Sunday, December 7, 2008

Although I was anticipating an experience completely different from the one I had, I learned a great deal, and had a good time doing it. As a kid my father was always building things and working with wood, but as a little girl, I wasn't that interested in carpentry. As I've gotten older, I've learned to appreciate his work a lot more and enjoy picking up a hammer and nail. More recently I've gained a great interest in green building specifically. When I was signing up for classes in the spring I thought that these two attributes would be included in the class. I was right, but the class has been far more complicated than carpentry and green building.

The first thing that comes to mind when reflecting on this class is the fact that we didn't build the barn. I wanted to have hope for it, but after looking at the syllabus and watching weeks go by still without a permit, I knew we wouldn't be building this barn. My classmates bring up a good point, that after this was established, after we knew we wouldn't be building a barn, our motivation went away. Friday mornings, outside, at 8am, in November, is not my idea of a good time. Though when I was down there, getting my hands on some tools, and seeing parts of the barn being built, I was content.

So the barn wasn't built, what did we do? I almost feel like our class turned out to be a better Environmental Citizen class because we couldn't build the barn. Mick was challenged to find other projects for the class and he did a great job. My classmates and I had opportunities to work at MOFGA and the Alpaca Farm as well as our own farm. As an environmental citizen, reaching out to our local community is as important as helping our own. I am really thankful to have been involved with the activities that I was able to participate in. In this class I've learned that sheep can't move when resting on their lower back, safety glasses will always be worn around Mick, and I've learned how much lumber 5 ladies can move in an hour and a half (those involved know what I'm talking about).

Obviously there's more to it than that. I am thankful for the time we spent in the classroom. I think about Trey's comment, specifically about the students not being actively involved with the dialogue at 8am in the morning. I know for me it wasn't always because of the time, but because of the inexperience in what we were talking about. Sometimes when conversation was going on I was so focused on just listening and trying to form my own opinion on everything. Trey also said that he felt our class was more engaging than most of his other classes; I would completely agree with this statement. This is another reason the conversation sometimes took me off guard. Mick really wanted us to think about what it meant to be an Environmental Citizen and everything that's included in that title. I'm not saying I haven't been forced to think about challenging subjects, but never anything quite like this. I enjoy being challenged and thinking about different aspects of life I don't necessarily come across every day.

I really enjoyed this class, even though it didn't always fill my expectations. I feel like I have made a difference and learned a great deal. I look forward to the time those frames come out of storage and the barn actually goes up. I would also like to see many more hands on classes like this at Unity College. I think being a part of building the new cottages for students is a great idea, but wholeheartedly agreeing with Trey, they definitely need to look more grown into the environment, not glass and cement boxes. I enjoyed having the architect come in and having him discuss green building techniques, personally I would have liked to see more of this.

Thank you,

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