Monday, September 16, 2002

Seasons turn

Posted by Kirk Mona
Seasons turn. It has been months since my fingers clicked the keys on this keyboard to transform the lived experience of Kirk Mona into a blog for the ages.

Today the director of the nature center, Tom Anderson stopped into my cube and said, "Kirk, I've got a great new word for you. I heard it in a play yesterday. Phenomenology."

I smiled a wide grin. Little did he know the word is not new but rather dates to the 1800's. I returned here to my phenomenological visions blog and re-read some passages with the hindsight of a season passed.

Last year as I wrote I was trying to create my new youth work. I had started again down the path I began in college. The summer classes I would teach should have provided a perfect platform for testing my techniques.

I feel that I have failed in this respect. I fell into classic patterns of teaching. Well, that’s not exactly true. Nothing I do follows much of any tradition. I bring a unique style to every program even id it is one done thousands of times for years before my arrival.

I wanted to do something really new though. The big test was a class called "Stories in the forest." It was my phenomenology based class. We were going to go out and experience the world and then write stories about it. We were going to write the stories revealed to us by nature. Only one or two kids signed up. The class didn't run and all of the classes I did end up teaching were ones that have filled for years.

I’m already thinking to next year and I need to make it more exciting. I need to find good topics and explore the lived experience of the natural world within the framework of a fantastically irresistible class.

My current thought is a class on cryptozoology. The study of animals that may or may not exist. We'd head out into the forest of Warner learning how to track animals as though we were looking for a Yeti or some such creature. Through this process we would become more aware of our surroundings.

On a final note: we were painfully aware of our surroundings this summer as the mosquitoes literally prevented us for entering the woods on several occasions.

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