Friday, October 2, 2009
Ghana Update for Ms. Elder's Class
We have more than 500 students from over 200 universities and colleges throughout the United States; we also have several students from other countries, including France, Mexico, Spain, and a few other nations. There are slightly more girl students than boys but they are all having the time of their lives. Many of them worked several jobs over the summer and after-school to pay for this educational adventure. While a few of the students have traveled with their families or on their own to other countries the majority of the students have not traveled much and a few have never been out of their home state until now. My hope is that some of you will get the "travel" bug and consider enrolling in a program like this when you attend college; these programs are called "study abroad" and they are perhaps the most exciting way to see and learn about the world.
The students on the ship take from four to five classes and the classes range from theater to business to astronomy and geology. The students generally share rooms and have between two and three roommates and they seem to get along pretty good considering that they are all new to each other. Since we all live together on this ship we are always bumping into each other so they call this a "living-learning" community. It's very neat to see and talk with students both in and out of class as we share different ideas when we are outside of the classroom.
The students split their time between taking classes on this ship (in fact, every day we are at sea) and then doing field trips. Some of the field trips are adventurous, such as taking a canopy walk in the Ghanaian jungle almost 75 feet off the ground (see the photo). In Morocco, several of them camped out under the stars in the mountains and rode camels. Others took the trains to remote cities and others visited rural villages to learn about the way the Moroccan people live.
I am teaching three classes, including one called Sustainable Development, which looks at how we currently live on this planet and what we should be doing to ensure that there is a good planet for all of you to live on tomorrow and into the future. I love this class as the students all care about the planet and want to learn how to preserve the planet so that you can enjoy it when your time comes to help take care of it.
I know you are all pretty busy in Ms. Elder's class but send me a note if you have any question. Professor Dan