Place Corps Friday Digest: Experiment
This past week we had the honor of working with Suzanne Snider, founder and director of Oral History Summer School. We learned the possibilities present in Oral History as a discipline and tool for greater understanding, lifting unheard voices, complexifying narratives, connecting community, and many other possibilities. We will be incorporating Oral History interviews into our Winter Intersession Place Projects. In advance of those interviews we are conducting pair interviews this coming week so that we understand the process as both interviewer and narrator. This practice will also be the beginning of the Place Corps Oral History Archive.
This week, Martha Snow (2019 Experiential Education Fellow) led a workshop on Leadership as part of her ongoing series. Energy was focused and attentive and the cohort dove deep into values, and the way that our language describing values is often rooted in our own individual experience. The workshop raised important differences in how different cohort members define and relate to words like trust and accountability based on personal histories and life experiences - which is incredibly relevant to how we approach creating shared systems.
Next week we welcome artist-activist-slow-fashion expert Katrina Rodabough to learn about how sometimes a small personal choice becomes one's life's work. We also are excited to be visiting professor Maya Greene's homestead to learn how to butcher a hog with Place Corps resident Sophia Hampton's Self-Teach Course on Whole Animal Butchery!
Our word for this week is EXPERIMENT. We experiment in Place Corps with creating systems of co-governed living, collaborative design, and more. We do this as a way to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, and challenge a form or practice. It is to be innovative. It is to know what we don't already know. In experiments all results are valuable and all results inform our understanding. In our experiments failure is nonexistent but challenge is expected.
" I want to understand the world from your point of view. I want to know what you know in the way you know it. I want to understand the meaning of your experience, to walk in your shoes, to feel things as you feel them, to explain things as you explain them. Will you become my teacher and help me understand?"
― James P. Spradley