Walk #1: The Dam Is Coming Down

We strolled down through town this morning to spend some time thinking about “word pools” with Bennet Fellow Peter Anderson. The dam is coming down in July, so this year’s L&L crew is uniquely positioned to think deeply about Exeter’s relationship to the river, is uniquely poised to bear witness to the last expression of this current state of affairs. Check out some of the student blogs to get a sense of how the morning played out.

Thank you, Peter, for your work with the students, for prompting us to think about “river words” and the many embedded metaphors that rivers suggest.


The Messenger…

For our optional Friday night green film series, we kicked off with Su Rynard’s The Messenger, a sobering glimpse into the myriad influences on declining songbird populations. After seeing the film together, professor emeritus David Weber and I discussed the possibility of bird tape on the library windows as a preventative measure against glass bykill (just last week, a Cedar waxwing dropped dead at my feat upon exiting the library). Check out the link to learn more about the film.



Welcome, 2016


Day 1. Fresh snow.

Well, it’s the time of year again and we’ve come full circle since L&L 2015 finished their final projects at The Word Barn last spring. We’ve grown to TWO sections this year (!), which means that our fleet of Crazy Creeks has also doubled (a fine blue set to compliment last year’s forest green). C block discovered the handwritten letters tucked in the back zippers of their chairs from last year’s crew (minus a few of you miscreants who neglected to complete that assignment before slipping away into the ether of your graduations). A-format this year wasn’t quite so lucky, so they’ll have to pioneer a new set of letters for the 2017 second section to read on their first day of class.

This spring bodes well for another splendid experience. We have a variety of new Walks set up, including a night hike and a visit to the Exeter Farmer’s Market, as well as returns to some of our favorites from last spring–Mr. Hiza’s Orchard, Mr. and Mrs. Robinson’s Farm, and Apple Annies. We will return to our observation spots along the Green Trail on the Exeter river.

Other developments in the works: We’ll be hosting the debut Environmental Humanities Institute at Exeter, a secondary school teacher institute for environmental humanities courses like ours. The likes of Scott Russell Sanders, John Elder, Mark Long, Clare Walker Leslie, and Jennifer Pharr Davis will all be in attendance, working with our teachers to pioneer and refine their courses. And both ORION Magazine and The Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) have sponsored our work. Super exciting stuff.

Lastly, I wanted to let you all know that this year’s students will be keeping their own writing blogs. They’re in the process of getting them up and running, but you should be able to see new posts soon under the page “Who We Are” at the top of this blog.

That’s it for now. More highlights to come…

-Mr. Bre