Mid-semester course evals

Anne Dalke's picture

By 5 p.m. on Sun, Oct. 21 (the date of our return), please
post (AS A COMMENT HERE) a mid-semester course evaluation:
* take some time to review all your postings/papers,
reflecting on what's working and what needs working on,
both for you as an individual learner and for the class as a learning community.
* How are you using the class? How do you see others using it, individually and as a group?
* How is this course functioning "ecologically," how might it be more "ecological" in structure and action?
* Are there additional ways you can imagine y/our using the class, to expand our understanding?

Groups:

Comments

sara.gladwin's picture

Further thinking about mid semester evaluation

Something I have been considering on a deeper level with this class in conversation with my other course with Anne (The Rhetoric of Silence) is the ways in which we can all benefit from silence in the class. I think I finally realized after Wednesday’s class that I’ve been feeling very rushed, like maybe part of what we need to do to evaluate our course is not actually talking but more silence, such as more pauses between what we say to really reflect on what we are talking about. I’ve lately been feeling very hurried by class discussion to get to some sort of end conclusion or take-away “nugget”… as though the purpose of class is ultimately to uncover some well packaged meaningful sentence or two of pure knowledge and truth, rather than slowing down to look deeper into the comments we initially make about our experiences and readings. I think I end up feeling like I either missed some crucial nuance about the way someone was stating something or feeling as though there was no room during the class to address some things I felt particularly poignant in a reading. Something that struck me in class and after was that I really wanted to know more about Graham’s opinion of our ecofeminist reading. As the only male in the class, I was wondering if he at all was feeling the “fear and resentment” the author kept naming as the reason Ecofeminism was disregarded, or if he at all in anyway felt attacked by the fault she places on being “androcentric.” I think that if I was a guy, I probably would feel that way but the most important part of this is that I am not male… so I have no idea how I would have felt and really desired to know if being a guy made any difference at all in reading this article. While I recognize this probably could have been something that was up to me to point out because I was the one who wanted to know the answer, I also felt that during the class there was no point during the discussion that I could interject this as relevant- that too often I felt like we were set in a particular track or focus that would not appreciate the interruption of divergent thinking. As a primarily divergent thinker, I think my ability to participate has become an increasingly frustrating experience. More often, I find myself wishing for more time or space (“silence”) to give each contribution the weight/attention it deserves. I think this would allow for things said aloud in class the ability to grow and take hold in our consciousness and more freedom in the course of discussion to focus on each of our individual needs in negotiating the terrain of experience and academic discourse.

 

Something else I wanted to clarify in this post as well is that what I am trying to say is not necessarily in opposition to any of our previous evaluations of this class. This relates back to the essay Anne was telling us in class about academic criticism, which is often seen as a measure of intellectual input. Being able to effectively combat someone’s critique of something else is a way of showing people that you have clearly thought through and intellectually “usurped” their argument. It seems to me that through doing this, the nuances of a particular critique are lost by the “zero-sum” type mentality, meaning that if one critique is right than the rest are wrong. However, what I am suggesting is not in opposition to anything previously assessed about this class, especially the desires different students have expressed for more attention to reading and more attention to personal experiences. I think these things are in no way opposite but overlap in important and distinctive ways… and I think using silence could actually be an interesting tool for uncovering and clarifying the connections between readings and personal experiences.

 

If this is something that interests people I can talk more about it in class or in a response comment because I know “silence as a tool” or “using silence” might actually be really vague if you have not been in the other class I’m referring to which has been looking at forms of silence all semester.

hirakismail's picture

Mid-Semester Evaluations/Thoughts

As an individual learner, what I need to work on is scanning the readings in more detail. I think out of all the parts of class I pay attention to and focus on, this needs more reflection. Our class discussions on the readings really help me outline the readings and reflect further on them. What has worked for me individually so far is the "just write" style of class postings on Thursdays, and then the careful picking through and revising in different ways and lenses on Sundays. Not just doing this activity, but sifting through my classmates' re-evaluations is very eye-opening in the journey of finding words and ways of representation. I think that the class as a whole has benefited from these re-writes as well. As for the site-sits, I would say the open approach to the hour observation activity has also been beneficial. This has allowed for me to test out different ways to think about the site, different angles to see it in, etc. I would agree with srucara that these activites and post-reflections have made this class unique and engaging to be a part of.

   As for my "use" of the class, it has become something I think about whenever I am in conscious contact with the earth and other non-human organisms. I think about Max's post on seeing the spiders on the tree when I am trying to get rid of a stinkbug from my room, and about how torrential and damaging as well as calm and peaceful weather changes can be, both pastoral and destructive, when I hear weather storm reports. I've begun to think about class discussions and posts in reference to my experiences with the earth. I think as a class we do an overall good job of bringing our different experiences in our very different lives to the table when relevant, to help each other understand the text. For me, one of the biggest realizations in this regard was how, when we all read aloud a sentence about our relationship with plants, Professor pointed out how none of us mentioned how we are entirely dependent on plant life, without which none of us could even as much as breathe. Discussions like this are one of the ways the class is "functioning ecologically." Our comments are helping us become more environmentally aware. Perhaps as a class, more of this type of discussion would be useful? Discussion that leads to us realizing how dependent we are on our ecological environments, and how without organisms besides ourselves moving and living within the earth, we could not survive will help us in turn look at the environment with respect. Rather than viewing the "environment" as something we have to "save", what if we examined and discussed, perhaps through class readings, how the environment is something that saves us? This viewpoint would perhaps hit upon the "interdependence" aspect of humans within the rest of the world. The "environment/earth" whatever you want to call it saves us...so we should return the favor? 

sarahj's picture

Going through everything I've

Going through everything I've written, I've thought about how my favorite kind of writing to do for this class is a conscious stream of thought.  My first web event was written in that style as I couldn't of anything that acurately summed up the experience to me.  Now that I reflect upon it I don't think that any of the styles of writing we've looked at could give an accurate description of the experience I was having or a lot of the experiences I've had since then.  I wrote that first web event in a conscious stream of thought because I thought it best reflected the experience as it was occuring.  Many of the writing we've been looking at takes the "I" out of the picture and I don't see why that is necessary because although everything is interconnected, although pushing is always happening, it has only been experienced by me in that particular way in that particular moment.  I am part of a whole of interconnected beings, but I am also "I" and the things I experience should be written with the "I" emphasized.  Pushing is always occuring but it is experienced differently by each party involved and our language should communicate what we experience as being both an individual being and an interconnected one, but mostly as an individual because that's the only way we experience the world.

As for what is and isn't working, I think we need to work on the way we are talking about being ecological.  Being ecological does not mean that we have to be friends with non-human life, specifically plants and I do find that some of the things we've talked about tend to emphasize that.  Its kind of like we tell our freshmen when they're making roommate contracts, they don't have to be friends but they need to learn to live together even if it means that you cannot be in the room at the same time unless you're sleeping.  For much of the class I've been convincing myself that I need to get over my fear of bugs and we've had multiple conversations about how those of us who are uncomfortable with bugs could help themselves or how the class could help us.  Now, I don't think that I do.  The bugs are the roommate that I don't want to live with. 

I think the outside relfections were working for a time, but now I've lost a significant amount of interest.  I like the idea of including more homework like the Thoreauvian walk and the walk we did to the diferent locations around campus.  Taking a trip into a "less ecological" (for lack of a better term) location like the city might be interesting to kind of compare to what we've seen so far.  Other than that I'm not quite sure how to modify the observations because I know that technically speaking no one place is exactly the same each day, but it is really difficult for me to sit once a week in the same spot.  The differences can often be so tiny.  I think it might be more interesting if I were afraid of the location or were in nature and focused on survival.  My senses might be more acute than they are when I'm sitting there at noon doing a watercolor. 

I'm using the class as a challenge to think about something that I wouldn't normally think about.  A lot of the time all I feel like I'm doing is confusing myself, but I know from personal experience that sometimes it is good to get a little lost and confused.  We talked about this concept in the beginning of class and I think that we are doing a good job in that.

As for how we could make the class more ecological, I really don't know.  I'm still not quite sure what being ecological means. 

ekthorp's picture

Mid-Semester Evaluation

When reviewing all of my writing from this semester, I realized some of my favorite writing came from when I’ve either completely changed the format of something I had previously written, or was forced to do something completely different than what I had set out to do. I feel like this class is constantly challenging me to write in new styles and forms, so I’m often pushed into an uncomfortable corner. But that is, of course, the point and is totally beneficial. This feeling forced Sara and I to undertake a big project for just a regular posting, and makes me see in new and different perspectives. When I’m made to do regular writing in challengingly new ways, it makes me reevaluate my views on both nature and language. A lot of the reading has fostered this feeling, as it has all made me think about how I think, both about nature and about how I express myself in general. I really appreciate that.

 

What I also like about this class is how we’ve all gotten to know each other in a pretty short amount of time. Everyone seems dedicated to being completely honest, both in class and online. This in encouraging to me, and makes me feel like we have a very open classroom where people are not afraid to speak about certain issues and disagree with each other every now and then. Additionally, we all seem dedicated to really learning about each other, and our online conversation has really helped foster this sense of community. Everyone’s writing is so good, and it helps me better understand both our readings and our conversations. Learning about other people’s backgrounds and how they express themselves helps me gain a better understanding about their contributions to classroom (classroom? Class-circle) conversations.

 

I’m worried because I feel like I have very little to criticize about this class, so I kind of feel like I’m not being reflective enough. I guess the most challenging part about the class is actually being outside, especially when it is uncomfortable. And this occurs not just when we meet, but when I’m alone and at my spot. I often feel the urge to retreat to the indoors, even though I have reaped nothing by benefits when I’ve just gone outside and reflected. I think it is important that we continue to encourage each other to spend more time in the world we are studying so closely.

 

mturer's picture

mid-semester evaluation

So far, I think I have been using this class as a means to try to understand my place in the environment and to try to connect more with the natural world. After being on a break and having an extended absence from class before this, I have noticed that our discussions in class have changed/improved the way I think about and interact with my environment even though I haven't been able to attend all of our meetings, which is a fantastic effect for this class to be having.
However, looking over my writing, I have been writing like the world contains an exclusive club of "nature" that I am trying to gain entry to but keep failing to meet the requirements. I think this stems from the fact that a lot of  our readings and conversation center around ways to interpret the natural world and almost make it sound like it is a foreign or ancient culture that we have to study from afar. When I am at home, I spend a lot of time in parts of the world that humanity does not often touch and, understandably, I feel closer to my goal then than I do when I am participating in these conversations. I know we can't easily access places like this every day as a class (though I wish we could!), but I think we need to spend more time discussing our place in our environment rather than portraying us as occasional visitors that must conform to its standards. I think the course would function more ecologically if we were to include more field trips (a state forest? a garden? somewhere with animals or marine life?) because I think these experiences would give us new perspectives to add to our discussions. Sometimes I feel like we get stuck discussing the ecosystem we are familiar with on campus or during our weekly site visits which could possibly narrow our idea of what we call "the environment."
I personally want to try to stop struggling in my papers and weekly observations to "connect" and start finding more creative ways to approach my interactions. I want to perhaps experiment with writing out of first person or maybe from the perspective of something other than myself or with recording my observations in other means than just prose writing.

sara.gladwin's picture

midsemester eval

I think for me, I have been more successful and experimental with the papers and Sunday postings, while observations have been more difficult to produce. While one of the reasons for this is because they are due on Thursdays, more often I feel the reason is that I feel pressure to have something interesting to say. I think I need to now work on more creative ways to see a space, such as through art or mediation (something I wanted to try a while back but just keep forgetting to do). Most of the time when I go to my spot I end up talking to different people I see and having a hard time figuring out what to write about.

I struggled to come up with anything that I thought was possibly “negative” or should be re-evaluated in this class because I think a crucial part of this class so far has already been it’s “evaluativeness.” I worry that I am not being critical enough but I really think so far the experience has been one of change and movement, where we have been continuously evaluative/reflective about our class and it’s dynamic (similar in some ways to what I think several people already accurately named “experimentation”). The uncertainty to which we have allowed the physical class meeting place to take on has almost forced us to be aware of structures generally taken for granted about the actually rooms that classes are held in. I think we have had an interesting opportunity to look at the way in which a class can be structured by a physical room and what can be lost/gained by choosing to sit outside instead. I really think we’ve done a good job at trying to address either our struggles or appreciation for being outside. I also like the way that being outside has altered dynamics/relationships between student interactions. I think a classroom with less “walls” and more movement can provide the opportunity for more comfortable interactions between everyone. We can more easily form “critical friendships” (to borrow a term from another student who is not in our class, her serendip name is ishin). Something as simple as sitting on a blanket for fifteen or twenty minutes before class has allowed me to feel closer to some people in the class, who generally will come over and join me.

For me I feel like the ways in which I have been using this class have been very different from everyone else. I have used it both as an interesting cross over from the women in walled communities I’m a part of and also as a “break” from the 360, which can be very consuming. There are ways in which I really enjoy the connections between the courses and ways I also appreciate that this is a different topic entirely- For me, this class has also been a way in which I have been able to explore a topic unfamiliar to me in a really familiar lens- the English major-y lens. I think in that way I’ve been given access to topics like the environment and ecology- topics I tend to lump in with scientific endeavors. I strongly value that as an opportunity for me to expand what I am learning.

However, one of the particularly interesting ways in which I think I’ve been thinking about this class because of the 360 is actually in terms of activism (which, ironically was what we had to post about in my 360 today). We are currently trying to look for ways in which we can bring activism into the 360 course and because my mind is still within that framework, I’ve also been wondering about the relationship between environment and activism. I think it would be very relevant to explore activism both as something we could take part in and as something we can critical about. I think it might be productive to examine how environmental activism is or is not performed in the world and how it is envisioned.  

Smacholdt's picture

Mid-Semester Evaluation

In reviewing my postings thus far for our Ecolit class, I see a lot of things that are working. I’m really enjoying our field observations and the opportunity that they provide for me to explore different varieties of nature writing. It is helpful for me to see what others in the class are writing about for these assignments. Often I will read another student’s posting and learn so much about a topic that I wouldn’t have ever thought about. One thing that frustrates me as a learner in this class is our insistence that there has to be a way to view “nature” from a non-anthropocentric perspective. I definitely think that this is a good goal to strive for, but I feel that we harp on it a lot in class. While I believe that an unbiased view of our environment is a noble goal, I also think that we should make peace with the fact that it is probably impossible to achieve. We are humans with a human viewpoint, and as far as we know there is absolutely no way to change that. I think that our time would be better spent finding ways to make our viewpoint slightly less anthropocentric, rather than trying to eliminate this lens entirely.

I am using this class to learn more about the narrative qualities of nature, as well as to discover how much of what we say and write colors how we think (about nature specifically.) I see others using the class in a similar way.

I think that this course is functioning well ecologically. I am really enjoying having class outside. Initially I was not sure how this would go, but I think that allowing the world outside of English House into our discussions (even if it does include the occasional garbage truck) is a good learning experience. Meeting outside feels less artificial than meeting in a classroom. I also really enjoyed our trip to Harritan House. I think that contextualizing ourselves in the larger environment around us can do nothing but enhance our understanding of the environment that we wish to study.  

r.graham.barrett's picture

Reflection

So far I would say I’m very content with how the class has been proceeding and how my expectations are being met. If I was to categorize how I’ve decided to use the class, it’s to allow myself to explore the linguistical choices people use to describe the environment and their surroundings, as well as what roles they see themselves playing within them. Likewise I also I hope to use the lessons and ideas proposed in the class to evaluate the language used by environmental scientists in their work and determine how exactly they are choosing to describe their academic audience as well as the public. Looking thru the work I have created so far for the class, I managed to conclude one of the things that is working for me is the relatively fluid nature of assignments. Since there generally is not one particular format that assignments are expected to be completed, I’m able to explore a little bit with my writing, and recently I’ve started to experiment more with the assignments and I feel as though my writings for the class have begun to improve. At the same time though I feel as though there is a lot more I could be doing to improve on my work and my general experience in the class. This includes trying to use more of the different variation styles we have learned about in class in the rewrite assignments, but more importantly trying to have more of a presence in our online conversations (i.e. commenting more on people’s postings, making posts that aren’t related to assignments, etc.) as doing so might me make feel more engaged in discussions but also letting me come up with new ways of thinking about assignments and class topics. I find that the constant topic of where class should be held an example of the classes’ ecological nature, as it involves taking into account every class member’s personal preference of temperature and weather conditions, indicating how each individual has adapted to the ecological system of the class. Taking everyone’s preference/adaptability thus generates conversation and compromise for the entire class, thereby letting the class as a whole adapt to the ecological climate individual preferences creates. Another way I feel the class functions in an ecological manner, is how like an ecosystem in nature which is composed of many different aspects so as to not let one particular force dominate it and lead to ecological ruin, every member of the class brings new ideas and concepts to class discussion. In doing so, class discussions bring about new ideas that not everyone would have thought about on their own, thereby generating enough variation so that not one though process dominates discussion but instead keeping the class engaging. If I was to point out one thing about the class discussions that we’ve had up to this point in the semester it’s that most class discussions have focused primarily on the language we use in talking about the environment, namely the English aspect of the course subject. If possible, it would be interesting to see if we could find ways to apply what we have learned in class to talk about contemporary environmental issues present in the world today, as I feel that by doing so would shed some interesting light on modern issues, as well as the readings.

et502's picture

imaginings

Just as a precursor - I went back to the syllabus and re-wrote what I think it means for me:

goal: study methods of representing nature

how:

1. BEING: outside

2. READING: methodologies of language/vocabulary, different modes of literature that represents nature, and ecocriticism 

3. WRITING: and re-writing in the various modes, with the various vocabulary (blog posts = a way of expressing my ecological interests, which may be related to the methods of representing that we study, and thus, may incorporate those methods)

I’m using the class to change the single-story narrative I tend to ascribe to nature-writing, and try to make my own representations more complex and rounded. I’m  becoming more aware of myself when I am outside – whether I am participating, observing, or just sitting. There is something very validating about having permission to situate and re-situate myself in the outdoors.

So what’s working in my papers/posts? The blog posts were working for a while – I was just using the space to be creative and experimental. But recently, I’ve gotten very frustrated trying to do them. I looked back at my Thursday posts, and two of them (the most recent) seem to have become more stream-of-consciousness and less directed. I think that what I did the first time was more useful – I took the raw, loose feelings and expressions and then re-ordered them into more structured forms. I didn’t do this in my post the Thursday before break and because of that, I felt very unresolved. Looking back, I realize I need to give myself more time to interpret and make sense of my own expressions – perhaps by using some of the new forms (rheomode, comic mode, other genres) that we’ve experimented with.

I also want to be more creative in my longer papers. This will mean allocating more time and planning for them, and more time for re-writing.

Another thing that’s working: I really enjoy giving/receiving comments online – I think that I have a stronger incentive to write coherently if I think someone else will be reading it. I’d like to see more continued online discussion.

As a learning community, I’d like to see us be more committed to our actions and less afraid of what other people in the class may thing. For example, I was very hesitant to ask to have class inside a few weeks ago, because I didn’t want to be stigmatized for moving an eco-literature class indoors. But ultimately, I owned my actions. I think if I take on this perspective more, it will change the way I write (less questions, more theories). And if we take on this perspective as a class – while emphasizing respect for differences in the ideas we commit to, our conversations will get much deeper.

Ecological: I think it’s logical that we study ecology outside. That we set up our classroom as outdoors, our sites for writing are outside – because of this, as I said before, the thinking I do in class carries over into my other experiences being outside. For the most part, I am enjoying having class outside. In the next few weeks, it’s going to get colder, but I think that we should challenge ourselves to be uncomfortable – this could be a way of learning. Location has been a huge part of the conversation for me – when I sit down in that circle, I’m ready to look at my peers and start talking. I think we need to re-commit to the values of the class – what our expectations are as individuals, what we will challenge ourselves to do.

I like the idea that we can “act” in ecological ways, but I’m not sure exactly what this means? Could it be us weeding an area of campus? or making nature art (ANDY GOLDSWORTHY!)? 

Srucara's picture

Experimentation

I think this course is a brilliant experiment and over our few weeks together I've come to realize that "experimentation" might be a most perfect word to describe it. I've always had a fascination with experimentation - from trying new things to testing out hypothesis to discovering something new - regardless of what the subject may be. After looking at my previous life experiences as well as my previous works in this course - I see that I am one who easily tires of redundant and similar experiences and instead craves for new forms of expression, new opportunities, and change. This course has allowed me to strengthen and develop this fundamental aspect of myself through experimenting with different ideas and forms. Some of these experiments include integrating images into my literary works such as in my Thoreauvian walk and by using a certain style of writing and then redeveloping it into different modes of writing (list format into Rheomode) to rediscover different aspects of essentially the same experience and to witness different dimensions of literary writing.

I enjoy giving my input into the class based on personal experience and the things I come across my daily life - by sharing images and musicians and stories and websites on serendip as well as my thoughts and ideas in class. This is one of the most richest aspects of the class - the freedom and encouragement of every member to contribute whatever they feel may develop and continue our conversations and discussions while overcoming the general restrictions of time and space in a non-web oriented course. The unique backgrounds that we all have as well as our active involvement in discussion and dedication to the course are the strengths of the course.  I have enjoyed the readings but I wonder if it is possible to experiment here as well and instead of focusing mainly on readings in class, if we could focus on a more experiential basis of thought and supplement it with readings? I felt the Thoreauvian walk activity did a wonderful job of this so more activities such as that I feel would benefit our overall ecological imaginings.

                With respect to our course functioning ecologically, I think our course is doing a fantastic job of this. Our discussions, readings, and conversation have served to certainly open my eyes to different states of "ecological awareness" that I have never before encountered. A good example I think is the "Nature Writing for Women" piece assigned earlier on in the course. This piece really impacted how I viewed spending time in nature and recording my experience. Our experimentation from Scientific Fiction writers to Physicists to Gardeners and Botanists have served well to develop these states of ecological awareness. Of course our one single class is not enough to change the state of the entire planet but certainly with respect to our "ecological" development as a group and individually WILL most certainly affect the entire planet for the better, if only in the most subtle of ways. So with this in mind, I am proud to be in this class and to walk on this journey with all of you - knowing that by the course's end, it's not really the end but rather just the beginning.

froggies315's picture

mid semester eval

1. How are you using this class?

I am using this class to think about how I am/interact in places which are important to me.  This is useful to me because it forces me to make decisions about how I will change and also how I won’t change.  

2. How do I see others using it, individually and as a group?

Collectively we’re using this class to think about how to represent the world.  Our conversations about words, grammar, genre, and college illustrated to me that we’re interested in figuring out better ways to represent the world than our forebears have.  It makes sense that we’re having these types of conversations because they follow logically from the problem presented to us in our syllabus (“the environmental crisis is a crisis of the imagination...”)

3. How is this course functioning “ecologically”

I question the utility of our current approach because I do not see how it is “ecological.”  I do not see how our conversations are “characterized by the interdependence of living organisms in an environment.”  Our readings--and subsequently our conversations--are characterized by our desire to divorce ourselves from all of the bad ways to represent of the world.  For example, Bohm says our words aren’t good enough, Goatley says or grammars aren’t good enough, Meeker says some of our genres aren’t good enough, and Berry says that our schools aren’t good enough.  None of our readings seriously deliberate on interdependence.  

4. How might it be more “ecological” in structure and action?

It is so easy to complain...Maybe something that we can try is to not fall prey to the facility of rejecting the so called bad representations of the world like Bohm, Goatley, and Berry have.  Maybe we can start by trying to see good in the things we don’t like.  October is national anti-bullying month, and the students at the school I visit have made anti-bullying posters.  They see this is as an important step in conflict resolution.  I think they’re right.  

5. Are there additional ways you can imagine using the class, to expand our understanding?

I am stubborn and don’t like it when people tell me to see good in the things I don’t like even though I just said that this is what we should try to do.  I can expand my understanding by doing more of what I say everyone else should do. 

rachelr's picture

From Form to Form

Right now I am really enjoying experimenting with different forms of expression through my weekly site visits and posts. I'm still feeling my way around with the forms to see what feels best (I know there is no "getting it right") so I hope, by the end of the semester, to have quite the collection of different experimentations. I am also enjoying the variety of the readings, the different styles that influence how ecology is framed. I wish, however, that some days we were able to devote more class time to discussing these texts. I feel like if you join a class where the course description details the intent to hold class outside, you need to come in expecting that you will be spending time outside. And outside comes with weather changes, dirt, and bugs. In classes where we spent 45 minutes talking about a fear of bugs I shut down, because I just don't care. I want to talk about the readings, because that is what I joined the class to do. Maybe in class I need to try to learn from how others see nature as I was hoping to learn from the authors we are reading, so that is something for me to work on- finding ways to work through frustrations such as these and to learn. 

In general I don't think we are being very ecological, but I don't know how we would do better. I have trouble reading from a computer screen so I print out all the readings, and as Anne mentioned earlier in the semester, we are even using substantial energy to meet electronically every Sunday (or more often). I use my computer and the Internet to write my web events, to document my site sits, and to comment on others' posts. I really like the use of Serendip, and reading is an unavoidable piece of practically all college courses, especially English classes. I know holding class outside isn't actually making up for this use of resources, but in a way it feels like it is, and I am truly enjoying sitting outside instead of in a classroom at a desk for 3 hours a week. 

To keep expanding my understanding of the dialog of ecology I would like to continue reading works by people like Ursula Le Guin who challenge my notion of what the "voice" of ecology is. I want to keep rewriting through new lenses to see what changes and what stays the same in the transition from form to form. I want to criticize writings that I think fail to convey the sense of urgency of the environmental plight of the earth and appreciate the writings that compel me to think critically about my own actions and their consequences. I am looking forward to the remainder of the journey.

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