Notes Towards Day 21 (Tues, Nov. 20) : Hunger, Now Spoken...?

Anne Dalke's picture



weather prediction:
48 degrees,  7 mph wind,  10% chance of precipitation, partly cloudy
Shengjia, @ the last moment, moved us to the lawn near Pem Arch (talk about the weather-> your decision?)
next site (next Tuesday) to be selected by Wanhong

I. coursekeeping
* next Tuesday, we will be discussing a classic text, Aldo Leopold's "The Land Ethic"--written before even I was born! (1948). Leopold was a forester, and a Professor of Game Management in the Agricultural Economics Department @ the University of Wisconsin. He also bought 80 acres in the sand country of central Wisconsin, a region that was once-forested, then logged, swept by repeated fires, overgrazed by dairy cows, and left barren; he put his theories to work in the field and eventually wrote his best-selling A Sand County Almanac, which he finished just prior to his death--of a heart attack, @ 61, while battling a wild fire on a neighbor's property.

* no site sit due this week
(though I do expect you to write up the
exploration you are sharing w/ the folks from the other class--and
have enjoyed alex and Barbara's already; I was aghast, however,
that two of you failed to show up for this: this is the very bedrock of
ecological imagining: our interdependent/connection--and responsibility
to one another (your responsibility for their geological education....)

* also no writing conferences this week;
next week I'll see the
Monday afternoon group, plus Shengjia, Barbara and Alex

* I'll talk in a moment about your next writing assignment...

II. but first!
get together w/ your writing partner, to discuss your last revision-->what happened?
did you take one another's advice? what got clearer, less so....? (not always a bad thing, to complexify...)

what'd we learn from this discussion...?

III. a second writing-focused exercise
(w/ a new partner--so: get up and find her!):
I had asked you to bring a print-off of (or computer access to)  all of your site sits so far.

Read over one another's...
and tell each other what you see,
using the language from TTWms that we highlighted last week:
do you note any unspoken hunger in these notes? any deflections?
any desire for love? any caution in expressing love? any impoverishment or restraint?
any desire to control? most importantly: any shift in the course of the semester, in tone or focus?

reporting back: what are we seeing? how is our own work like/different from TTWms??

* this was a warm-up for your next writing assignment, paper # 11, due by 8 p.m. Sun (Nov. 25):
review all your reports on your "site sits" (there should be @ least 8 of these by now, and they should all be listed in your bibliography). Write a 3- pp. paper analyzing the narrative that you have constructed about yourself in this environment. What do you notice about your work, looked @ through the lens of another naturalist like Terry Tempest Williams? You are welcome to use anyone we've read this semester, all the way back to Thoreau--and including your classmates!--as your critical lens for this project).

This is a warm-up for your final portfolio, when you will
be analyzing your Friday papers, & looking for patterns....

IV. turning now to TTWms--I picked several essays for us to focus on last week;
what other essays by her "snagged" you? would you like to talk about?

what about "A Patriot's Journal," p. 97f?

(cf. Shengjia and mtran's postings about national/political victories, &
froggies315: For me, A Patriot’s Journal was Williams’s most compelling essay....Connection to place may be erotic, but it it is not unadulterated....Williams must have strong and contradictory sentiments on home and homeland.  I wish she had grappled with them in her writing. The complexity that accompanies loving this land is scary....I would have liked to know more about what it is to be a patriot. 

cf. also Ursula LeGuin writing in The Left Hand of Darkness about the absurd limits
patriotism, of drawing a boundary around what one loves and hates:

How does one hate a country, or love one?…I lack the trick of it. I know people, I know towns, farms, hills and rivers and rocks, I know how the sun at sunset in autumn falls not on the side of a certain plowland in the hills; but what is the sense of giving a boundary to all that, of giving it a name and ceasing to love where the names ceases to apply? What is the love of one's country; is it hate of one's uncountry? Then it's not a good thing. It it simply self-love?…one mustn't make a virtue of it, or a profession….Insofar as I love life, I love [these] hills…but that sort of love does not have a  boundary-line….



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