the hustle and bustle typical of Times Square. The restaurant is in an old cathedral. Despite having been converted into a restaurant, it still has the old world feel and charm, with beautiful staircases, vaulted ceilings, and bright stained glass windows. The food was fantastic. Real....New York... Pizza!  Growing up as the child of a New Yorker, I have always been a pizza snob, and I know real New York pizza. There are a handful of places here in Cali that come close, but each of the three times I have visited New York, I have tasted pizza that really reminds you that you can only get the best pizza in New York.

Marco learns to fold his pizza.

The kids agreed. I overheard several of them saying that it was the best pizza they had ever had. My favorite part was when I heard someone at the other end of the table ask a girl, "Why are you cutting up your pizza?" and she replied, "Well, it is hard to eat by hand." I looked over and realized they were all trying various methods to eat the giant slices. I promptly gave a lesson on how one must fold New York pizza. John's is right across from the theater we were headed to for Phantom of the Opera.

Seeing Phantom of the Opera has been an item on my buried list for a long time, and it was as wonderful as I imagined it would be. In the first 10 minutes of the show, as the minor chords reverberated throughout the theater, and the chandelier swung into its place above our heads, I seriously had goosebumps. It is hard to describe how amazing this show is. The music is so challenging, yet these professional performers just make it sound so easy (although I know it is not). The effects were amazing. I will never understand how they so realistically transform the stage into a lake glittering with candlelight. Ahhh... Theater magic. This was definitely the students' favorite show.

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