I am now a full time student again! I spent last week in a marvelous state of enthusiasm, tucked away on a super cute campus in Plainsfield, VT, under a solid three feet of snow. Goddard College is a small liberal arts college, that offers low-residency semesters (one spends only eight days on campus, and the rest out in the world) and one on one professor-student support and engagement.
My first residency began with a day-long orientation on how Goddard works. We learned that the program is generally called the process and-as is often said in the Birth world-we should trust the process. Though one emerges from the college with a degree, the ultimate or real goal of the process and faculty is for one to emerge with a solid sense of oneself as an active participant in the human community as global citizen. This is reflected in the areas of study: Wide Knowledge (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, the arts, and mathematics/quantitative literacy), Positive Self-Development (personal and interpersonal growth that occurs during self-directed study and the responsible implementation of learning), Thoughtful Action (constructive application of new learning and critical thinking, bringing ideas to life in personal lives, communities, and the world), and Social and Ecological Context (articulation of your awareness of how your work fits into the larger social and ecological context). I am SO excited.
I am not exaggerating when I state that every person I met was talented, inspiring, and friendly. I absolutely loved going up to people and asking what brought them to Goddard, because every person had a great story. I was thrilled to find that it is truly possible to create a stimulating, joyful, comfortable community in just eight days.
The way a Goddard semester works is that it is broken up into five packets. Each packet is the cumulation of three weeks of work (75 hours)-like mini-block courses. For example, I started my first packet on Monday, and it is due on the 30th of March, three Mondays from now. My semester will end at the end of June, and my overall focuses are Earth Stewardship and Midwifery.
My first packet incorporates my on-going study of permaculture, including further research and writing, implementation of our (my dad's and my) site plan, and the last two weekends at Camp Epworth (the first of which is this coming weekend-that is to say, the second-to-last class of this six-month course).
I picked up my brother Lucas on the way back to New York from Goddard (he goes to Middlebury College, also in VT), and jumped right into a Circle of Young Friends conference. Already filled up with new friends and exciting prospects, a weekend with my amazing Quaker buddies and epic games of wink'em and Boggle put me right on top of the world.