Monday, September 21, 2015

A Day in the Field

The long awaited day in the field finally came. We were greeted at our guesthouse lobby by driver at exactly 8:15. From there we went to pick up Professor Madduma Bandara on the other side of town. We made two more stops to pick up colleagues and students and finally made our way with a group of about eight. 

Our goal was a reconnaissance mission to find just the right spot to bring students for field research. The first few tanks we visited had too much standing water to accomplish our criteria. We were looking for the driest tank we could find with the lease attention so that we could follow the soil contours and visualize water circulation. 

There was lots of good cheer, lots of new flowers to learn about, lots of new aromas to experience, and lots of berries and wild fruits that our colleagues recognized and gave us to try. We also had some time to talk about pedagogical outlooks, student inquiry and critical thinking issues, and from a practical standpoint, lesson planning. A real high point was when one of the students romped down to the wet part of the tank and picked a bunch of lotuses for Janet. 

Since part of my goal is to map states of emotion in different landscapes I asked him what he was thinking about has he picked the flowers. Without a moment's hesitation he told me "love, peace, friendship, and good feelings." What a wonderful way to share cultural outlooks!

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