For my Place Conscious Teaching class we are required to submit a teaching unit that incorporates place consciousness--I have been putting off the unit all semester. The idea of teaching students in a way so they come to appreciate the place we live is a bit scary for me becuase I am a fairly nomadic person--in the words of John Steinbeck in Travels with Charley “….once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable.”
I am by no means a bum, but I do get a two-year itch. In the past six years I have lived in four different places. Since beginning my adult life, I really haven’t lived in a place long enough to put down roots. Sometimes I want to settle down, but just as soon as that thought crosses my mind I start to get the itch. It starts as a simple longing for other places and eventually transforms into full-blown discontent. Usually I can’t stay in that original place for more than six months after discontent takes its hold. Thus, the four moves in six years.
We've lived in Ogallala for about a year and a half now and I fear that I may soon get that itch. It's not that I don't enjoy it here...I really do. I love my job, I love that it only takes me five minutes to get anywhere in town, I love the hills that surround us, I love the lake...I could go on and on. I just fear that my nomadic personality will take hold of me.
Last week I finally mustered up the energy and worked on the unit late Friday night and into Saturday morning. When we come back from Christmas break, students will be taking photographs of their favorite places in town, writing poetry or personal narrative essays, and then will create displays of their work to place in storefront windows. I'm going to try to set aside time so I can do this alongside my kiddos.. I'm hoping that as students begin to develop a sense of place here I will as well.