In an age where almost every smartphone can be a video camera and citizen journalism is becoming more relevant to the public discourse, it is even more necessary to teach the theory and technique of effective documentary making so that our students can bring their stories into the greater world in an effective and engaging way.
Another amazing Semester here at Woolman, and the firings (wood & Raku) were, as always, the highlight of Ceramics events. I really love to use the process of Raku firing early in the semester to offer students a hands on experience showing the diversity of the ceramic experience, as well as exposing just how hot and immediate an art process can be. Yes, pulling out a Raku project at red heat, glass surface semi liquid, is an exciting, intimidating & magical experience!
What kind of governance system do we actually have? This was our guiding question for one of the last units of the semester in Global Thinking class. The common narrative of today's society often purports that the US is one of the world's leaders in democracy. In the spirit of critical analysis, students questioned this rhetoric and upon deeper examination discovered that in fact our government is far from a pure democracy.
The second half of Environmental Science kicked off with the Food Intensive in April: a week-long field trip to the Bay Area to study food systems and food justice. We met with Briar Patch Food Co-op, Phat Beets Produce, Acta Non Verba, Food First, Veritable Vegetable, PLEJ for Liberation, Three Stone Hearth, UC Davis Feedlot, UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center, UC Davis Student Farm, the National Germplasm Repository, and visited the Jelly Belly factory.
Our land at Woolman is steadily changing and blooming with the onset of spring. Last week, we were inundated with rain - our creeks rose, and the South Yuba became a torrent of churning, brown runoff. In environmental science, we are learning about the inner workings of the natural world through observing the constant change around us. In the past month we have talked about global warming, the greenhouse effect, fossil fuels, oceans, bees, and fungi: all topics requested by students.
Last week was Woolman’s Food Intensive, one of two week-long field trips where students engage in hands-on learning from people working in the field (in this case quite literally) on issues we study in classes. From a one-woman farm, to urban school gardens, a feed lot, a mostly female run organic distribution center, or day labor center, we interacted with a wide variety of components of our food systems. Rarely do we take time to think about where our food comes from and what it took to get it into our bodies.