Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Excuse

 This past week I've taken some photos of spring wildflowers but have been too busy to keep up with the blog.  Here's why.  I just finished a marathon.  The marathon was revising an FRC course called Nature Literature in America.  When I met Dr. Joan Parkin, English professor, over a year ago, we got talking about resurrecting this course which was in the FRC catalog but had lain dormant (i. e., not-taught) for over five years.  First, I needed to get hired.  I had retired from public school teaching a year earlier, but still had the itch to be in the classroom.  When I finally joined the Associate Faculty at FRC in the English Department, Joan and I immediately began to talk about how we might like to re-create this course.  We both started gathering essays.  She concentrated on the earliest American nature writing from the colonial days on through the transcendentalists, Emerson and Thoreau, and up through John Muir.  I concentrated on more contemporary works and the shift from purely literary writing to environmental activism.    We rushed the course together at the end of the summer of 2013 in order to be able to teach it in the fall semester.  We co-taught a section on campus, and several of us taught sections in the Incarcerated Students Program. 
With very helpful feedback from our on-campus and incarcerated students as well as a very careful re-reading of the whole course, I believe I've eliminated virtually all the glitches - pagination, formatting errors, and that sort of thing.  Hopefully the cleaned-up version will go to the print shop tomorrow and I'll be offering the course again this summer in the Incarcerated Student Program, then again on campus during the spring 2015 semester.
 You can click on any of these photos for a closer look.  That's my left thumb on the cover.  Then here are a couple of sample pages.  The page shown above includes a couple of fairly recent photos I took in the vicinity of Quincy.  The page shown below includes a drawing of a Great Spotted Bat I made many years ago stemming from a college field trip to the Rockies in New Mexico. 
I'm really looking forward to teaching the course again as the nature writers we've included have inspired many students to do some incredible nature writing themselves.  Now that I've finished the marathon, I will catch up on my blogging.  Spring break begins in a couple of days.  More and more spring wildflowers are appearing, but I already have some nice shots of Henderson's Shooting Star and Death Camus.  I think I'll take a significant photo hike on Saturday with a relatively uncluttered mind.

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