Happy Labor Day

Or Happy Phenomenal Labor Day!

I recently listened to several audiobooks in the car during my travels to work. Their theme was New York History. With the upcoming Labor Day, I have to say that New York has a very long history of “Labor.” In every book I listened to, I couldn’t get over the creative forward-thinking. All carried out with labor. Continue reading

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Instructional Support Checklist

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Photo by Glenn-Carstens-Peters from Unsplash

Do you have readings you’d like to make available to all your students online?

  • E-Reserves – Post electronic copies of course readings for your students. We’ll take care of securing the copyright clearance and uploading the documents. Contact your chief librarian or fill out the e-reserves submission form to get started.
  • E-books and Databases – If you’re looking for easily accessible and low-cost materials for your classes, our ebook collections, and electronic databases are a great resource. Link directly to most books and articles from BlackBoard, Canvas or email.
  • Open Educational Resources – You can use many free resources in your class, including high-quality peer-reviewed textbooks with instructor material. Tell us which commercial textbook you would like to replace, and we will show you what’s available for your discipline. Contact Juliana.terciotti-magro@touro.edu

Continue reading

New Library Staff Profile

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Where were you born?

I was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived in Williamsburg for the first 16 years of my life.

Where else have you lived?

Besides Brooklyn, I have lived on Long Island. I currently reside in a village home to a (moderately famous) prognosticating groundhog and one of the last cooperative farms on Nassau County.

Continue reading

The Road to Machu Picchu

My love for hiking was instilled in me as a child in the Austrian woods where I hiked with my parents on the weekends, searching for mushrooms which we then prepared with eggs for dinner.  Nowadays, I do go hiking whenever possible and if it’s not possible then I “hike” the streets of New York City over the weekend–covering sometimes 10 miles or more. This means also taking advantage of the city parks.

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Alpacas are bred for their fiber; they also make adorable pets

But this time was different. I planned to trek the Inca trail that ends up directly to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel built in the 15th century by the Incas and discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911 with the help of a local boy.  See for more history here.   Continue reading

Library tip of the week becomes contagious at Touro Libraries

During this year’s annual Touro College Library Staff Meeting, Brandon Harrington, the Library Assistant from Starrett City, presented to the group a new initiative being done at their library, a Library Tip of the Week. During Brandon’s discussion and presentation of this to all of the Touro College Library staff in attendance, something caught hold with the Librarians (Joan Wagner, Annette Carr & Heather Hilton) and Library Assistant (Kelly Tenny) over at the Touro School of Health Sciences Library. Soon after that, it was decided that the initiative would be continued at the Bay Shore campus. Continue reading

A Day to Celebrate Library Assistants & Support Staff

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Touro Library Assistants, outside the entrance to the Medical Research Library of Brooklyn at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center. From left to right: Merita Verteniku, Sarah Nakar, Brandon Harrington, Ziva Romano, & Nino Rtskhiladze.

National Library Week is a time to appreciate libraries and to celebrate those who make them vibrant and welcoming community centers – library workers! A few of our own library assistants (above) had the opportunity to attend this year’s 21st Annual Library Assistants Day Celebration, sponsored by the METRO New York Library Council. Continue reading

An Evening with Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress

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Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress and Donneer Missouri, Scholarly Communication Librarian at Touro College.

Last evening, I had the great pleasure and privilege of attending an engagement entitled, “In Conversation: Dr. Carla Hayden + Tracy K. Smith”, held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The talk which was moderated by Kevin Young, the current director of the Schomburg Center, featured Dr. Hayden, the 14th Librarian of Congress, and Tracy K. Smith, the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States, who was appointed by Dr. Hayden in 2017. This was a great way to wind down National Poetry Month while tying it into the work that we do as librarians. Continue reading

Touro Faculty Poet Series–Part IV

We end our Faculty Poet blog series for this year with Professor Baruch November. Professor November has an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught courses in Shakespeare, poetry, and writing at Touro College in Manhattan for more than a decade. His poems and short fiction have been featured in Paterson Literary Review, Lumina, New Myths, The Forward, Jewish Journal, Poetica, and Jewish Literary Journal, and his collection of poems entitled Dry Nectars of Plenty co-won BigCityLit’s chapbook contest in 2003. His newly released full-length collection of poetry is entitled Bar Mitzvah Dreams on which he gave an interview recently.

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Cover of Bar Mitzvah Dreams by Baruch November

 

What prompted you to write poetry?

My mother says I wrote a poem as early as first grade about a chicken or turkey. I have no idea what prompted that, but I wish I still had the poem because it is not easy to write a poem about a chicken or turkey. However, I didn’t start writing poetry seriously until college where I took creative writing classes with teachers who encouraged me to take my writing seriously. They made me feel like I had a talent for writing that was worth pursuing. This was a different feeling than succeeding in other types of classes because it felt like I was creating something, instead of responding to class materials. It made me feel like what we were doing in those classes was unique and individualistic, rather than conforming to the concepts experts had written in a textbook.

In what form/style do you compose your poems?

My poems are written in free verse. I need the freedom. I never write in form. I am not attracted to form but someday I might be. Now, I really don’t even read poems in form anymore, except Shakespeare’s sonnets. Furthermore, I feel like my poems tell a story or share an idea. When I was younger, I explored language more. Now, I am more interested in telling a story and sharing something meaningful. However, the effective and creative use of language is still integral to my poetry– I just feel like it has to be the delivery system for powerful ideas or narratives.

What is the role of poetry in your teaching? Or how do you think poetry has an impact on students and their learning?

Well, since I teach both Introduction to Poetry and Shakespeare, poetry has a major impact on my students. I love interpreting poetry with students. It is always interesting to hear their analysis of a poem, even if I don’t agree with it. I think the close analysis of a poem– done word by word– helps students think more carefully about their own word choices and the ideas they are sharing in their writing. I hope it makes them realize the value of each written word.

Because of the nature of the poetry in my courses, it also allows me to delve into major philosophical questions about death, genocide, and how we treat our fellow man, among other things. Death and genocide are pretty grim, but I think in order to really understand the value of life such things need to be faced, and poetry is an arena for bringing up such matters, because, as Wallace Stevens explained, the job of poetry is to intensify life. What can be more intense than those topics? I think some students cringe at talking about death, but in order to truly live a meaningful and explored life, we have to delve into all parts of it. Furthermore, I hope those poems about death affect my students in such a way that they find more value in each day they live, knowing death is there lurking in the shadows somewhere in the distant future.

Contributed by Professor Baruch November, Language & Literature, NYSCAS, Touro College.

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Professor November at the 6th Annual Festival of Touro Faculty & Student Poetry Reading on April 16 at Touro’s Main campus (31st Street)

For more information on Professor November’s poems, please go to Touro Scholar.

 

Contributed by Baruch November, professor of Languages and Literature at the New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS) at Touro College.

 

 

Touro Faculty Poet Series — Part III

by Bob Gwaltney - Brenda Coultas
Brenda Coultas by Bob Gwaltney

As we continue with celebrating National Poetry Month, we briefly interviewed professor Brenda Coultas from Touro’s NYSCAS to tell us a bit about herself as a poet. Professor Coultas is the author of The Tatters, a collection of poetry, recently published by Wesleyan University Press. Other books include The Marvelous Bones of Time (2008) and A Handmade Museum (2003) from Coffee House Press.  Her poetry can be found in The Brooklyn RailWitness and the Denver Quarterly.  she is a mentor in the Emerge-Surface-Be program sponsored by The Poetry Project and The Jerome Foundation. Click here to see more of her literary publications.

What prompted you to write poetry?

I fell in love with reading in the first grade and couldn’t stop. Reading gives me great pleasure: novels, poems, short stories, and plays. I read everything even advertising and graffiti. So falling in love lead to the desire to write what I would want to read.

In what form/style do you compose your poems?

I began as a fiction writer but fell under the influence of poets, so my writing is cross-genre; a hybrid of prose and poetry.

What is the role of poetry in your teaching? or how do you think poetry has an impact on students and their learning?

I am interested in the possibility of poetry for locating oneself in time and space, as an inquiry into the natural world, and as a critique of human-made systems. The classroom is a laboratory in which to experiment with prose and poetry: To try out shapes and test beliefs, to create writing structures, to discover or refine—in a supportive environment—the shape and sound of visions and voices. The students’ generating processes might involve looking at an object or event and connecting the hidden strings or the patterns within. I guide my students with prompts and approaches to circle the subject of their gaze again and again from diverse perspectives.

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Professor Coultas reading her poems at the 6th Annual Festival of Touro Faculty & Student Poetry reading on April 16 at the Main Campus (31st Street)

Contributed by Brenda Coultas, professor of Languages and Literature at the New York School of Career and Applied Studies (NYSCAS) at Touro College.