Decisions, Decisions

I have no idea what books to use for my Craft of Nature & Environmental Writing course this summer. the big anthology I planned to use, S. is using now, which isn’t that problematic, BUT another faculty member is using it in his lit class now as well. So there’s a chance that some of those students who are enrolled in his course would take mine this summer and be stuck with the same main text. And that’s no good.

I don’t like any of the options. I’m probably stuck with the Norton Book of Nature Writing (those Norton anthologies give me bad undergraduate flashbacks I tell you…). It’s comprehensive, but that’s the issue. It’s too comprehensive. The true “contemporary” nature writing section doesn’t start till about 500 pages in, and that’s the part I’d rather focus on in this course. I just don’t know what to do.

I have ideas for *supplemental* readings, but what a huge amount of work, scanning them and getting them all online in Blackboard. Not to mention that I scribble up my own books like crazy (FYI: If such personal notes bother you, you might not ever want to borrow a book from me!), so I probably can’t copy anything from most of my personal library. If I don’t order books like, yesterday, the bookstore manager is going to kill me.

I did, last night, solicit some feedback from some current (and future) students in that class about my idea for a field trip to see pennsylvania’s largest nursery colony of little brown bats at Canoe Creek State Park near Altoona (about 2 hours from Pittsburgh). I guess that single colony is up around 25,000 and there’s several hundred endangered Indiana bats too. The students thought it sounded like a really fun idea, and I’ve been meaning to do this for the last seven years. I just discovered they have a batcam! .

Another animal-not-bat-related note: With the recent rains and the upcoming warm temperatures, I’m guessing this could be prime viewing weekend here for the yellow-spotted salamander mating. I was going to include a link, but oddly, there’s not a single related link to this annual phenomena (if any local folks want directions, let me know. it’s REALLY cool). Or maybe that’s not so odd after all. I mean, they’re just salamanders, right?

When I mentioned the possible bat field trip (which would probably mean an overnight, since it’s so far from here), J. got all jealous and said: “I want to see the bats too!”

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