Attending to being outside--and inside: what difference does it make?
...and how are you dealing w/ the difference? What are the "rules of engagement" for our meetings in these alternative spaces? Please post a comment on the day when you selected our site, describing both what you noticed and how you coped w/ the distractions of being outside (or not)... Do you have any ideas about how to incorporate them into our curriculum?
As a prompt, here's something one of my seniors wrote: Having class outside is not working for me. At first, I was excited to have class outside. I love being outside! I’m realizing now that I should not mix school and outside. Even though we’re physically outside of the classroom, the standards for our performance in discussions haven’t changed. I spent a lot of time on Wednesday in class wondering what the blue jay was squawking about, and what the red tailed hawk was hunting for, and why it got so quiet in the last 15 minutes of class. There were times when I had to look at my hands to keep them from picking at the grass and building log cabins with the twigs on the ground. All the while, I felt guilty for not paying attention the way I am supposed in class. If we’re expecting the same kind of attention to discussion as we do in other classes, then I think we should move inside. If we’re expecting something different from discussion in this class, then I think we need to go over the rules.
So: what are our (implicit) "rules"? How might we make them explicit? How might they evolve over the semester? Let's see....
Th, 9/20 Alex --on the lawn near Rhoads pond
T, 9/25 Sarah C--adirondack chairs outside of English House
Th, 10/4 Hannah --on the Moon Bench
T, 10/9 Zoe --on the fountain, in the Cloisters
Th, 10/11--field trip to Harriton House
T, 10/23 Claire--arbor in Sunken Garden, behind Wyndham
Th, 10/25 geological exploration of campus w/ Prof. Crawford
T, 10/30 Hurricane Sandy
Th, 11/1 Sara L--Taylor E
T, 11/6 Minh--on the lawn behind Carpenter (overlooking Goodhart)
Th, 11/8 Elizabeth--Quita Woodward Room, Thomas
T, 11/13 Rochelle--Quita Woodward Room, Thomas
Th, 11/15 Barbara--Common Room, Erdman
T, 11/20 Shengjia--lawn near Pembroke Arch
T, 11/27 Wanhong--Taylor E
Th, 11/29 Susan--Taylor E
T, 12/4 Maddie--Carpenter Beach
Th, 12/6 Rochelle--Quita Woodward Room, Thomas
T, 12/11 Elizabeth--London Room
Th, 12/13 Final Teach-In--Taylor E