Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Middle of Somewhere

I stole the name of my favorite bar in Mondulkiri, Cambodia, for the title of a post just published on the Sterling College blog about the hum of activity up here in northern Vermont. Here's an excerpt, with a link:

Looking at a map of New England, Sterling College might seem as if it’s in the middle of nowhere. In recent years, however, this rural corner of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom has become the center of an energetic movement focused on the nexus of sustainable agriculture and strong local community.

Local businesses are thriving, new non-profit organizations are opening their doors and the national media is paying attention to Craftsbury and surrounding towns. In the midst of national economic malaise, the new shoots of green growth in northern Vermont are big news...Read More

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

San Raphael Swell

Before leaving Boulder, I went to central Utah with my friend and housemate Dave to hike and camp for 4 days in the San Raphael Swell. Excerpts from my journal are posted at the Notebook:

Notes on the San Raphael Swell

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Friday, September 24, 2010

Home in Vermont

Well, it's been a big month.

In an unplanned and surprisingly swift turn of events, I've changed jobs and moved home to Craftsbury Common. Leaving Boulder is bittersweet, and leaving my work with Where There Be Dragons is painful, but from my window I can see the maple leaves changing color. It feels good to have finally come home.

I'm writing from my new office in Mager Hall at Sterling College, the smallest 4-year private college in the nation, which happens to be located a 2-minute walk from my land (photos coming soon). Sterling has always positioned itself at the confluence of community and the environment, as students live and learn through the practice of sustainability. Bill McKibben spoke here a couple of years ago, and told the crowd that Sterling is "one of the most important places we can be in and honor in this country." With only 110 students it's hard to say that that's true, but it might be - Sterling is certainly a unique college, and the values of this community - including plain hard work and profound reverence for place - could go a long way towards solving the ills of modern society.

If you had asked me 3 weeks ago when I was moving home, I would have told you "in a few years" - and I would have meant it. Sometimes the world spins in unforeseen ways, though, and after coming home for a short vacation, I realized that Crafsbury is where I'm meant to be right now. The job opening was serendipitous - my title is publications editor and director of media relations, and I'm throwing myself into the work.

As for Dragons, I have the utmost respect and admiration for the organization and for every one of my former colleagues. Moving home was a personal choice, not a professional one. I've been incredibly fortunate to land in jobs that allow me to work in accordance with my values - whether that means cultivating cross-cultural understanding or an appreciation for small-scale sustainable agriculture.

If you're ever in northern Vermont, please come visit. There will be a spot saved in front of the woodstove for you.

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