The HSNY Method
Our aim at HSNY is to give you a direct, firsthand experience of NYC. Trips illuminate classes, just as classes help students to connect with what we see on trips. Our method is comparative. For example, students compare what Thomas Wolfe has written about Calder’s whimsical circus sculptures, with their own view of these works on display at the Whitney Museum. Or they read part of Hart Crane’s famous poem To Brooklyn Bridge in a morning class and then walk across the bridge and into Manhattan that same evening.
Students talk about, think about, write about (and dream about!) NYC and keep a notebook or sketchbook in which they record their impressions. Guides add to our experience, whether they are park rangers describing the American concept of a park as opposed to the European one, or a New York architect talking about the wit of Grand Central Station’s beaux art ornamentation, and students’ listening skills improve. (Don’t worry, if your English is rudimentary, a staff member or student translator-for-a-day will make sure you understand everything.) Every afternoon, students and staff exchange their impressions of what they’ve seen and particularly liked that day, and students begin really to converse in English about their thoughts and feelings, their NYC impressions. Students memorize parts of their own (and other students’!) compositions each day. New York full-immersion… slowly students begin to make the city – and the language – their own.
New York City, its history, its aesthetics, its tour-de-force(s) An intensive introduction to this miraculous city from its 17th century origins to the present — a social, cultural, and intellectual history. Students read everyone from Henry James and John Adams to E.B. White and Paul Goldberger in an attempt to understand what makes this metropolis so unique. The New York School of Poets Students read the New York School of Poets (Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch and James Schulyer) in their zany, experimental attempts to come to terms with NYC. We also read Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and, of course, Whitman, the ur NYC poet, for this class (and it all connects!). NYC and the ContemporaryA New York Itinerary: milestones of modern art in the great NY museums. Course concentrates particularly on paintings and sculptures in the MOMA and the Whitney Museums and puts contemporary art in its historical context. Some parallels with architecture in and around the city.
New York Impressions Students and staff exchange their New York impressions. Each student writes a brief composition (which staff help them to correct and make more idiomatic) about what they liked most that day and why. Then students read their compositions out loud to the rest of the class. Where we are: Trip Prep Students read a wide variety of short passages — art historians & historians, painters & architects – about what we are going to see that day. Students work together in small groups of two or three and help each other to improve their translation skills. THE TRIPS Trips are an essential part of the HSNY experience. From the Skyscraper Museum to Frank Lloyd Wright’s wonderful Guggenheim, from the whimsical Flatiron Building to Central Park, the city’s green piazza… all of New York City is our classroom. Slowly, this great metropolis, and international capital of the contemporary, begins to seem like home. Please see below for our day-by-day HSNY itinerary.