For the last few days I have been focused on three things: writing a piece on constructivist theory and practice for the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District; falling in love with my new grandbaby, Asher; and moving into a new place and a new state as well as renovating a beloved house in Vermont. Though exhausted, I am thrilled to be in Boston. The second night I was here, Wednesday, the 11th of July, a friend of a friend who is on the board of the Landmark Orchestra, invited me to attend the first in a series of free Wednesday outdoor concerts at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade in downtown Boston. She said I should also attend a cocktail party before with board members and friends on Beacon Street. I thought this all sounded like a fabulous introduction to my new city, so of course, I accepted.
At the cocktail party, which was crowded, I found myself elbow to elbow with Howard Gardner, whom I admire, and coincidentally had been writing paragraphs on in the piece for Maplewood. Any educator would know of the work of Howard Gardner, his theory of multiple intelligences and more recently his book, Five Minds for the Future. We have Reggio Emilia in common and are friends and colleagues with the same people there: Carlina Rinaldi, Amelia Gambetti, Vea Vecchi. Howard Gardner and Project Zero co-authored a book with the educators in Reggio Emilia called Making Learning Visible. It turned out that we had a great conversation about connections and recent experiences in Italy. That was exciting!
From the party, we walked the few blocks to The Esplanade. The concert was all Arron Copland, Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, all the pieces that I love, quintessential American heritage. A chorus that was made up of all 21 Boston neighborhoods sang in full voice. The night was clear with a breeze over the Charles River. We sat on blankets and seats on the ground and ate picnics prepared for this VIP group that somehow I was included in.
Today I look out on the blue lace cap hydrangea through an open window where I have located my laptop. I hear children and families and birds and squirrels. It is early morning in my new neighborhood and peaceful. Lucky and grateful, that is how I feel.