This has been a busy, physical week as the students completed two derives and a trek of 8 miles. I think it’s safe to say that by Thursday, they were okay with not walking and being in the classroom. See my previous post to learn about derives.

Students presenting their routes, experience, and thoughts to their peers.

Unlike the structured derive on Monday, they had a semi-structured one on Wednesday. They were divided into pairs and given a map, at random. Each map had a circle drawn on it and the students were given the choice of where to start and what route to take. The goal the students were given was to remain as close to the circle as possible, but making decisions along the way of which direction to go. They were given 2.5 hours to finish the derive and while they may have been exhausted from the previous 12-hour day, they were in high spirits. When they returned they answered the following three questions:

  1. What did you discover through this derive?
  2. How do Monday (structured derive), Tuesday (Costa Brava), and Wednesday (semi-structured) compare?
  3. How has walking been a mediator for your experiences here?

After talking amongst each other and deconstructing their experiences, thoughts, and reflections, they participated in a gallery walk. Each partner presented three times while the other walked the gallery, learning from the other groups. Each class we strive to hit some of the key areas of the program for skill development. The gallery walk was perfect for advancing their presentation skills.

Thursday was a different tone. Due to the amount of walking and experience this week, we decided it was best to have an in-class session to debrief and bring everything they’ve learned together. We started the day out by discussing stress, specifically the indirect and direct causes. This was a great lead to the movie we watched, Unnatural Causes. Every 15 minutes the video was paused to discuss and add to the causes they had already thought of. It gave them time to process what they were watching, discuss it, and write it on their poster.

After a busy week, we are off for a three-day weekend, returning on Monday to hike Montserrat. Check back soon!