Great American Eclipse 2017

Thank you so much, students, who have already signed up for Remind and other digital class notifications.  Today would’ve been the first day of school, but the powers that be wisely moved it to the side so that the real show – Total Solar Eclipse! – can take center stage.  I’m looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow, and many of you on today’s Eclipse field trip, to start the academic year!

Diagram of a solar eclipse from a 13th-century illuminated manuscript. The New York Public Library Digital Collections – via BrainPickings

Those of you on the bus today will have hours to be regaled with eclipse myths, like the frogs who swallow the stars, or passages from Annie Dillard’s classic essay on 1979’s offering, or even jam out to Mr. E’s favorite eclipse playlists.

Space.com has the broadest collection, in my opinion:

If you won’t be on our trip, please make an effort on your own to see what Mabel Loomis Todd observed as: “A vast, palpable presence overwhelming the world. The blue sky changes to gray or dull purple, speedily becoming more dusky, and a death-like trance seizes upon everything earthly.”

Grab those special, approved viewers’ glasses and maybe read up on some of the political and cultural impacts of this eclipse in a particularly dramatic moment in American history at The Atlantic.

You should make every effort to live in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, what Emily Dickinson, who saw the eclipse in 1875, immortalized in the lines:

It sounded as if the streets were running —
And then — the streets stood still —
Eclipse was all we could see at the Window
And Awe — was all we could feel.

By and by — the boldest stole out of his Covert
To see if Time was there —
Nature was in her Opal Apron —
Mixing fresher Air.

Happy stargazing!

See you soon.

-Mr. E

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