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On text and experience and the experience of text

froggies315's picture

I was a little confused by the prompt for this posting.  Part of the prompt asked about the direction we want the class to head in for the remainder of the semester, but there was also stuff about gender and the environment.  I decided to reflect on the conversation we had this week on text vs. experience.

Sometimes I’ve wished that school could be about learning how to read because this is the essential skill.  At other times, I’ve wished that school could be about having new experiences because experiencing is the best way to learn.  What school is actually about is the experience of learning how to read.  There are so many different kinds of schools.  Examples that come to mind are: schools where you learn how to read text, schools where you learn how to read landscapes, schools where you learn how to read animal behavior, and schools where you learn how to read the experiences of your own life.  Not all schools call themselves schools, but any place that has a goal of teaching people how to read is a school.  We need all kinds of schools filled with all kinds of teachers because there are all kinds of students and all kinds skills that we need to develop.  

I think that the most important lesson I’ve learned from being both a teacher and a student at different kinds of schools and teaching/learning different kinds of reading is that it’s always best to learn how to read when you have a teacher who you trust knows how to read.  It doesn’t even matter if your teacher actually knows how to read, all that matters is the trust.

I trust that our teacher in this class in this school knows how to read text really, really well.  Anne is an English professor!  I would like our experience in this class to focus on learning how to read text because this is what I trust Anne to teach well.   



Smacholdt's picture


I was also a little confused by this suggested blog post. I think that our class discussions have been going well thus far in the semester. I like the idea of integrating both readings and experiential learning into our classes. I would definitely like to spend some time on the Pollan’s popular weed article (I think we could get into a lot of fun arguments about what exactly a weed is), but I also like the idea of taking some field trips. I am excited for the geological and biological rambles that we are going to take in the near future. I also hope that we are able to fit in the trip to a body of water as Max was taking about. I think that to make everybody happy we can alternate the focus on readings and experience (i.e. Monday class is reading-based, and Wednesday class is experientially based.)

As for the interaction between gender and the environment, I love the idea that ecofeminism is closely related to, if non synonymous with, the ecological justice movement.  Humanitarian issues are tied so closely with environmental issues. If the planet is not suitable for humans, we have some serious problems.