I took the photos in the header over the last couple of years, and will add some more when I get the chance. They’re partly there because they’re fun to look at, but once you know what they’re pictures of, they get you to think a little, both about the photos and how they connect to the class, and our lives.
(1) New Jersey. I took a bunch of photos in and around Lodi–a couple of the Lodi campus, a strip mall in Wallington. The colorful autumn pictures were all taken in October 2014 on a camping trip to High Point State Park sponsored by Veritas, the Felician College philosophy club. The winter shots of woods and water are of Stokes State Forest in Branchville, New Jersey. (Thanks to my friend Pauline O’Connor for taking one of these.) There are a couple of shots of the Jersey shore: Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, Island Beach State Park. A couple of shots were taken in and around Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, and Montclair in the spring. And the shot of the Columbus monument is from downtown Newark.
(2) New York City. One shot of lower Manhattan from the Hoboken ferry, one of Gramercy Park, and one of Stuyvesant Square (both in the East Village). A bunch of Washington Heights, in the vicinity of the George Washington Bridge and Fort Tryon Park.
(3) Michigan. There are a bunch of low-key shots of the little town of Mason, Michigan–a red barn, a little church, etc.
(4) South Dakota and Nebraska. I took another group of photos in and around Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, which I visited in August 2015 and again in August 2016. Pine Ridge Reservation is home to the Oglala Sioux Indian tribe; it’s one of the poorest places in the United States, plagued by gang violence, alcoholism, and high rates of suicide. The photo taken from inside the car is of Whiteclay, Nebraska, which borders the Reservation. There’s a grain storage barn in Merriman, Nebraska. The photo of the ramshackle houses is within the Reservation (but so was the field of sunflowers). The long dirt road is the driveway of a home on Pine Ridge Reservation–a fairly typical view. The gravestone with the bandannas commemorates the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. The cliff with sunflowers in front of it is off the Reservation, in the Badlands. There’s also a shot of a headstone commemorating World War II veterans in Allen, South Dakota. Make sure to read some of the names.
(5) Israel and Palestine. I took another group of photos in Israel and Palestine, where I spent the summers of 2015, 2016, and 2017. The photos of the medieval-looking religious buildings were taken in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The slum is Deheishe, a Palestinian refugee camp, near Bethlehem. The shot of the horizon with the rising moon is the town of Abu Dis, where I lived. The crowded neighborhood is Silwan, in Jerusalem. The picture of the wall is in the neighborhood of Ras al Amud in East Jerusalem. The barbed wire is Hebron. The seaside city is Haifa. The city seen from a hill and from this side of an olive tree is Nazareth.