I’m comfortable with outdoor adventures and find a sense of peace in these environments. I was not expecting a writing intensive course to adventure in itself. The course facilitated finding a natural open space within myself. Stories and Storytelling opened my mind and spirit through challenges, and I gained skills just as I would with outdoor expeditions. In Stories and Storytelling, I stretched the scope of my abilities and existence in a new way that was powerful in connecting to myself, my community, and my environment.

The Stories and Storytelling course explored stories in an array of forms. Laura Beebe led the class in reflections and facilitated a space to find meaning in the stories. We focused on stories from cultures from the Arctic Circle. Perspectives from past field courses were reintroduced as I navigated my values. By challenging my creative side in the “field” course of Stories and Storytelling, it unleashed an expression of my soul. Now I know that both applications of study are important to my growth as a learner. I grew in depth and learned about a part of myself through the challenges shared together with the class. Similar to the Sierra Nevada and Labrador field courses, challenges are met together. For me, having support of the group propagated individual growth.

For the performance, the class picked several stories to share with the community. The class was divided into co-directors but acted in multiple skits. The performance brought people together in Dunbar’s shared space. The experience of performing in front of all my peers was a strange and new. I felt vulnerable yet strong throughout the experience of performing. Engaging with others through humour provided insight into being silly and free.

At the performance, I broke through a  comfort zone for a bigger purpose – to entertain my peers. This intentional endeavour manifested as high energy and spontaneity. I became enwrapped in the characters to the best of my ability and fear danced along with me. The audience gave us their time and energy so we acted out the stories with passion to provide laughter and joy. There were tales about buffaloes, Man-Bear, compost tricksters, pirates, and a creation story written by a classmate.

The performance was dynamic and greatly appreciated by everyone involved. For my senior semester, I strive to cultivate other opportunities to engage in the community this way – it is a healthy and exciting way to be.

Filed Under: Blog Environmental Humanities

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