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.
Woolman Semester Classes
In April of 2012, I returned to Woolman for the first time since my Community Internship ended two years prior. I am not a Quaker and I rarely attended the Sunday Meeting during my time as an intern, but when Sunday arrived, I decided to go. I will never forget this Meeting, as I sat sandwiched between two women in their 90’s whom I will forever consider my elders and mentors: Lynne Henderson and Mary Jorgenson. Mary was undoubtedly wearing pink, the brightest shade of it, or perhaps that is just how she is permanently held in my memory.
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.
Greetings from the clay room!
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.
Every semester the Global Thinking and Peace Studies classes take a weeklong trip to the Bay Area called the Radical Learning for Change Trip (Rad Trip). The intention of the trip is to connect classroom themes to real examples of people working for peace and social justice as well as for the students to recognize themselves as agents of change. This Fall we were honored to have trainings, visits, presentations, and engaging workshops with East Point Peace Academy, BAY Peace, Youth Spirit Artworks, American Friends Service Committee, Beehive Collective, Iraq Veterans Against the