There is something about September in Saratoga Springs. The ethereal light quality reminds me of Paris in April. Deeply textured, bright yet soft, beautiful. Late summer flowers are blooming, and apples and pears fall heavily from fruit-laden trees. Throngs of tourists quietly start to thin as the racing season comes to a close.
On Friday, Joseph and I went to see The Kennedys in concert at the legendary Caffe Lena. This was a brilliant performance by two fantastic musicians. I was particularly enthralled by Pete Kennedy’s rendition of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on the ukulele. Such musicianship! On Sunday, we decided to take our lovely Maltese dogs for a walk down Broadway during the Final Stretch festival. The streets were brimming with live music and jubilant revelers intoxicated from a particularly exciting racing season – due largely to American Pharaoh’s triple crown win (and subsequent loss to long shot Keen Ice in the Travers). We ran into friends starting a set singing for the Racing City Chorus, and were offered front row seats to a lively a cappella performance. Dixieland tunes drifted from down the street, adding quintessentially American flavor to this delightful event.
The academic term begins in this energizing atmosphere. Though spring is often the time of renewal, that special something about Saratoga brings a quickening, a livening, with the crispness of the air carrying clarity to the mind. Courses opened to students this week. I’m teaching the Advanced Design Seminar for students in the Master of Arts and Learning Technologies program (MALET), which is always engaging. I have an advanced student working on a study in Immersive Virtual Learning, and a dance student in Dance Criticism. I am also serving as thesis supervisor/first reader on five master’s thesis projects, ranging from assessing MOOCs to developing immersive learning environments for digital literacy, English as a Foreign Language, teaching creative arts, and digital storytelling.
In terms of scholarly projects, I’m completing the translation of Philippe Beck’s Poésies didactiques as the publishing deadline approaches. I’ll keep you informed about these advancements, and my upcoming travels in future posts.
In the meantime, I wish you a lovely summer’s end leading to a great start to the fall.