Welcome to Learning from Things

...and we're off!...

posted on 26 Aug 2013 19:19 by Elena Pinto Simon

Orientation, Week One…..

We got off to a great start on August 19th when 22 MA students, 2 exchange students (one from the Humboldt University in Germany, one from our sister institution at the RCA in London) joined with entering doctoral students, faculty and staff for the kickoff of BGC orientation to welcome the Entering Class of 2013.


Included in the first week of activities were both practical sessions to hear about how things work at the BGC, sessions with the faculty to discover each faculty member’s personal journey to teach at our center, to a wonderful field trip to Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate in Tarrytown, for a great day out for both new students and faculty. (The images, below, show a group shot, and the students and faculty walking the grounds, and learning about the history of the landscape design for the estate).


First year doctoral student Christine Griffiths thought it was a wonderful trip, and appreciated learning about both the inside and the outside of the complex : the gardens, Christine noted, show the influence of Italian, French and Islamic garden design.


On the practical side: BGC orientation also includes workshops with our Writing Tutor, on BGC style, and workshops with the very helpful BGC Library staff, to jumpstart everyone on how to use our resources. There are also workshops on IT at the BGC, counseling sessions, language classes, info sessions on finding a campus job, pizza parties – all of it to help get everyone as comfortable as possible as soon as possible.
Dean Peter Miller “chaired” the opening session; Chair Jeffrey Collins led the Student Handbook Q and A workshop, and faculty joined in for a New York and BGC classic: bagels, lox and conversations.


By the second day, language classes were also well underway….with classes in French, German and Italian meeting multiple hours each day.

Orientation continues all this week, then we break for Labor Day weekend, and classes start in earnest, on Tuesday morning.

Many wonderful events, symposia, and classes just ahead!

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starting over....

posted on 01 Aug 2013 15:27 by Elena Pinto Simon

Almost time to turn the page, and begin a new cycle at the BGC.
I am reminded of a poem from childhood by Robert Louis Stevenson —

“In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall! “
(Autumn Fires, 1885)

New season, new colors, and, we are about to welcome a new group of first year students, as we start orientation on August 19th.
Welcome to the Entering Class of 2013! Come and join us by the fire….

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touring Hoentschel...

posted on 24 Apr 2013 13:13 by Elena Pinto Simon

BGC alums were treated to a curator-led tour of the Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, the main gallery show that opened last week.


Co-curators Ulrich Leben and Deborah Krohn led a lively discussion and walk-through for former students,
and spoke about both the origin and process for this project and many of the objects researched by the faculty and students. The Hoentschel project started as a class offering and evolved into a Main Gallery exhibit. Students worked on every aspect of the research and planning, including some of the work for the catalogue. The exhibition will be up in our gallery until August 4th.

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edible books.....and more...

posted on 18 Apr 2013 19:14 by Elena Pinto Simon

We celebrated Edible Book Day with typical BGC panache, with a yummy display of “books” designed to be admired, and then eaten, by a supportive, (and hungry) BGC community.


This relatively new tradition for the BGC (our second year of participation) was sponsored, organized and completely run by our wonderful Library staff. And as we did last year, the display was paired with a sale of used books to our community.
In the course of the morning and afternoon, almost everyone found a few moments to vote for their favorites, browse for a book or two (or three), and have a sweet treat.

Sometimes you can have your cake, and eat it, too!


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carrying coca....

posted on 05 Apr 2013 12:19 by Elena Pinto Simon


My colleagues, Nicola Sharratt, BGC and AMNH Postdoctoral Fellow, and Kimon Keramidas, who heads our Digital Media Lab, recently spent time in the collections of the American Museum of Natural History as Dr. Sharratt's class begins work for her upcoming Focus Gallery project, entitled "Carrying Coca".

Dr. Keramidas, who also runs a BLOG for the DML, has made an interesing entry about the group's first
encounter with the coca bags that will make up the main objects for the exhibition.

I thought you might like to read it, here:

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