Marathoning Miltonians: Four Experiences of Running Boston
Many hours of training, planning and fundraising came to fruition on April 21, Patriots’ Day, for four Miltonians who ran and completed the 2014 Boston Marathon. Math faculty member and boys’ track manager Matt Simonson covered the infamously difficult route in two hours and 44 minutes, placing 534th in a field of more than 35,000. This was his fourth Boston marathon and sixth overall.
“The Boston Marathon is the number one running event in the country in which ordinary amateur runners and elite athletes run the same course together, sharing similar experiences,” says Matt. “It's old-fashioned coming together—a million people cheering for complete strangers. Strangers helping strangers achieve their goals. Nothing is more beautiful than that.”
Crossing the finish line in just under four hours, student Abby Lebovitz (I) ran in memory of Merritt Levitan ’13. Mrs. Levitan and her daughter, Hunter, greeted Abby at the finish. Abby trained and ran the race with her mother, Lisa Lebovitz.
“A lot of people have asked me how I ran it, and I know it's because I ran for something and someone I care about,” says Abby. “Training with my mom was a special thing for us to share, and I couldn't have done it without her. After the race, Tom Brady and Giselle walked by us and waved, and Mrs. Levitan said it was Merritt congratulating me. Merritt will always be present in my life, no matter what I'm doing, and the marathon was a special experience for me to share with her and her family. I know Merritt would do the same, and probably something crazier, for me if she was still with us.”
On Writing and Living: Naomi Shihab Nye is this Spring’s Bingham Reader
With ease, emotion and humor, award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye read a selection of poems—hers and others’—and spoke about the writing process to students in King Theatre on Wednesday. Ms. Nye is this spring’s Bingham Visiting Writer, and she dedicated her first poem, "Shoulders," to the city of Boston and to former faculty member Bill Moore, who was in the audience.
"Sometimes our best poems—the ones that continue to talk to us—sneak up on us. They’re the ones that we weren’t looking for, that we weren’t anticipating," says Ms. Nye. "People often ask, 'What can you do when you are utterly blank?' The two things I tell them are eavesdrop and babysit. If you listen to other people talk, you will hear interesting language that isn’t like your own. If you spend time with little children, you will be refreshed by the majesty of their inquisitive metaphorical wonder."
Matt Bingham Extends His Science Classroom By 2,000 Miles
Science faculty member Matt Bingham is practicing what he preaches, and teaches. Matt is spending two weeks in Greenland with a group of fellow researchers, studying how ocean conditions on the west side of Greenland affect the vast ice sheet covering roughly 80 percent of the country. Milton students are supporting the trip stateside, writing content for the blog documenting the trip and conducting experiments on samples brought back from Greenland.
“The Arctic is warming much faster than the rest of the planet, and this ice sheet is showing evidence of a complicated, or nonlinear, melting process,” says Matt. “[The glacier] is not simply turning from ice into water. Our goal is to understand what is happening during this process.”
With research scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Clark University, Wheaton College and University of Washington, Matt will travel to three sites. The group is focusing its study on the Jakobshavn Glacier, where part of the western side of the ice sheet drains into the ocean. This glacier is the subject of many scientific studies and was featured prominently in the documentary Chasing Ice.
The team will look at the structure of the ice with ground penetrating radar; they will dig snow pits, collecting layers of snow, and drill shallow ice cores. They will send snow and ice samples back to the United States for study, and Milton students will experiment on a set of samples in the fall.
Follow Matt’s adventures on Instagram and on his blog.