When I look back at my notes, I can feel a shift occurring in my mindset.  A shift from thinking about sustainability as eco-friendly practices; a shift on how to move the needle as an educator in reaching hundreds of students and not having to be perfect in my sustainable art practices in order to make a difference; a shift in understanding cultural paradigms including consumer culture and how to convey the need to think long term; a shift in understanding that the earth will be fine, it’s our existence on it as human beings that we need to focus on; a shift in thinking of art not only as personal expression (as is one of Maria Montessori’s teachings on art as a means of self-construction for the adolescent) but also as a way to place ourselves within the whole of humanity – I think it can be both.

 

I am grateful that I work in a school culture that values art and creative expression for the individual adolescent’s growth.  This lecture helps me understand how to push that thought further into art on a continuum of humankind.  We can create art out of recycled materials that we find in our trash at school and make a statement but also, we can forage for our own materials in our woods and on our land and create materials from our land for future students at Hershey (this is emphasized a lot in Montessori – how to contribute to future generations of students).

 

Where I do feel unmoored however, is in my own lack of understanding of sustainability as a concrete term.  I still feel like it’s floating around out there in my head as something I haven’t pinned down.  I hope that with more time (as is usual for me in learning) with this concept and with hands on, concrete learning I will get there in understanding sustainability in the deeper way that I seek.  I have not had the opportunity to think as a student in a long time and it will take a while for me to get there mentally.  Juggling children, life at home, animals and classwork is challenging to me and I am grateful that this course packed full of knowledge but am also needing to be conscious of my ability to take things in bits at a time, digest it and come back to the course material for more.  

 

Much gratitude to you all for your insights during this lecture, thoughts and the different viewpoints that you bring to the table.