Anyway, yesterday the Literature of Place class and I rode our bikes to the Depot District, a part of downtown LBB that is being revived as an arts/entertainment place. It was one of four different visions of "Main Street" that we're exploring (which include two essays, one movie, and our own observations).
While we were riding around, we passed McPherson Cellars, a local winery. On a whim, I stopped in to ask if we could take a look at their courtyard, which I knew to be funky and inviting. They were not only gracious enough to let us do that, one of the employees actually took us on a tour of the winery itself.
But here is why I love teaching:
This is Neil, standing beside the machine that puts labels on wine bottles. He's a pre-med major. He signed up for this class not because he needed it to satisfy a requirement on his degree plan, but because it sounded interesting. Wouldn't you want to go to a doctor who thinks "The Literature of Place" sounds interesting? Wouldn't you think that a doctor like that would understand about things like...oh I don't know...quality of life, and compassion, and community? Wouldn't you think that is as important as knowing math?
My students make me hopeful for the future.
And now, from the "Department of Other News":
It may be the craziest thing I've ever done, but I'm running for the position of president of our neighborhood association. I'm doing it for two reasons:
1) I love my neighborhood and think it's time to give something back to it.
2) We have some rising Town/Gown tensions here. I think the answer lies not with escalating hostile reaction (i.e., calling the cops on parties, trying to get the city to enforce codes, etc.), but with vision. We need to address the natural tension between these two groups with long-term thinking, not bandaids. What we need is to figure out a model for a neighborhood that is cohesive, inclusive, and most of all, respectful. I have some ideas for how to make this happen, though I am not kidding myself by thinking it will be easy. It will take some real effort and time to change the culture. I believe it can be done, however, and it is certainly worth a try, since what we're doing now is not working.
3) Nobody else wanted the job (I mean really, would you?). However, just because I'm running unopposed doesn't mean there won't be opposition to me at the meeting this evening. In fact, potentially there could even be an opposition candidate nominated from the floor. So if you read this blog and you live in Tech Terrace, come on out and vote for me if you're so inclined.
The meeting is tonight at 5:30, at JT Hutchison Middle School cafeteria.