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Spring Semester 2021 Begins
January 15, 2021

When we set the stage for our Fall 2020 semester program, our students were aware they could continue on in the new year as fellows after completing the fall semester and taking a much needed winter break. When the fall semester began, we weren’t sure who would continue with Thoreau College and who would depart after the fall semester ended. We are delighted to say, our spring semester is robust with the addition of four new fellows joining us (from Madison, Wisconsin; Toronto, Canada; and Minneapolis/Stanford University), three previous fellows continuing along with us, and eight of last semester’s students continuing with us now as fellows.

Most fellows are pursuing internships through our community partners (Thoreau’s Garden, Community Hunger Solutions, Driftless Provisions, and The Commons Kitchen, to name a few) while also taking elective classes taught by Thoreau faculty and fellows. Courses available include: regenerative agriculture, a philosophy seminar, and a creative writing workshop.

In this process of creating the shape and structure of the spring semester, we’ve often used the phrase building the plane as we fly it. This, I have to say, is one of the beautiful things about Thoreau College: the ability to reflect on what’s emerging while we shape what comes next. At the start of the 2020 fall semester we didn’t yet know the shape of our spring offerings. With the help of our curriculum committee (comprised of students, faculty, and fellows), our faculty brainstorms and all the experiential knowledge we’ve gained since our first semester program in the fall of 2019, we built it as we flew.

We are so grateful to be flying with those daring enough to fasten the wings, rivet the aluminum sheeting, oil the squeaky parts and lay the guide lights along the aisle while we find ourselves already in flight against the sometimes shocking blue of the winter skies.
By: faculty member Franciszka Voeltz
(Photo: Most of the spring 2021 fellows on a winter outing at Sidie Hollow park during the first week of spring semester.)