Ecolit Examination

Students are writing.

I’d get F on my ecolit journal this last part of the quarer.  No sleepouts and no entries other than notes since the last ones were collected.  Every day I feel more strung out, like one of the students who reported being hooked on hikes.  Tailspin yesterday about not finding the formula for averaging 330 grades and did so just before the nighttime exam, entering the room and finding the wonderful 380 ecolit anthology made by Andrew and Katharine.

I’m ambivalent about Nature Steve, my nickname at Camp Moonbeam in 1960 after Freshman year, where I was supposed to be Nature Counselor, my only qualification having gone to Camp Hackmatack at ages 7 and 8.  Since then I’ve tried with varying degrees of success and failure to live up to the role.  This class, the Cal Poly Land Project, the Earth Day Program with Amory Lovins I organized in June, Sierra Club, the whole Lund experience, treework and Arbor Day in Claremont.  If the Field Guide was done, I’d feel more hopeful.

Reading: I long for it”back to Benyus and Thoreau, Muir and Austin.  And the Polyland class stretching beyond my capacities.

A sixty year old man¦are these students different from Ian?  Almost two generations away. I draw back from their world, longing for trees, sunsets, and stars. But they too long for that, as I did at their age.

Dick Simon asked if we would  retire to Lund.  I said, impossible, I’m too young.  But to read and write there¦to retreat to the observer.   But why, when there’s Sycamore Glen? I’ve developed a real history with Cal Poly Land.  Every hike and campout and new species I learn and place I name on the map leaves me richer.  But still impoverished.

Student departures tonight are warm and appreciative.  Antidote to the despair I experience when criticizing their bad writing.

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