Students were finally slowing down today. They have had 9 days of pretty intense mental stimulation. I think it’s time to wrap it up, which we will do tomorrow with a short essay that allows them to describe what they gained from the seminar. We will do a group picture, sing some songs and show them a summary powerpoint presentation that will review the seminar in pictures, video and quotes. Should be fun.
We started today with the exercise of describing an orange in terms of its effect on their senses, what do you see, hear, smell, taste and feel. They were very excited about it and eager to tell the class about their experiences. Here is one of them, just so you can get a sense of the detail they went into.
“The color of the orange is yellow. The shape is oval. There are a lot of blemishes on it. There a spot on the back to show the center of the orange. When I touch it I find dimples and it is not smooth. There is a line on the side that looks like the Nike sign and a brown color as a mark. It smells strong on the top and weak on the bottom. It does not have the same smell. When I turn it around in my hand I do not feel the dimples. When I removed the peels from the orange there was a lot of zest. It smelled good and strong. In side the orange there are nine segments of different size. Some segments had seeds. It was delicious not too sweet not to salty. It has a bitter taste on my gums when I finished.”
One student said that it was a beautiful experience because she eats oranges all the time but never takes the time to appreciate them with her senses.
I took them through some fun experiences with a Moebius Strip. It is made by taping the two ends of a narrow strip of paper (we used a ribbon) together with a half twist. The first exercise was to use a pen or pencil to make a line down the middle of the strip, keeping it continuously on the ribbon until you return to your starting point. The second was to use a scissors to cut along that line until you return to your starting point. The third was to use a new strip to make a cut 1/3 of the width of the ribbon from one edge and keep going until you reach your starting point. If you want to see what they saw, you’ll have to try it yourself.
As promised, I let them try to build another high tower. I wanted to see the effects of the experience they had earlier building with the blocks. As expected, they were able to build higher and more stable towers.
By this time they were restless and attention was fading, so we sang a song and sent them on their way.
We spent a little time with Haitian Senator Maxime Roumer this afternoon and gave him a T-shirt. He was surprised. We told him some of our experiences during the seminar, then he asked us to move here permanently as faculty at UNOGA. We declined.
This afternoon we also learned that we will be part of the procession at the graduation ceremony as faculty on Saturday. We feel honored to be part of the University’s first graduation.
We will be moving to the B&B up on the mountain again tomorrow evening. We will have very limited internet there and until we get home late Sunday evening, so I plan make my next post from home on Monday.