Thursday, September 3, 2009

School in the swing

Unity College has started up, hale and hearty despite the recession, and we're nearly done with the first week. It's been incredibly busy, and I haven't had much time to catch my breath. My schedule is packed because of several practical projects I'm doing with students, including the building of a barn for the college's farm/garden/local food program, a good deal of community wind power planning and related GIS mapping for various Maine towns, and developing several sites for full scale wind assessments. There's also the training of the SAR Team with large numbers of new students to get oriented to emergency search and rescue.

The schedule is better by far to deal with than last fall's, however, because of some tweaking of my responsibilities. I've shed quite a few items that used to lead to large amounts of paperwork, which has freed me up to actually concentrate on teaching and learning with students as we do these practical and experimental projects.

Just naturally, however, the postings on the Sustainability Blog, and the Womerlippi Farm Blog, may decrease a little. I hope to get some more students posting on the Sustainability blog as the semester goes on, making up for my own reductions.

The Farm Blog waxes and wanes with the seasons. I notice I post much more regularly in winter. Which is reasonable because that is when I have time.

Fall is Maine's best building and outdoor season, though. Summer is hot and sweaty and high humidity and bugs and rolling thunder, and hard to deal with. Fall is cool especially in the mornings, clear, dry, sunny, and above all productive, and I plan to be outdoors with students much of the time until the bad weather comes.

I can hear Aimee's alarm going off up in our bedroom, so it's time to get on with the day, although I've been up for a while. I enjoy the calm of the early morning when I have time to think and let my mind wander a little, which is how I tend to solve problems and catch up with myself and otherwise keep sane.

Today's day will start with sheep and pig feeding on our own farm. There will be some barn work, spreading gravel on the foundation pad and raking it to level, starting with students at 8am prompt. There will be a class to teach at 9.30, in which we will take a short field trip, more of a countryside walk, to talk about human ecology in Maine and reading the Unity landscape for signs of past human uses. A faculty meeting will interrupt an otherwise decent morning at 11 am. This afternoon we will get back to work on the barn. This evening I will be on hand at a Town Meeting in Jackson, Maine to answer technical questions about wind power planning. Hopefully the anti-wind power versus pro-wind power factions, which are vociferous, do not attempt to machine-gun each other with me in the middle.

Democracy: Love it or leave it.

And that, dear readers, is a typical day in the life of this particular college sustainability professor in Fall 2009.

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Welcome to our Farm Blog.
The purpose of this blog is for Aimee and I to communicate with friends and family, with those of our students, and other folks in general who are interested in homesteading and farming activities.

The earliest posts, at the very end of the blog, tell the story of the Great Farm, our purchase of a fragment of that farm, the renovation of the homestead and its populating with people and animals. Go all the way to the last post in the archive and read backwards from there to get it in chronological order.

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