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Wednesday, September 14

Fall Schedule WOO HOO!!!

I am wicked pumped, just had my first official meeting with my wonderful advisor, Ned Houston, and we built my very first semester here at Sterling.

I love that I get to literally pick and choose the classes that I want to take, and have a supportive advisor who will be with me every step of the self-designing way!

(parenthesis refer to classes that are yet to be determined as to which days and times I will be taking them based on class sizes and schedules. I don't envy the registrar for having to coordinate some 130+ student schedules each semester)

8:30-11:45am--Fiber Arts
     The use of animal and plant fibers, both wild and cultivated, has ancient and world-wide roots. Products carefully and lovingly made from the fiber resources at hand have served people well for millennia
1:00-4:15pm--Agricultural Techniques
     Explores specific topics in animal and crop husbandry. Selected skills will be taught along with the theoretical background needed to apply those skills appropriately. Each semester focuses on those skills most appropriate to that time of year. Fall semester may include cider pressing, handling livestock and understanding animal behavior, poultry, garden season extension, composting, winter vegetable storage, and food preservation.

10:15-11:45am--Environmental Science
     Applies principles of ecology toenvironmental problems of air, water, and biota. Focuses on quantitative measurements of human impacts and converting those understandings to personal change. Reviews scientific methods and fundamentals of chemistry and physics. Writing assignments refine the use of lab report and scientific paper formats. Culminates with an independent project assessing local impact and proposing solutions.
1:00-4:15pm--(Tools or Experiential Education I/Bounder)
     Tools - Teaches safe, efficient use and maintenance of toolsimportant to outdoor natural resource work, primarily: axe, crosscut saw, and chainsaw. Weekly applications cover skills needed for timber harvesting, firewood processing, trail construction and maintenance, and outdoor building projects and form the foundation for skills developed further in other classes. Woodlot and trail-work skills are applied to the management of Sterling's land, and the management goals are discussed. Teamwork, personal responsibility, and personal confidence building are also goals of the class. Students are required to provide their own axe and personal protective gear.
     Bounder - Focuses on how people work in groups when facing challenges and unfamiliar situations. Building self-confidence and trusting teammates are core elements of personal development fostered by this course. Students are introduced to group problem solving, communication skills, and leadership roles through active participation in classes followed by discussion of the consequences of their actions. Scheduled classes include group initiatives, flatwater canoeing, navigation with map and compass, and basic winter camping techniques in preparation for a four-day winter backpacking expedition. This experiential learning is augmented by assigned readings and a weekly reflective journal. A significant amount of personal equipment is required for these activities. 


8:30-10:00am--Fiber Arts

8:30-11:45am--Environmental Science
1:00-4:15--Exploring Alternative Agriculture
     An introduction to alternative farming through the classics of sustainable agricultural literature and through visits to local farming operations. Approaches surveyed will include organic, biodynamic, homesteading, natural farming, perennial polyculture, permaculture, and holistic management. Field trips take students to contrasting local farm operations, from corporate operations to homesteads and from family farms to land trusts.

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