Gould Goes Urban (a New York Story)

April 5, 2011

OVERHEARD AT A BEATLES TRIBUTE CONCERT:  “These guys are good, but they sure play a lot of oldies!”

Hi everyone in Glog-land!  It’s been a while (vacation and all that), but I’m back in the rhythm and aback in classes.  Gould students returned to school last week, and in true Gould fashion, we jumped right into our typical routines and…

…took a road trip.

Seriously, I know that it sounds a little crazy, starting classes and then 2 days later leaving for four days, but hey, this is Gould Academy.  The world is our classroom.  So on Thursday seventeen students and four slightly insane teachers jumped into 2 vans and drove at exactly the speed limit all the way to Westchester County, NY and our luxurious digs on the floor of the Masters School gymnasium.

I know, it sounds really cushy, getting to sleep on a real, prep-school basketball court.  It is.  You should try it. In fact, if you are a Gould student you might be able to try it- we do this trip every year.  For the teachers on the trip it’s a little like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day (except instead of hearing I Got You Babe, we get breakfast every year at the Dobbs Ferry Diner).  But the fun on the trip doesn’t end with our greasy breakfast and our VERY firm mattresses.  There are other cool things that we do on our Big Adventure in the Big Apple.  Here are a few of them from this spring:

  • Eat Junk food: Normally I eat pretty healthy food, but on this trip I make a personal exception and eat like Templeton, the rat from Charlotte’s Web.  We stop at highway rest stops, Wally-World, and anywhere I can get good jelly beans.  I feel ill even writing about it.
  • Visit museums:  We have a take-no-prisoners approach to museums on the NY trip.  Over the past several years we have visited the Metropolitan Museum, the Guggenheim, the MoMA, even Madame Tussaud’s Wax museum.  All great, but nothing tops this year.  We went to New York’s best little museum that no one knows, The Cloisters.  It holds a gorgeous collection of Medieval art, as well as some really, well, interesting tour guides.  We also got (absolutely true here) a PRIVATE director’s tour of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, using my incredible organizational skills, my years of experience forging contacts in the art world, and the fact that that the director’s son works at Gould.
  • Gould Goes Broadway (on and off): The highlight of the trip is the theater experience offered to the students that are crazy enough to get into a van with performing arts teachers (can you say sing-along?).  This year we went to three performances: Billy Elliot, a musical about a boy who wants to dance “ball-y” (by the way, hearing little kids say naughty things is always a crowd pleaser), Rain, which is a Beatles tribute band that dresses up like the Beatles and plays Beatles songs while also talking and acting like The Beatles, but who insist that they aren’t The Beatles (Right, and Elvis is really dead), and Blue Man Group, a performance-art show that features an original song built around hundreds of new names to call your rear-end (your sit-biscuit, your growing-following…).  The shows were great, and the meals in between were even better.
  • Drive around Manhattan in 15-passenger vans:  If life were like a video game then this is where my quarters would go.  Millions of people, all trying to be at the intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street at the same time.  We decided that driving through the middle of Times Square would be a good way for Mr. Penley and Ms Cooper to learn to drive in NY.  If anyone sees them, please tell them that they can come home now.

It’s an exhausting, wonderfully rewarding trip and I encourage anyone interested or connected to the performing arts to sign up for next year’s trip trip.  Do it as soon as possible.  Signing up is easy; just call Mr. McLaughlin any time, day or night.  Write to me and I’ll give you his phone number.  Just keep calling until he answers.

Whatever you do, whether you join us or not, please wear clean shoes if you sleep on our basketball court.



Leave a Reply