Class in the Garden
FY 193: Digging Down to the Roots: The Meaning of Gardens
Course Description Fall 2010
Professors Valerie Bang-Jensen and Mark Lubkowitz
Gardens serve as cultural, environmental, historical, and aesthetic symbols across the world and reflect three seminal questions: why garden, what is a garden, and who gardens? These questions will be explored through readings, visits to gardens, and gardening experiences. Readings may include nonfiction, fiction, essays, poetry, memoir, and relevant children's literature. Some first-hand experiences to support and generate other learning include working in the Saint Michael’s Teaching Gardens, a visit to the SMC Organic Garden, a guided tour of the New Farms for New Americans, the construction of a desk-top container garden, botanical examination of plant structures, the creation of seed bombs, and interviewing a panel of guest speakers about gardens as a social fulcrum.
Our course objectives are to use gardening, field trips and labs, literature, discussions, film, and writing to explore the relationship of people to gardens. We will capitalize on the observation that over the last 8,000 years, every culture has intentionally nurtured relationships with plants through gardening. The literature, practices, and purposes behind gardens vary tremendously from utilitarian to strictly aesthetic. Why is there a recent proliferation of gardens in prisons, schools, hospitals, and communities? The questions of who gardens, what is a garden and why garden will be explored through a collection of essays, laboratory experiments, films and actual gardens to highlight the interdisciplinary nature and multicultural aspect of one of humanity's universal, oldest and evolving practices.
Specifically our objectives are for the students to:
1) Explore the intersections and relationships of culture, aesthetics, and the science of nature in gardens
2) Develop an appreciation for the inherent interdisciplinary nature of gardening
3) Read broadly, thoughtfully, and critically
4) Respond orally and in writing to readings and experiences
5) Develop a process approach to writing through several informal and formal essay assignments (“Seedlings,” “Saplings,” and one “Sugar Maple.”)
6) Apply evolving knowledge to student desktop gardens, lab work, and the Teaching Gardens of Saint Michael's College
Course Syllabus for
Lessons From the Garden
Instructor: Richard Gamache
Office: Room 115, St. Edmund’s Hall
E-mail address: email@example.com
The Mission of the Intensive English Program
The mission of the Intensive English Program (IEP) is to provide the highest quality English-language instruction to speakers of other languages in order to meet their personal, academic or professional goals. Intensive instruction in oral skills, listening comprehension, vocabulary development, reading, writing, and grammar for both general and academic English is offered through a communicative approach. A goal of the IEP program is the understanding of American traditions and values for the cross-cultural perspective of our student population. The IEP is committed to academic excellence, intercultural understanding, and attention to individual student needs and interests.
Lessons From the Garden
Lessons From the Garden is a four-week, special topics class open to students at all levels of English language proficiency. Through this class, students will enhance all English skill areas through a focus on gardens and gardening. The teaching gardens of Saint Michael’s College as well as other local gardens will be principle resources for exploration and active study/research of gardens/gardening.
Doxis M. Palmer
You who walk,
Maybe with troubled thoughts,
Come, enter here and rest;
And may the sweet serenity of growing things,
And the heavenly peace
Be mirrored in thy soul.
The objectives of Lessons From the Garden are:
Bases for determining grades:
* Attendance is required