Last week, students from the joint Nature Writing and Ecology class participated in what Hannes and Elliot like to call “Wild Week.” The intent of the project was for students to pursue wildness, look deeper into one's personal connection with the wild, and do something that pushes them outside of their comfort zone. Of course, the extent of the project means not doing anything illegal or otherwise extremely dangerous. Along the way, everyone is encouraged to address the question: What do we get from wildness? This leaves a lot of room for experimentation and contingency. For many, this concept was an eye opening experience.
Henry Cherp, 12th grader, thought not wearing shoes for a week seemed fit for the concept of being wild. No matter the weather conditions, temperature, or activity, Henry walked around shoeless and sockless. Other students participated by only eating vegan foods for the week, going on a nature walk every day, sleeping outside every night, not using a cellphone at any point, and even following a dog around in nature for an hour.
This project proved to be very successful and seemed to enlighten many people’s perspectives on the wild. Every student had a substantially different experience, one that hopefully encouraged them to get out and be wild more often.