Greetings once again! I am pulling books to take to the Wakefield School Demo tomorrow, where I will be talking to the kids about herbal medicine, and sort of treating it like a very rough trial run of the Page’s Academy class I’m teaching at University in June.
This will be my first Page’s Academy class, my first class geared towards youth, and while it is not a proper sized focus group, I’m curious to see what the Wakefield school kids find interesting and what is absolutely “totes boring OMG” …. I am often surprised by what others find interesting and what fascinates me that makes everyone else yawn.
I am also brainstorming the practicalities…. cutting out little gym shorts out of post it notes to put pants on the medieval minatures and manuscripts, coming up with activities for the youth that can span a big age range (herbal Materia Medica coloring pages maybe?), and how to present the people of the Middle Ages as the smart and astute people that they were, rather than the backward superstitious bunch as usually portrayed.
I am also teaching a hydrosols class for the adults (although I have one confirmed middle schooler attending with their mom, which I think is very cool). In all the other classes I have taught, whether an informal meet up under a dayshade at an event or a formal class at a University, I have always put a lot of effort into my notes, curriculum, slides, etc. As circumstances would have it, we always end up off topic (although still discussing herbalism), and the conversations make for the BEST classes! So, in light of those experiences, I am approaching my curriculum in the reverse. I will be setting the topic on hydrosols, I will bring a tea kettle and herbs to do some demos (and make/drink some tea), and let the class go where it may. After studying traditional herbalism for many years outside of the SCA, I am confident that I can at least vaguely answer questions, or at the very least suggest resources. I will have my Materia Medica handy, and my suggested reading list, and I will see where the class takes us! More like a chronicler than an instructor, I will be the one taking the notes, and create the hand out after the fact, to be published and downloadable online, as per usual.
I’m looking forward to this experiment in University instruction!
Now, back to the demo prep…….