I see that they (the administration/grounds) is still taking care of the grass at Perry. In the beginning of the year, the vibrancy chairs were slowly being consumed by the vines in the Perry House garden but they are clean now and left with plenty of space to sit in silence and solidarity. The last few times I've been to my site at Perry I couldn't help but think about the current ambiguity of the House's future. It is strange how, once the students came together, the lawn vines were finally cut back. Would it have been so bad for the vibrancy chairs to be swallowed by the vines? Is it worse that the chairs are free from their plant captors, but left on their own? Its almost like they are symbolic of the culture of Perry House. Either the vibrancy of the house is to be swallowed up and claimed by someone else or it is to be left on its own, there to be looked at but never to be integrated into the whole. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.
As for what I did at my site that day, I marveled at the warm weather (I was there on Tuesday) and I finally stepped through the stone archway. I had been avoiding that all semester because I liked to imagine that there was another world amongst the bramble of the otherside. I sat down on the steps and I sang songs though I'm not quite sure why. It felt right.
For our third Web Event I chose to expand the activity we did in class and answer some of the questions Carolyn Merchant poses. I think that the personal experience is the most valuable experience from which to draw on in an ecological class. The personal experience may not be shared by everyone, but it does highlight how each of our personal narratives is affected by someone else's thereby stressing the importance of interconnection.
Self in Society
“Consider your own family’s history and place in society going back at least to you grandparents’ generation. Were your ancestors native to this country? Are you or your parents first-, second-, or perhaps eighth-generation immigrants? What large events-wars, depressions, revolutions, social movements- shaped their lives? How did your families use the land and relate to nature? Which of their values have you absorbed? Which have you rejected? Think about the people you know and their family connections to the land” (Merchant, 1-2).
Three freshmen from Anne's ESem, Max and I begain our ramble around 10:13am on Sunday morning. I know Max and I didn't discuss planning anything out for the trip and I don't think the freshmen did either.
We started walking toward Taylor Hall from Erdman to start the geological tour, but Max thought that, since we were by her site sit, we should stop by and look at some of the plant life around there. She pointed out the English Ivy and a beech tree and we discussed whether or not we thought this one plant was a weed. Stemming from that last topic, we talked a bit about what we thought weeds were and Max cited the definition that we came up with on our botanical tour that "a weed is something that is not where it is supposed to be and doens't want to leave" (please correct me if that is wrong).
We paused here for a bit longer to discuss what had and what had not been helpful to us in class thus far. The freshmen each cited the amount of writing that is required in their ESem as helpful to improving that skill for them, though they are becoming a bit tired of the repetition. We compared the location of class between our two classes. The ESem holds class in a different location each day and that location is chosen by a different student (the same way we chose whether to be outside or not). We told them about our system and compared the merits and distractions of both strategies. One thing that stood out for me was that, althought the freshmen enjoyed getting to know a new location each day, they di
This week at my site I wasn't quite sure what to do or what to think about. So I decided that I would just play around. I took off my boots and socks and walked around barefoot and played with shadows. Despite being not much of a nature girl, I love feeling the grass and the earth underneath my feet. During the summer I am constantly in my parents' backyard with no shoes on. The earth was cool underneath my feet. It was hard but at the same time it had a comfortable give. I felt cushioned. The hills and valleys hidden in the grass were also a lot easier to sense with barefeet which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I'm opening a thread for these topics so please comment if you have something to add to this discussion. I apologize if one does exist and I just didn't see it.
- I think we should meet in person, meaning that we either should find a time on Tuesday that most people can make or we should simply have class on Wednesday. I think having class on Wednesday would be the easiest option, but if we want to consider moving the class to Tuesday we could start a Doodle. I will not be in a place where I can access internet after I leave campus so the online options for me would be difficult. I also think that discussions would be more productive in person than online. Meeting in-person would allow us all to bounce from person to person more easily than trying to go back and forth in this format. Finally, this class is all about thinking ecologically which means thinking about how we are connected to eachother and the "natural" world around us. I do not think Serendip (or any online forum) promotes that. Blogs simply feel like big walls to me. Or to give you a picture, blogs make me feel the same way that I feel when I'm listening to someone talk, but the head of the person in front of me is completely obscuring my view and no matter how much I move, I still can see the speaker. I know I don't talk a lot in class (I never have. I tend to process more slowly) and the blog does allow me to participate more, but I still do not see it as som
I knew plants. I knew the sun. I knew the wind. My head surrounded by the buzzing of bees. I knew the darkness of the woods at night. I knew the smell of rain. I knew crickets in my bushes during the evening. I knew the sound of snow under my boots during the winter and I knew the crunch of leaves under my shoes in the fall. I knew seasons. Now, all I am familiar with the sound of metal under my shoes. I am comforted by the smell of oxygen that saturates the air. This scent used to fill my nostrils after a race to the hospital when I had an asthma attack. I know that the war changed the way I sensed the world. The war started hundreds if not thousands of years ago, but does the time really matter?
I am old now. I was young when my senses became cold. I had just had my eldest child, who had my grandchild several years ago. It will be my grandchild’s birthday soon. I wish to take my grandchild to experience what I have lost in the only way that we still can. I will take my grandchild to the zoo and then we will return to my house and I will show her the pictures and the papers of what my senses were once familiar with. We will marvel at the beauty in those pictures and we will sit in shocked silence at how precarious life once was.
After class today I found myself thinking more about what it means to be ecological and movement. I do think that to truly realize our interconnected-ness with the natural world around us we need to incorporate more movement into our study. Being still or stationary in nature has its value, but I think movement has more. How often is anything in nature motionless?
The original version of my first Web Event is titled "Blurred Boundaries" because on that walk I felt a significant blurring of boundaries of time and ownership of space. I talk about the lanterns that stand for past, present and future Mawrters, the gateway to the entrance to the Wyndham estate, the pathway between Shipley and Bettwys y Coed and the college property that was mine, but I was not welcome on it unless invited. I would like to attempt to rewrite some of my web paper in a mode that reflects the blurring, so I'm just going to start writing and see what happens...
Now, is then
then is now
There is a wall of dragonflies preventing me from getting to my destination. I'm letting them prevent me.
I have never seen so many dragonflies in one place and I don't like it. It is amusing how I depicted the dragonflies in beautiful jewel colors when I really don't like them at all. Below is my watercolor from my experience.
Original First Paragraph
I’ve never been very good at wandering or walking without any sort of plan. Hence the reason a planned to circle the campus out edges and then explore its inner parts. Of course, like with any sort of plan, it inevitably changed. I began my walk after brunch, around noontime, heading down Erdman Driveway. In this part of campus, the boundaries were very clear, usually marked by sidewalks or beautifully trimmed bushes. After deciding that these boundaries were easily identified, I turned my attention toward my surroundings, marveling at the clear sky with perfect clouds and reading license plates. Eventually my gaze fell upon this little white house right beside the Admissions parking lot. Here began my true saunter and my plan began to fade away. I was able to identify the building as the site of Human Resources and continued through the parking lot to take a look at the next never-before-seen sight. After learning that the gate to Admissions was adorned with lanterns given to the college by the Alumnae Association to celebrate past, present and future Mawrters, I turned the corner onto Yarrow Street and was met with a yet another gateway that presented me with a little bit of a conundrum.