Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Natural History Museum

Every Sunday for the past few months, ¬†I took some friends of mine from Israel t go see amazing tourist sites in the city. Two Sundays ago, I took them to the Natural History Museum. Now, I know I might get a lot of angry comments if I say, but I have never in life been to the Natural History Museum, so this would be an amazing trip for me as well. Now, being that there was a marathon going on near the museum, it was slightly difficult to get it and we ended up getting to the museum pretty late and we couldn’t go through all the art pieces and natural artifacts that there was. However, we did get to see the North American mammals exhibit, the sea life exhibit and the Dinosaur exhibit. These exhibits were amazing and breath- taking!!!

The North ¬†American mammals looked as though they were real animals who were ready to pounce on you if the glass was not in the way. Also, I didn’t just realized these fake mammals were art, but the setting and the background in each show glass was also art. For example, in the glass of the Cougar Mountain Lion, the mammal was standing majestically on a fake rock overlooking the Grand Canyon. The painting in the background had so much depth and color, that it really looked like the Grand Canyon! It was all just amazing.

In the aquarium-like exhibit, the first thing that crossed my eye was the MASSIVE MASSIVE whale that is hooked to the ceiling of the big hall. The 94 foot long Blue Whale was a huge piece of art in this exhibit. The reason why they place the blue whale in the center of the room overlooking the tourists is because it’s supposed to remind us that this whale is going extinct and we have to keep our responsibilities towards the environment in order to keep a comfortable habitat for the whale to live in. This is an example interpretive art.

The last exhibit we went to was the Dinosaur exhibit, which took up the whole 4th floor. The floor was full of artifacts, bones and…more bones. That exhibit taught me a lot about dinosaurs and their evolution. I learnt that most dinosaur were herbivores and that the Tyrannosaurus Rex did NOT have puny arms.

All in all, the trip was a great experience and I really really hope to go again and see the whole museum!

December 11, 2013   No Comments

The Ballet

Out of all the museums, memorials and shows we have gone to, the ballet was the only experience that I had never gone through before. I have been to art and photography museums before this class and I have been in plenty memorials and Broadway shows (which is closely related to the Opera). Going to a show solely for the dance was a first.

Just like the ballet, I will break down my post in three different parts, each part discussing one of the three ballets that we watched:

In the first ballet, all the dancers where elegant, VERY talented and perfect! The simple setting set the tone of this part of the show. The chandeliers, which is the only piece of scenery that was in the first act (or at least, it was the only scenery that i remember), set the mood of a ballroom for dancers to do what they do best. Every hand gesture and lift of the foot was perfection (Yes, I am using the word perfect again because the dance was EXACTLY that, and nothing else).

The second ballet had a story line, which at first thought would keep me interested. However, because there was no dialogue, it was difficult for me to follow what was going on. Even though I didn’t understand the story, the scenery in this act, including the dancers clothing, was beautiful. The exact opposite of the other act, this act had large walls with painting and desks and chairs and a couch and a piano in the back with dancers with elegant 19th century attire. In addition, the dancers danced a lot softer than the first act with less “crazy” moves.

The best part of the last act was what the dancers were wearing. They used their uniform with one side silver and one side maroon to create patterns and moves that pleases the eye. However, in this part of the ballet, I saw a lot of screw ups. When the dancers jumped to great feats, they didn’t always stick the landing.

To conclude, I would like to point out something that we didn’t point out in class today. When I was using the binoculars, I focused on some of the female dancers’ faces. Some faces were very serious, probably because all they were thinking about was what was the next move that needed to be done. However, some faces had smiles on their faces. But it didn’t seem like natural smiles to me, it seemed artificial–fake. Now to leave you with a question, why do you think they were smiling? Was it real?

November 12, 2013   No Comments

9/11 and Vietnam memorials

Today, we went to the 9/11 memorial and the Vietnam memorial. This is about my 5th time experiencing the 9/11 memorial but it was my first time at the Vietnam memorial. The 9/11 experience was no different than all the others I had experienced, hearing the rushing of the water and trying once again to find out where the endless pits of both waterfalls lead to. This memorial is a lot more moving than the Vietnam memorial.

On the other hand, the Vietnam memorial is much more personnel. One of the letters engraved on the wall was about the letter sent to a soldier from his mom not to do anything stupid and that she prefers her son to be sent home and not a metal of honor (Yes Rachel, I am referencing this too!). Even though this memorial had less people and less security, it was still a beautiful sight to see. The flowers, the fountain (that wasn’t working, but still beautiful) and the wall with engravings and two openings was an astonishing sight. I think it’s not as popular as the 9/11 memorial because, as we said, most people now a days don’t have a connection anymore to the Vietnam War. It’s just history now. 9/11, however, is more recent and more tangible for many families in New York and all over the US.

In conclusion, both memorials should get the respect they deserve, even if one of the events that the memorial is depicting is more recent than the other.

October 31, 2013   No Comments

MUSIC!!

Our group had to think of three (or more) truths about music. The group was me, Allegra, Devin and Nicole. Our truths were:

1. Music brings out emotion

2. Beauty

3. Music can tell a story (also includes history), like the Napoleon example we gave in class

4. Music is timeless. It’s one of the forms of art that was on the Earth since cavemen were here and will continue on forever.

5. Simplistic- Music is so simple and requires almost nothing to create it. For example, a little kid can use any surface as drums or someone can whistle just whistle.

Here is the image from class:

20131017_164906

October 17, 2013   No Comments

Midsummer’s Night Dream

When I heard that we were going to see Midsummer’s Night Dream as in Opera, I was very excited because it’s one of my favorite Shakespearean plays. In addition, I never went to an opera before so I was excited for a new experience, not knowing what to expect. I thought the Opera was going to be the actual story line of the play with outbursts of music in between, like a Broadway show.

After the play, I learnt that the Opera is ALL singing! Now, I am not really complaining because there voices were amazing! At first, I thought they were lip-singing. Also, I loved the fact that they place a small screen in front of you to display the words that the actors/singers were saying. Without it, I would be really lost.

I felt bad for the people sitting next to me because I saw that there screens weren’t working (Prof. Ugoretz, you know what I mean :p)

When I left the theater, I came out knowing that I had a great laugh, a fun time with friends, and a learning experience.

October 17, 2013   No Comments