This class has been different than all the other classes I’ve taken in college. Last week, when I started writing reflections about this semester, they were huge, sprawling, and unfocused. My reflecting transported me all around my memory, and I realized as I wrote that all of my learning from this class happened inside of my head. For me, this semester was characterized by introspection. When my thoughts turned to this final teach-in, I couldn’t figure out how to make my learning interactive. So I didn’t. I decided to read some of my reflections. I end with an invitation for interaction.
Last year at this time, I was recording an album. After we played the same song over, and over, and over, again my friend would say: “Ehhh, we just gotta let it gel.” Sometimes I think school is sort of like recording that album. We do the same thing over, and over, and over again and doesn’t always look good or sound good or feel good until after we let gel. You have to take a break to figure out what still needs working on. It was nice to have a break from reading, discussing, and sitting in chairs this week because it meant that there was time to let things gel. I need more gelling time. I suppose that this is what the future is for. What started gelling for me this week was largely unrelated to what we were doing together. At first, I felt a little guilty for not focusing on class. I don’t anymore.
Before I fell asleep last night, I opened to a random page in book called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I read the whole book a few years ago, and I liked it even though Foer didn’t convince me to go vegetarian. The coolest part of this book is about stories. Foer says that the important thing about food is not the activity of eating, but the stories we tell ourselves and our children about why and what we eat. I agree. What’s the story of your favorite meal?
It was interesting for me to hear Sruthi’s and Ursula Le Guin’s ideas on boundless love. These two things made me think of quotes/stories that were seared into my memory in high school. The first is from an essay that my older sister wrote about bare feet. She wrote: “I don’t know if it’s possible to measure a thing like love, but the two people in this world who I care for most fiercely are my younger brother and sister.”
We planned to have our shared experience with the freshmen on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, they didn’t show up. Instead of going on the geological ramble, Sara, Emma, and I lay on the lawn outside of English House, looked up at the trees, and talked about eating cookies and pizza and Thanksgiving dinner. It was nice. Saturday was a beautiful day. The ground was cold and a little damp, but it didn’t matter because the sun was shining so brightly. Sara noticed the bulbs on the Tulip tree branches; they look like pearls. A hawk flew through the sky. There were three men raking/leaf blowing the leaves off the grass.
For me, A Patriot’s Journal was Williams’s most compelling essay. I’ve been thinking about patriotism this week because I have strong and contradictory sentiments about the current escalating military conflict in Gaza/Israel. The images from this most recent iteration of the war are disturbing--they always have been. As usual, these pictures have prompted me to think about the images we don’t have from this country’s similar military conflict. My country’s war which resulted in European control of this land. This land which I feel so lucky to call my home. This land that I love.
I decided to post the things I wrote in class today.
I finished this just now after reflecting on my pre/post hurricane visit to my sit spot and seeing my family this weekend.
and these leaves
have kissed goodbye.