Friday, April 8, 2011

Cunning schemes and crazy capers

For a week or two now, ever since my class and I settled on the idea of surrounding the Nature Reserve with people (which was one of my original visions for the project), I've been at a loss to picture how it could actually be done.  You've got a few hundred people (we hope) milling around the parking lot at the reserve entrance.  How do you deploy them around the perimeter of the reserve?  How do they know when to stop walking?  How do you tell them when to break and come back to the entrance?

While in the shower tonight -- the time when many of us come up with our best ideas -- I had another vision.  The students had stated that they wanted to have students hold on to green yarn as they move down the paths to form their human chain.  What if had a member of the class lead, and we counted the participants off, and every 50 or so we added another member of the class?  Six or seven class members ought to do it (if we're lucky in our turnout).  And what if all members of the class had walkie-talkies?  We have a dozen or more walkies that we use at fall retreat to keep the upperclass student organizers in communication.  That way the project leaders at the entrance could signal to the class members out on the line to stop when we ran out of people (or if we needed a pause for any other reason), and when we were calling the group back in.

I had another vision, too.  And that was of a video camera running down the whole length of the line, the film in fast motion, showing the entire human chain.  Can we get people into place in time to get that video before our 50 minute time slot is up?  And what else is wrong with my plan that I can't see right now, dazzled as I am by shower fumes?

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