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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Faculty collaboration - The only hope

We, the faculty teaching in SUSTAIN, have been meeting for almost a year each week for two hours. Right now the meetings are on Friday from 9 to 11. So here we are. Roger reminded us that we did this because we wanted to confront and consider how to live sustainably. We are now inside of this thing we call SUSTAIN and are confronted in a direct way with the ways we are, the system is, unsustainable.

We have diligently built the capacity to now have this conversation.
We are seeing that we have tried to solve some of the collaboration questions by looking at the parts and seeing how they can "fit together." In this methodology we are faced with the horrific scarcity of time and resources, the reality of "failure" when compared to the traditional model, and the whole of us either sick or exhausted.
It is a funny thing yesterday, after discussion about our state, most of us felt relief in recognizing the feelings and issues.
I think we are all doing our best to let go of some asserted necessities about "our" classes to examine the whole. This is kind of like looking up at the clouds to find shapes. Are they real? will they last? does it mater?
Then, it wouldn't be complete to leave out the precious students in our care. There is Elliott who comes from a farming background who is deeply interested in the question of sustainable farming. Even after one day with us, he said he never considered the human systems in the sustainability equation. There is Garrett who said yesterday he is grateful for the "cool" faculty in SUSTAIN as he has had his share of horrible teachers. There is Dianne who had questions on Calculus and during Studio time got help from an upper classroom mentor, happily understanding the concepts afterwards. There is Taylor who felt comfortable enough to email Pete saying she was "scared" of physics.

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