Last Friday was the official last day of my Moellership. I can’t believe how quickly these past 10 weeks have gone. While my official service has ended, however, it somehow feels like nothing has changed. On Tuesday, I facilitated the work day at the South City farm and I’m still helping out with various projects. When I told people that my Moellership was coming to an end, I wanted them to know that this was not the end of my involvement with TFN and iGrow. Far from it. It will certainly be more challenging to remain as active as the fall semester rolls around and my graduate duties get into full swing. But I’m committed to continue with this project and see it grow in the coming year.
My final week also coincided with our July Collards & Cornbread gathering, which we held at the South City farm. As the fifth gathering which I coordinated, I finally felt like I had hit my stride. I invited two speakers to come speak to our group. Dr. Lance Gravlee, is an anthropology professor from the University of Florida who is co-coordinating the summer field school in anthropology, which has taken place in Tallahassee over the last few years. Dr. Jan Daly, has worked for several government health organizations on community health and disease prevention. Both speakers have been involved with TFN since the beginning and were happy to see how far it come. The two speakers described their work and later, the group engaged in a discussion about bolstering community engagement. The people who attended the gathering range from NGO leaders, local government officials, community activists, students, and
volunteers– this diversity really helped to get different ideas on the table. And as permaculture and resilience theory will tell you, diversity makes a system stronger– ecosystems, agriculture, economies, and communities alike. This is something which became very apparent to me while I was listening to the different thoughts, opinions, and ideas circulate throughout the group.
The end of the Moellership came with the beginning of a very new challenge for me: teaching an online geography course for 82 undergraduates. This is my debut as the instructor-of-record for a university course, and it has been quite demanding.
Teaching online means always being attached to your computer because there is no set class time. The emails and discussion board inquiries never really stop. Thankfully, this is just a six week course and because it is online, I get to fly home to Canada while continuing my instructor duties. Until then, I’ll be biking around Tallahassee, helping out at the youth farms, and avoiding direct sunlight. Seriously, please tell me this is the hottest it gets here.
*All photos by Alvin McBean, a wonderful volunteer and photographer at iGrow SC.