Next Actions: Getting Through the Webs

Barn Beyond Webs

Gak! I have another project. How do people become bored and disengaged? I suppose they don’t live in such metropolitan, progressive, high-cultural places as Floyd. The pity.

So I’m already somehow affiliated to a greater extent that I had initially imagined or intended with the new Blue Mountain High School. I’m not unhappy about that.

I’m realizing how much wind teaching puts into the sails that make us move in directions and at rates we would not move without the propelling and urgent force that moves us so as to avoid making the fool of ourselves in front of an audience–even if the youngest in this case is in the 8th grade.

Short of this (longer version to come) is that among my tasks with this small and varied group of kids, in my adjunct role of writing, photography and nature education, will be to bring them up to speed on the person and character and work of Mr. Wendell Berry. [If you are unfamiliar, check the “related articles” below.] I only learned of this opportunity-slash-responsibility yesterday.

And I am not sorry to have this chance to do my homework towards this purpose. Quite the contrary. The ultimate goal is to have these young minds prepared to receive what Mr. Berry says to the audience that will be assembled on the main floor of the very building where they have class in the basement. That’s coming up in November.

Man, do I have work to do. To get there is to pick my way through the mesh of other threads of obligation, pleasure, and responsibility already on the calendar.

Bored. I’m not sure what you mean.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


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