The Fall 2022 semester at Virginia Tech has come to a close, and I’m more than ready for a break. That said, the semester was one of the most interesting I’ve ever experienced, albeit also one of the busiest. I taught a course entirely new to me–ENGL 3534/Literature and the Environment–so class preparation was ongoing and a lot of work.
But such stimulating work! We used a bunch of great texts, including The Norton Book of Nature Writing; When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through; Lost Mountain; Parable of the Sower; and Field Notes from a Catastrophe. Plus I added a few poems by Robert Frost, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Mary Oliver, and Emily Dickinson, among others, and a few songs by Joni Mitchell and Kathy Mattea. We also got a tree-tour of Virginia Tech’s campus, courtesy of VT’s arborist, and visited VT’s Massey Herbarium and Museum of Geosciences.
All semester, the students, most of them in STEM fields, were very responsive and had a lot of helpful information to offer. The entire experience made me thankful I’m still teaching, and I hope to be assigned the course again.