In 2006, students at New York’s Xavier High School were tasked with writing their favorite authors to ask them to visit their school.  Only one author responded: Kurt Vonnegut.  In celebration of his letter – dubbed the “Make Your Soul Grow Letter” – students at Hove Park School in the UK created this brief video:

via The Guardian


UVM has digitized ten of the most frequently accessed historic maps from their Special Collections library.  Browse the collection or search by keyword.

“The collection contains wall maps, city plans, and atlas sheets published between 1830-1890, a period when Burlington became the largest city in Vermont and a center of commerce and industry on Lake Champlain. The earlier maps show the village and rural sections of the town of Burlington, which extended from Lake Champlain on the east to Muddy Brook on the west, and from the Winooski River on the north and the town of Shelburne on the south. Later maps cover the City of Burlington, which was established in 1865 when most of the rural areas were set off to create the town of South Burlington. Maps of the neighboring village of Winooski are also included in the collection.

These maps are especially useful if you are researching the history of a Burlington-area location or topic.  Or to put a time period into perspective.

Interested in using maps for your research but don’t know where to begin?  Check out “Using Maps in Research.”

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You, Reader

I wonder how you are going to feel
when you find out
that I wrote this instead of you,

that it was I who got up early
to sit in the kitchen
and mention with a pen

the rain-soaked windows,
the ivy wall paper,
and the goldfish circling in its bowl.

Go ahead and turn aside,
bite your lip and tear out the page,
but, listen–it was just a matter of time

before one of us happened
to notice the unlit candles
and the clock humming on the wall.

Plus, nothing happened that morning–
a song on the radio,
a car whistling along the road outside–

and I was only thinking
about the shakers of salt and pepper
that were standing side by side on a place mat.

I wondered if they had become friends
after all these years
or if they were still strangers to one another

like you and I
who manage to be known and unknown
to each other at the same time–

me at this table with a bowl of pears,
you leaning in a doorway somewhere
near some blue hydrangeas, reading this.

Billy Collins

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