Mountaintop Removal and Pastoral: Nneka Udechukwu Shares her Story

Hi everyone.  I hope the dog days of summer aren’t getting you down.  I wanted to call attention to the second installment of the podcast episodes that came out of this class.  In the latest episode of Et in Arcadia Ego, Nneka Udechukwu talks about mountaintop removal and the pastoral.  You can click here to download/listen to an episode, or you can find it over on iTunes.

Give it a listen, leave some feedback, and keep on thinking about pastoral!

Tim Hanner Shines on Et in Arcadia Ego

ENG 230 folks:  I hope everyone’s first week of freedom is going well. I’m still in the process of filling out final grades. More to follow soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the first new episode of Et in Arcadia Ego.  Tim Hanner from our class talks with me about Asian carp and the problem of invasive species. 

Click on the link to listen to and download an episode.  There you can also download in iTunes and any other podcast software or smartphone platform.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated.  The other episodes are soon to follow.  Spread the word! Let’s see how many people can listen to this podcast.

Also, major kudos to Lauren Tincher, who not only came up with a great post on the closing of the school in Detroit, but also wrote “The New Rage – Chicken Hair,” a post that’s gone viral in the last week!  It’s received over 800 page views.

Michigan Farming High School shutting down

I know that class is basically over, but after doing some final research for my paper I happened to stumble upon this article on Grist, “Amazing urban farm school for teen moms will be shut down.”  Michigan’s Catherine Ferguson Academy is to be shut down by this summer after a new law allows the emergency manager of the schools, Rick Snyder, unilateral authority in the matter. In other words, its his decision and his alone. Does this school sound familiar? Well, that’s because it’s the same school mentioned in Rachel Solnit’s “Detroit Arcadia.”


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End of Course Review

Remember everyone that the real course evaluation is to be completed online.  The University of Kentucky should have sent a link to your e mail box.  Be sure to complete this, but in addition, I’m interested in hearing from you guys about your experience with researching, blogging, writing online, gathering information with social media, etc.  A recent article in the Seattle Times talks about the new generation of college students who are perhaps not “slackers” or “dumb” as we might suspect, but instead simply overwhelmed with information.  Is this your experience?

Feel free to leave some comments below regarding your stance on this and your interactions with information in the class.

WANTED: Good Pastoral Woman

DWM seeks kind, “simple” woman who’s “easy” on the eyes with plenty of “country” charm to share many “nostalgic” moments.

Must enjoy “relaxing” and the “simpler” things life has to offer, and be free of “complex” drama.

A love of rustic, green pastures, clear, cool brooks and gently, rolling hills is a plus.

“Controlling” women need not reply as I enjoy being “free” spirited.

Respond to: 1-888-EASY-GUY

Pastoral Melodies

Any time I get out into the wild, aka the Red River Gorge, I always have to listen to my favorite old country tunes to get myself into the “easy-going, fresh mountain air” mood.  It’s not that I don’t enjoy other types of music, I’m just at a genetic disadvantage being from Kentucky – where the love of country music is inbred into my DNA.  As I listened to the classics of George Jones and the Judds, I couldn’t help but notice, thanks to what I’ve learned from class, that there are many pastoral themes in country music.  Even the genre name, “country” implies to the listener that you might expect to hear about easy going times of a simpler style of living. Continue reading

The three tools of pastoral— Nature, simplicity and complexity

I cannot believe this course is about to wrap up. I have learned a lot from this class that I never would have learnt in many ages. For my final free form article I decided to talk about Blake’s creativeness and its connection to nature, simplicity and complexity; These  contradictions that summarize what pastoral is ultimately about. Blake articulates a series of peoms that represent the fundamental movement from the world of innocence to the reality of experience of every pastoral life. Particularly his peom called the Holy Thursday has both an innocence and experience edge that helps us explore the two unique perspectives of the world we live in. Continue reading

Pastoral…Haunting My Dreams?

Someone recently just posted a free form article titled “Pastoral…IT’S EVERYWHERE”. I couldn’t agree more. I’m beginning to catch myself thinking “How could I relate this to pastoral?” or “Does this relate to pastoral in an way”. I guess it can’t be much of a bad thing seeing as how to get the best grade possible, you have to eat, sleep, and breathe pastoral! I really started to notice my “obsession” (if you could really call it that) with finding pastoral when my marine called me today. He’s currently overseas and naturally, he was saying how much he missed home. He started describing all the thing he missed doing in perfect detail. Even though I was sitting in the house, it was such perfect detail that I could almost see myself doing it right that very second.  Continue reading

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

 The Good, The Bad, and The UglyA Fistful of Dollars. A Few Dollars More. To some people, these may just seem like disjointed, poorly constructed sentences, but to me, they represent one of the best movie trilogies of all time, the saga of The Man With No Name. These iconic Clint Eastwood movies are some of his best work, the rugged hard-mouthed no nonsense cowboy who is in complete control of the Wild Western landscape and society around him. The distinctive music, with the loud whistles and sweeping orchestral instrumentals composed by Ennio Morricone, gets to me every time I hear it, reminding me of the appeal the recently untamed West held for Americans. Even in recent film memory, with hits such as 3:10 to Yuma and the more modern No Country for Old Men, the idea of a man against the wild captivated millions of people, a “modern” day shepherd, seeking his destiny in the rough rural landscape of the Wild West.

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When I went home this past weekend, I thought that I was going to get a break for the weekend.  I thought that by going home to visit my family and friends, I would get to have a relaxing weekend and not have to stress about anything.  I was leaving school and all the stresses I had behind me in Lexington while I got away.   I even thought, no offense Mr. Battista, that I wasn’t going to have to think about the word “Pastoral,” which has been ringing in my head for the past three and a half weeks now.  I was wrong!  Ever since I have entered this class, I can’t escape it.  ITS EVERYWHERE!

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I was watching TV the other day and noticed a commercial for a company named HughesNet. The video is below:

In the video we see an advertisement explaining how one can get high-speed Internet all the way out in the country. I don’t think it will be difficult for anyone reading this to make a connection to the pastoral topics we’ve been discussing in class. It seems as though this commercial was made as a parody just for us.

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Crisis Mapping

 Could the smart phone be a survival tool? Christopher Van Tilburg, author of Smart Phone: Survival Tool says it’s possible. A smart phone can do lots of cool things, but is it needed for us to survive? We are talking surviving in the wilderness like on a backpacking trip. Going on a trip where you are completely surrounded by trees and beautiful nature is when the use of a smart phone could come in handy. Let’s say someone goes on a hike, most people might take a backpack filled with things that might come in handy on the trail. The essentials might include a canteen with water, snack bars, pocket knife, compass, map, first aid kit, sunscreen, handkerchief, and an extra pair of socks. Is the smart phone now an essential when you go out in to the wilderness? Continue reading