Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Greatest college course ever?

Is Colorado College's HS 202 the greatest course ever offered by a reputable college?

As one who learned to love the wilderness and paddling in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota, I am perhaps biased. But I sure wish my school had offered this course. Nine days in the Boundary Waters, for credit no less:

HS 202 1310 Paddle, Portage and Study of the Life of a Legendary Wilderness Advocate
(3 weeks in North Woods of Minnesota) cross-listed as EV 260
Fulfills one unit of the humanities requirement at Colorado College

In this wilderness class, students will study the life, writings, and philosophy of Sigurd F. Olson, perhaps the most compelling and articulate wilderness advocate of the last century. During the first week--at a remote cabin outside Ely, Minnesota--we will begin reading Olson's best-selling books and meet with scholars, environmentalists, and others who knew Olson well. The second part of the course will be a 9-day canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. On the trail, we will read more of Olson’s time-tested tomes, as well as an excellent biography, and we'll begin to write reflective journals of our own. Around the campfire amidst the call of the loons, we will delve deeply into Olson's philosophical musings, study his role as an environmental activist, prepare oral presentations, and try our hand at the type of nature writing which Olson himself pioneered. We will paddle and portage amongst the very lakes that Olson loved, as well as do a volunteer trail maintenance project in conjunction with the US Forest Service. No camping experience necessary.... Enrollment is limited to 7 students.

(Disclosure: I know the guy who set up the course. Even encouraged him to do so. Not that he needed any encouragement.)

Update: Apparently you can enroll in the course even if you're not a Colorado College student. Interested students should follow the link and contact the professor.