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Meeting in Pem East Commons/Beach

onewhowalks's picture

I am so glad the weather was lovely (climate change frights aside) and that we were able to find an excuse to shift to an outdoor location. The leaves gleaming in the sunshine and wafts of sweet, clear fall air were taunting us through the windows when we were stuck sitting on the stuffy couches of Pem East's Common Room.

Something that both Pem East Commons and our outdoor location (the Pem East Beach? That's what I'll go with) shared was a certain feeling of openness. The commons have no doors, unlike the adjacent lounge which we met in a month ago. The beach is right along the main street of our campus, and quite close to Pem Arch; it's heavily trafficked. I don't know if my peers noticed, but people would stop and listen, or at least look pointedly, to our class discussion, especially as discussion became more passionate. This made it feel so different from the normative way in which higher education is treated; the knowledge is restricted to the select few, locked up in classroom in tall buildings with  small windows and thick walls. We, our learning, and our knowledge became a part of the environment.

I think that the class managed to not be performative, even though we had an audience.