2013-14 Catalog

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Offering Description

Student-Originated Studies: Seeds, Beads, Bees and other Biodynamical Processes


Fall 2013, Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Sarah Williams feminist theory, consciousness studies , Martha Rosemeyer (S) agricultural ecology, food systems
Fields of Study
agriculture, consciousness studies, cultural studies, field studies, gender and women's studies, sustainability studies and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
agriculture, art, ecology, education, applied philosophy, social services and health-related fields.

Each phenomenon in nature, well contemplated, wakens in us a new organ of inner understanding.
J.W. Goethe

Like the role of bees and seeds in the evolution of agriculture, beads—which often are seeds, shells, wax or bone—have an inside and an outside that commute.  Seeds, beads and bees are interpenetrating, reciprocal creations. They form assemblages with centers and their use over time can be a measure of the fertility of mind, spirit and body. This SOS will support students in bead-like studies of biodynamic processes in conjunction with an internship, creative practice or field research project. Whether defined in relationship to agricultural, artistic or somatic practices, biodynamic processes are characterized by interconnected, recursive and iterative movements that form holistic patterns. Thus, students will be guided to reflect on their learning itself as a biodynamic process.  To what extent is the subject and object of a liberal arts education mutually causative?  In what ways might thinking be enlivened if informed by a consciousness of temporal rhythms (e.g., respiration) and cosmic forces such as tides and sunlight?

This program is ideal for responsible, enthusiastic and self-motivated students with an interest in developing and reflecting on a substantial project over a substantial period of time. In addition to classroom work, each student will create an individual course of academic learning including an internship (e.g., at a local organic farm), creative practice (e.g., nature writing), or field research project (e.g., discovering the differences—and why they matter—between commercial and biodynamic beekeeping). Collaboration, including shared field-trip opportunities, with the Ecological Agriculture and Practice of Sustainable Agriculture programs will be available.

Academic work for each quarter will include weekly group meetings, an annotated bibliography and maintenance of a field journal to document independent project learning. In addition to this independent project component, students will engage in weekly readings and written responses, seminar discussions and a final presentation. Unless exceptions are designed into students' projects and agreed upon in advance, all students will be required to attend and actively participate in this one day of weekly class activities, as well as individual self-assessment meetings with the faculty at mid-quarter and the end of the quarter. Interested students should browse the following authors and texts to explore their ability to think and act biodynamically within an intentional learning community: Goethe's Way of Science: A Phenomenology of Nature , edited by David Seamon and Arthur Zajonc; Culture and Agriculture by Wolf Storl; Stillness: Biodynamic Cranial Practice and The Evolution of Consciousness by Charles Ridley; Voodoo Vintners: Oregon’s Astonishing Biodynamic Winegrowers by Catherine Cole; A Place in Space by Gary Snyder; Everywhere Being is Dancing: Twenty Pieces of Thinking by Robert Bringhurst; All Over Creation by Ruth Ozeki; and Bees : With an Afterward on the Art of Joseph Beuys by Rudolf Steiner .

In spring this program will be teaming up with Ecological Agriculture  to offer students choices for a 6 day Skagit Valley/Lopez Island field trip and joint modules in Tropical Cropping Systems/Permaculture; Seminar on International Development; Organic Gardening Practicum; Biodynamic Culture and Agriculture Seminar; Artist Lecture Series; Critical and Cultural Theory Lecture and Discussion Series; Community-Based Service Learning or Internships in Food and Agriculture.

Schedule and Location
Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Required Fees
$450 in fall for overnight field trips and supplies.
Special Expenses
$980 in winter for conference expenses (may be optional upon consultation with faculty) and $290 in spring for an overnight field trip and food tastings.
Internship Possibilities
Students must complete an In-program Internship Learning Contract (designed for this program) in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
March 10th, 2014 New enrollment in this program requires faculty signature.
February 27th, 2014 Martha Rosemeyer will co-teach this program with Sarah Williams.
December 3rd, 2013 Winter special expense increased (from $700 to $980).
November 13th, 2013 Preparatory work for students joining the program in winter quarter has been clarified
November 6th, 2013 Winter fee has increased from $690 to $700. Spring fee of $250 has been added.
September 12th, 2013 Fee/expense update: $225 per quarter as optional expense (not required fee).