Learning Green, Living Green
Dr. Nels Christensen
"Learning Green, Living Green" focuses on the relationship between learning and land and on how considering that relationship enables us to become better caretakers of our environment. Finding answers to the profound environmental challenges facing local and global communities requires that we as individuals you, me, our neighbors, become ecologically literate. That is, caring for the health of our forests, towns, planet, and selves requires that we learn to read and understand our relationship to the physical landscapes in which we work and play, learn and live. After all, when you track the historical meaning of the word ecology back far enough, you find the Greek root meaning "home". In this class, we'll study what it means to create a rich and deliberately knowing relationship with the places we call home. We will approach this subject from an interdisciplinary perspective that combines the study of literature, creative writing, ecology, and firsthand experience. We will read works of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from a novel about three women coming to understand their respective roles in the natural world, to a compilation of traditional Appalachian folk culture edited by a small group of high school students in Georgia. You too will engage in a range of critical and creative work, including assignments designed to beak down the traditional boundaries of academic and creative writing. One day a week, we will meet in what you've come to expect from a learning space--a classroom--while the other day we'll take our learning outside, into the natural and urban spaces surrounding and composing Albion.