Day 5- Sharing

19 Jan
Today was the big day. We headed up to MacLeish early to set up: we wanted to be ready when the busload of sixth graders arrived. We cut and folded field journals, tied strings around trees, cleared branches off of the hole that marked a homestead site, and (for some reason) decided to tidy up the building.
After some unexpected delays, they finally arrived. We met them at the parking area, and they piled out of the school bus, and headed straight up to the building. It was mild chaos for a bit (especially when a couple dozen sixth graders eagerly lined up to try out our two composting toilets), but eventually we introduced ourselves, distributed field journals and pencils, divided the kids into groups, and headed outside.
The Campus School 6th graders got into it, followed our directions, and eagerly participated in the activities we had planned for them. They tromped around the woods with their field journals, observing trees and rocks and leaves, and happily shared their findings with us. They made connections easily, asked insightful questions, and shared knowledge I didn’t expect any sixth graders to have. They also put up with the chilly morning with minimal complaint. It was a delightful experience, and I only wish we had had more time with them. But in no time at all, we were switching groups, then heading back to the warmth of the building.
Before they left, we asked them to share some “learnings and wonderings” as we’d done ourselves all week. They happily shared what they’d learned and asked more about the Living Building Challenge and other things. Again, I was pleasantly surprised by just how bright they were.  Are they really 6th graders?  One student said, “I like how we connected learning about nature and observing it with learning about the family who lived here.”
I don’t think I could’ve summarized our week so concisely myself.
-EJ Wald ’15 is a CEEDS intern, a mathematics major, landscape studies minor, and sustainable food concentrator.

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