I will have the opportunity in March to spend some time with two dozen university students from an urban-east college. Presumably, most will have had little exposure to the rural lifestyle and landscape as they will experience it on their week-long visit to Floyd.
Details are TBA, but it sounds like the original idea is to bring these students, individually and as a group, to some elevated experience of nature and then to guide them to write about that experience in a style that pushes deeper into the senses.I have some knee-jerk misgivings.
I’m not sure how one sends 25 students in mittensÂ outside briefly, with instructions to force a “deep” connection in a strange place (and probably on a chilly-windy March day) and then to come back inside and artificially emote some hurried words onto a page to meet the expectations of the moment.
I’m not saying this can’t be accomplished to some degree, but I do wonder how much any student is likely to return home changed by the experience. They should be changed.
I can agree with your misgivings, Fred. Let’s hope that some miracle occurs; that between you and Mother Nature, these college kids can have a beautiful place to spend sufficient time in to get some sense of what the natural world is about. My hopes and dreams are with you!
Hi Fred – My thought when I read this was that like most education, you are planting seeds. Perhaps there will be one student who takes something away and goes out on their own either in the near future or the far future. Perhaps in another part of their life so far down the road they can’t possibly imagine, they’ll have a similar experience and it will bring back the memory of their time with you. Maybe their new connection to nature is something they will share with others, too. You can’t know, but go ahead and plant the seed, Fred – who knows what will grow.