Highlight Reel for the 2011 COA Fall Trimester

Wow, those ten weeks certainly do zip by in a hurry.  I hope you all had a great term.  It was my first term back after a 20 year hiatus and will always have special meaning for me.  So much happened for me personally and for the school as an institution, I thought it might be useful (or a least entertaining) to go through a highlight reel for the term.  These are in no particular chronological or “impact” order… just as they come to me.  Pictures will come at the end because I find aligning them in WordPress painful.

* PV ON THE POTTERY SHED.  I loved the work of the PV course, loved sitting in on one session and watching the magic of the COA course unfold.  And now we have 12 units on the shed, all done by students who worked the project through under Robert’s guidance (using a Dave Feldmanism) from soup to nuts (just kidding.  Dave wouldn’t say that). Moving ahead?: more PV and more real carbon, energy and otherwise footprint reduction strategies done on campus, in the community — by students.

* THE BAR ISLAND SWIM.  Wow, that was colder than I remembered.  Thanks very much to my swim buddy Lisa McCusker for making sure I didn’t sink. Moving ahead?: more students on the waters of Frenchman Bay.

* POP!TECHS AIDAN DWYER ON CAMPUS.  Aidan was great at Pop!Tech in Camden.  I’m glad he accepted the invite to come up here and talk with our community and Pemetic Elementary School.  Moving ahead?: More outstanding guest speakers during the school year; more thought on the aesthetics of PV design.

* TODD’S APPLE CLASS, JUDGING. I’m fired-up by the idea of learning local history through apples.  Being an apple-pie tasting judge on the last day of class wasn’t bad either.  Moving ahead?: More history through food; more pies.

* GETTING TO KNOW THE TOM COX PROPERTY. Hale Morrell guided me through the property — she’s doing an outstanding senior project out there.  Moving ahead?: working with the COA community to ensure a relative sense of “pristine” on the property, yet getting more students, faculty and staff out there to use the property as a Land Lab.

* GETTING BETTER AT PUTTING NAMES TO FACES. For me, this summer involved a lot of name recognition — and the Fall? X3!!  I would guess I could name about 100 students.  I recognize maybe another 100.  I apologize for the number of times I’ve asked “what’s your name?” – and to many individuals, multiple times. Moving ahead?: OK, I’m going to start a photo database on my iPad and get to 200 names — first and last.  Thanks for your patience.

* RE-EXPLORING ACADIA. COA had a very solid showing at the Take Pride in Acadia Day.  I was sick as a dog that day and didn’t work much at all, but I HAVE committed myself to knowing and walking/running all the trails/carriage roads on the Island.  The best walk may have been from Conners Nubble to North Bubble.  Moving ahead?: More COA folk in the park, working, studying, doing research and otherwise enjoying one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

* SEEING THE ‘A-HA’ MOMENTS ON STUDENTS FACES COMING BACK FROM THEIR OUTER ISLANDS WORK. Great Duck and The Rock — two amazing pieces of our campus which generate amazing, life-changing experiences for students.  That says it all. Moving ahead? More of the same and some new pieces of infrastructure where needed.

* NAILING MY FIRST LAND-LOCKED SALMON.  This was on Long Pond with Bill Newlin and Lucybell Sellers.  Pure mo-jo gathering.  Moving ahead?: more fishing.

* EATING AT TAB AND SEA URCHINS. Wow, I forgot how good the food here was!  I have to say that my favorite meal was Week 10s hot turkey sandwiches.  Yes, I’ve gotten back to my “winter fighting weight.” Moving ahead?: eat more and less at the same time, and always do so on campus.

* SPEAKING OF FOOD…FARMS. God, I love farms.  Farmers=the ultimate tinkerers.  I’ve felt a lot of progress where our farms are concerned: Moving forward?: more students doing more work and more research and more experimentation on our farms.

* FIRST FUNDRAISING TRIP OFF CAMPUS: Lynn and I had a fantastic, however hectic, fundraising trip in Washington, DC. Moving forward?: more fundraising.

* MORE FUNDRAISING: Actually, my first off campus trip was with Trustee Sarah McDaniel!  We were in Boston raising alumni funds for the Borden Chair. Moving forward?: more fundraising.

* INDEPENDENT STUDY: I managed to supervise Josh Cutler’s independent study on long-distance running.  I believe I managed five running trips where Josh (who trained with Eritrean runners, just so you know) dragged me around various routes on MDI.  Moving forward:? Definitely more running (see the ‘more eating’ above).

* KIDS ON CAMPUS: I always imagined my girls Maggie and Molly would spend time exploring campus and causing a little bit of harmless trouble in the process.  They did, but we’re too quiet.  Moving forward?: More Maggie and Molly.

* INAUGURATION: It just felt right.  Thanks everyone.  Moving forward?: Hopefully, no additional inaugurations for a good long time.

* DRU’S CLASS: Dru Colbert taught Curiosity and Wonder and I was able to sit in and help.  The productions from that class and from Steve Ressel’s Bio-Through-the Lens are in the Dorr Museum and are FANTASTIC. There’s nothing like sitting in on COA classes to really grock what we’re all about. Moving forward: Require key staff to spend a certain amount of time/term in class.

*TEDxAshokaU: Jay Friedlander was robbed. His video was hands down the best – no question.  Goliath (a school with 90,000 students) may have snuck by David (COA — 300 or so students) … but just barely.  Moving forward?: improve our social media outreach.

* OUR BOARD: We’re one lucky institution and wow do we have a group of smart, creative and energetic Trustees who love this place.  Moving forward?: Get to know each and everyone of them better than I do now.

* WATSON FELLOWSHIP: It was an amazing experience reliving my own Watson Fellowship application process by participating on the COA Watson Committee. We’ve got three fantastic candidates in the hopper, now all we can do is wait. Good luck Matthew, Marina and Alice! Moving forward?: more of the same.

*VISIT OF CHARLES HAMBLETON: Charles came to the college for a screening of his film The Cove.  He was welcomed with such open arms and is clearly cut from COA cloth! Moving forward? Partnerships around Bar Harbor’s Criterion?

* LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT YEAR: I’ve really enjoyed being focused on helping Sarah Baker and her admissions team bring the best possible students into the COA fold next Fall.  The highlight? – Fall Fly-In dinner in Jay McNally’s barn — only at COA. Moving forward?: Visiting high schools and coming up with more creative tools for getting the right students here.

* TAI-CHI WITH JV: OK, so I only attended one Tai Chi session with John Visvader on one lonely Thursday afternoon.  But a spark was lit. Moving forward?: More lighting sparks … seeing if I can audit Ernie’s 2-D Design class in winter.

OK, so the photos aren’t complete and fall out of order … but you get the idea.

Have a great break.  See you in a few weeks!  DC



2 thoughts on “Highlight Reel for the 2011 COA Fall Trimester

  1. Lamira Alisalem says:

    Nice work !!! Have a wonderful break 🙂

  2. Dave F. says:

    Congratulations on finishing your first term.

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