Write Out: Not Just A Tourist Passing Through (Tom Wessels)

Tom Wessels Quote

As we come to an end of Write Out 2022, I am still thinking on different texts about the natural world in light of the many outdoor activities we did during the two weeks of the project. In the NWPStudio space, a shared article some weeks back led to a mention of Tom Wessel’s Reading The Forested Landscape (A Natural History of New England), which I then borrowed from the library.

I scanned and read Wessel, and slowed down at times to think deeper, and I discovered lots of interesting tidbits about how to “read” a forest (and in New England, where I live, in particular). This ending passage from Wessel seemed like it had a resonance about understanding the lands around us, so I pulled the quote out.

Peace (and landscapes),

Write Out Collaborative Poems

A Daily Create for DS106 and for Write Out the other day invited people to add a “small poem” to a collaborative slideshow, with a nature theme. This video gathers them together.

Peace (and poems),

Write Out: Poems From Listening To A Landscape

Listening to the Landcape poems

As Write Out 2022 wraps up this weekend, I am revisiting a piece of music I composed and shared right before the start of the two week inquiry into place. The piece of music — A Quiet Walk In Four Paths: Listening To A Landscape — was inspired by a piece of writing by my NWP friend Bryan C. (read more).

Days later, I was listening again, and realized that each path or movement or section could inspiration for a small poem, so I set about over the course of a few days of Write Out to write the poems, and then gathered them together into another music video, where each poem is layered on each path/section of the composition.

Peace (walking the world),

Write Out At Spar: Making Notebooks, Seed Bombs and More

We held a live event for Write Out yesterday afternoon on the grounds of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. Participants made science journals with stick bindings, formed Seed Bombs and launched them into a pollination area, and measured and gathered data on temperature differences for an inquiry into Urban Tree Canopies.

Peace (tossing it),

Before The WMWP/SPAR WriteOut Event

Sun Shade Temperature Data Collage

Later today, the Western Massachusetts Writing Project and the Springfield Armory National Historic Site is hosting a live event for the national Write Out project. We’ll be at the Springfield Armory grounds, facilitating activities for educators on Climate Change, STEAM, Data Journals and more. It’s going to be a beautiful day and our two hour session will be outdoors, using the park property as our classroom.

One of the activities will be centered on understanding the impact of tree plantings as part of heat mitigation efforts and Urban Tree Canopies. We’ll be doing some measuring of temperatures, and creating data charts. I figured I should try it out myself, so yesterday, I did a little research around my own home. (see above).

There really is a huge difference between shade and sun areas, even during this Autumn time of year when things are cooling off.

Meanwhile, this morning’s Daily Create for DS106 was to design a launcher for Seed Bombs, which are made of special clay and hyperlocal seeds. We’re going to be making and launching Seed Bombs today at our event, but I went creative with another saxophone music seed for the design prompt.

Sax Seed Bomb Launcher

Peace (and plantings),

Write Out: A Focus On A Scientist

Featuring Brian May

Last night, in a live session, Karen Romano Young led teachers through her wonderful project — I Was A Kid — that shines an artistic spotlight on a diverse group of scientists. She creates these one-pagers (after extensive interviews and visits with the scientists in their fields of study) and I thought it would be interesting to try a modified version myself, to see if her work might inspire something I could do with my students.

Last night, she shared insightful interviews with scientists, chatting about how they use data journals and field notebooks for their work, and it was pretty fascinating to hear the scientists and to see their journals in all of the variety of forms.

For my activity that is inspired by the work of Karen Romano Young, I chose Brian May, the guitarist and founder of Queen, because of his work as a creative artists a much a his work as an astrophysicist, and I just find his life to be pretty fascinating for the way his curiosity sparks his path forward.

I did my research via Brian May’s website and Wikipedia, and used an art app called Sketchpad to create my piece. The image used a photograph of May, but filtered with Lunapic for effect.

More about Write Out and the use of STEAM notebooks: https://writeout.nwp.org/be-inspired/

Peace (and music),