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et502's picture

Guides for fielding, co-fielding, co-guiding, following, co-following, mutuality, reflection...

When do we need a guide? When do we guide ourselves?

We started the semester with Solnit's "Field Guide for getting lost" - and now, I think we are starting to create our own guidebooks/methods for discovery.  Though it was time consuming, deciding together how to structure our outings was a way of writing out our expectations and procedures… and while some of them didn't work exactly the way we wanted, I think the process of making group decisions was worthwhile. 

When we went to Ashbridge Park, we self-selected different activities to provide for the group - choosing how/when to be leaders. And choosing to let Carmen be our leader/guide/mentor - I think this is also a form of self-efficacy. 

1. Ashbridge Memorial Park - Field Trip

Trip: planned, activities, structure/purpose, destination

Summary of activities: We met at the Campus Center, and walked across campus together. When we arrived at the park, we sat at the corner of it. We opened with sound and movement - all of us going through a structured chant, then an unstructured yell (attempts toward a primal scream?). Then Graham and I gave a brief history of the creek, the restoration project, its effects. We read and discussed poetry - the Sound of Trees (Robert Frost) seemed to particularly resonate with the group ("I shall have less to say, /But I shall be gone."). We ate delicious food. We explored the creek for a few minutes. Then we wrote this poem

Having so many perspectives was very engaging, but at the same time, I think it would have been useful to have clear connections between the activities. That primal scream could have extended into Graham's and my discussion of the history of the place, then into the poetry, our explorations, and finally, our group writing. Just a thought. 

I also think I should have visited the site beforehand to get a better sense of the kind of information that would have been useful - what was useful? 

2. Blind Shuttle - Field Tour

Tour: travel for pleasure/learning - open, the act of traveling, process

vision distracts from

visualizing the ground below

my feet. inside 

my mind, writing and reading. 

inside my mind, 


can you learn to listen to one thing only?

can you learn to listen?

the terrain is a many-textured thing; 

the cluttered acoustics are 

all around;

and I

am not where I thought I was.



mturer's picture

Blind Shuttle Comments

Your choice to describe the blind shuttle in a more poetic mode than the structured prose of your Ashbridge description is extremely effective. I wasn't able to be there for it, but your summary of the trip (and the music you chose) gives me the impression that the trip was full of discovery and excitement to experience new things. Engaging senses other than the eyes with a music choice seems particularly fitting, but it's the idea of doing things "inside the mind" that we would normally rely on vision for that struck me. I didn't have to carefully examine every word with my eyes in a string of long sentences to be able to feel what you were trying to convey. 
In summary, I guess, I liked your idea here!