Enrichment Learning Programs at Creating Landscapes
Creating Landscapes is a multi-faceted program that feeds the Meadville community's appetites in many ways. Founded by Jan Hyatt, a retired Dance Professor from Allegheny College, the program hosts a number of initiatives such as the community garden that brings members together from soil to plate, summer creative arts camps for kids of all ages, and enrichment learning programs for Honors students in local middle and high schools as well as Senior Citizens.
I have been teaching classes for the Creating Landscapes middle/high school students and for adult learners since 2016. In our first round, we explored "Global Popular Culture" -- a journey that took us across different countries and their unique responses to global issues and events as manifested in their art and artifacts.
Another course I taught on "Manufactured Lives" investigated how, in a hyper-mediated world, we are developing multiple malleable identities, redefining intimacy and relationships, grappling to understand the shifting values of the online world, and becoming transfixed by the constant need for shock and awe.
A recent offering called "Seven Deadly Sins: Rethinking the World We Live In," took its inspiration from a quote by Dante Alighieri. "The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis," he wrote, in the thirteenth century. The course re-visited this statement in light of current global news and unfolding events, viewed through the l contemporary moral and ethical landscape. As a class, we critically analyzed contemporary social and political case studies, arriving at the new "sins" that they embody.
In the 2019-20 academic year, the focus was on exploring how great minds think differently, with the high school cohort, and the Culture of Objects, with adult learners.
Unfortunately, this wonderful program is on hold because of the COVID-19 lockdown.
It has been a privilege to meet the wonderful community members who participate in this program. One of them, Eleanor Davies, at 97 years of age, was my oldest student. She had a unique zest for life, missed just one class (because of surgery), and taught all of us a whole lot about the history of the town we're in, and that she had witnessed first-hand!
Above: Coffee at the Sailor Moon Cafe, Tokyo.
Above: If social media sites could be matched with the Seven Deadly Sins, here's what it would look like.
Above: Eleanor H. Davies (September 30, 1919 - May 30, 2017) -- a great lady, who at 97 years of age, firmly believed that you were never too old to learn new things.