Monday, June 16, 2008

Teaching in the outdoors (class journal 3)

One needs only to look at the dashboard of my car, the shelves in my apartment or inside the heavy boxes when I move to understand that I must be a hunter gatherer or collector. I have a feather that I've yet to identify on my dashboard, I have coral, rocks, shells, bone, animal track casts strewn about, and it's tough for me to resist the urge to pick wildflowers.

It may sound bad, but some environmentalists have told me that I'm stealing things from nature, but I know that by using my senses and it is always a thrill for me to seek new things in an environment. I think that we miss a lot surrounding us because we fail to really look at things, and by seeking certain colors, objects or textures we open ourselves up to observing a lot more in nature.

Also, by collecting different signs (as I did during my mammalogy class at the Harris Center last semester) you can really get to know an animal that you may never catch an actual glimpse of, like a bobcat, moose or fisher. I think some of the hunter gatherer motif actually involves a bit of adventure, too. It is an adventure to hunt for things, and it is a joy to discover something you've never seen. I felt at ease finding dragonfly enuvae once I found one, I saw them everywhere! I'd never seen something like that, evidence so fresh of emergence, and it was a thrill to me every time.

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