Writing in an Endangered World is a course title as well as a description of practice–of a group of people reading, thinking, talking, and writing and, for fifteen weeks, working to become more self-aware, interested, engaged, honest, generous, and collaborative.
Our course blog makes visible our practice. The sidebar includes fifteen weeks of student work organized by author, or activity, under Themes, the weekly essays syndicated from the student’s blogs to this Writing in an Endangered World blog appear under Discussion, and direct links to the student course blogs are listed as Blog Contributors.
How did we do? The Writing Portfolios and the projects below offer one answer. In addition, rather than writing learning outcomes for the students in advance, the students worked together at the conclusion of fifteen weeks to articulate what they have learned: the attitudes and habits of mind, knowledge and understanding, as well as skills and competencies that they are taking with them.
Each blog is a portfolio of writing. At the center are eleven essays and a preface (a total of 12,000 words). The portfolios asked students to take ownership of their presence on the web; to express ideas, and integrate their learning, and interests; to use open-source platforms, build projects using digital tools, and create content using portfolios, exhibits, galleries; and to engage with communities beyond the classroom, construct the web, navigate and critically question digital technologies.
Madison Ballou Miss B “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”―Henry David Thoreau
Chelsea Birchmore Mind Flowers Welcome to My Garden
Ethan Chalmers Eyes of the White Mountains We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.”―Henry David Thoreau
Ariel Freedman Feeling the Flood Emotions are Wild. Welcome to the Natural World
Meghan Hayman Coming Out of My Shell “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” -GD
Mickayla Johnson The River is Everywhere“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”―John Muir
Anna LeClere Pieces of the World You have big things. You know big things. But you don’t look into each other’s eyes, and you are hungry for quietness.”―Nell (1994)
Roy Martin Life Lessons Within Environmentalism A collection of thoughts, questions and speculations
Alexa Reichardt A Time for Tree Pausing our daily hubbub to sit down, drink tea, and give thanks to our Mother Earth
TJ Snow Snow My thoughts, feelings, and responses to various works and texts
Devon Sacca The Enchanted Forest“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”―John Muir
Lucas Thors The Islander“I thought to live on an island was like living on a boat. Islands intrigue me. You can see the perimeters of your world. It’s a microcosm.”―Jamie Wyeth
Colby Nilsen Wildcat: Overseer of the Mountain “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Writing in the Endangered World Projects
The projects below began with a question: What might you do with what you have learned by reading, thinking, and writing in the course Writing in an Endangered World? Each student was encouraged to make something that would apply what they learned.
It takes action to make a change. Meghan Hayman’s blog Saving Mother Earth is designed to inform the world about our earth’s environmental crisis and raises money for Greenpeace, a nonprofit environmental organization that helps to give the earth a voice.
Anna LeClere and Chelsea Birchmore’s Food for Thought features interviews on people’s relationship to food
Alexa Reichardt has put together a site, Solitude, that seeks ways of the woods, positive change, resilience
Ethan Chalmers EcoConscious Climbing blog explores climbing and environmental ethics, specifically the impact of climbing on the rock and on the experiences of future climbers.
Ariel Freedman has composed “The Adventures of Geo the Rock,” her Illustrated Children’s Book
Roy Martin’s Nature In A Quarter Hour Podcast offers a series of reflections (and an interview) based in the field of environmentalism and it’s literary contributions
Madison Ballou has put together a video called Nature and Children that features conversations about nature with children
Nick DeCarolis’s The Milky Way Sports Club offers sustainable thinking about outdoor recreation and leisure
Devon Sacca’s Ecopoetry anthology includes poems from published poets whose work is preoccupied with the natural world as well as her own poems.
TJ Snow provides an Ecocritical reading of Anime film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind – A Critical Environmentalist Work
Lucas Thors One Planet Campus profiles the Eco-Rep Program at Keene State College and the efforts of students to bring ecological and environmental awareness to campus
Colby Nilsen’s No Such Thing as Empty Space is a response to the work of Gary Snyder in poetry and photography