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  • Lorelle VanFossen 5:51 am on October 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , antropology, archaelogy, , , , garbology, higher education, , research, , sciences, waste studies,   

    Discard Studies 

    Jeff Wall, The Destroyed Room, 1978. Glenstone. Bedroom with all the furnishings destroyed.

    Discard Studies is an educational site that explores the “throw-away culture.” Called “Critical Discard Studies,” it is an emerging interdisciplinary sub-field associated with Garbology and related natural and historical sciences. It studies and questions the premises of what seems normal or given within the greater role of society and culture, focusing not only on what we throw away but our wasteful life practices and culture.

    The site is designed as an online social platform for scholars, activists, environmentalists, students, and others involved in the study of waste and wasting to gather and showcase and discuss this new field of study.

    The team behind the site recently released the Discard Studies Compendium, a glossary of critical key terms associated with studying waste and wasting, and as part of their effort to continue to develop this science discipline. It is a tremendous resource of garbage related terminology.

    Article highlights that feature links to research papers and calls for papers as well as topics for information and discussion include:

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 8:17 am on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: classes, , garbology, garbology history, garbology in the news, , garbology projects, garbology research, , garbology study programs,   

    October 22, 2014: Garbology News 

    Our featured news story comes from our neck of the planet, Marysville, Washington, where a woman is fighting city hall, literally.

    KingTV news story on Marysville woman protesting garbage bill and can.

    King-TV in Seattle reports on a woman in Marysville willing to go to jail rather than use her garbage can.

    She canceled her garbage pickup 20 years ago. Now that her Snohomish County home was annexed to the city of Marysville, she is required to use the provided 36 gallon garbage can and she refuses to use it, tried to return it, and refuses to pay the garbage bill for a can and garbage she says she does not need nor want. Because she has failed to pay her utility bill that includes sewer, water, and garbage, the city is threatening to turn off her services, and could have her arrested.

    Historical City and Garbage Image Collection: As highlighted in “Historical Images from Seattle Municipal Archives” on this site recently, the Seattle Municipal Archives on Flickr features images over the years of garbage trucks and sanitation workers. The images are public domain, though a citation is appreciated.

    The Intersection of Science and Policy: In the Corvallis Gazette Times, editor Mike McInally asks if academia is thinking too much, citing the Garbology Common Read project at WSU, that explores the issue of impartial research as “we grapple with increasingly complex issues that require scientific input,” and its impact on public policy as well as academia.

    Finally, peer inside yourself for evidence of what experts call “confirmation bias”: The tendency we all have (yes, even editorial writers) to give more weight to evidence that confirms our beliefs than to evidence that challenges them.

    Kathryn Schulz’s excellent book “Being Wrong” offers a broader discussion of this and the many other ways in which we can deceive ourselves. Writes Schulz: “We don’t assess evidence neutrally; we assess it in light of whatever theories we’ve already formed on the basis of whatever other, earlier evidence we have encountered.”

    We live in a world which increasingly requires a measure of scientific literacy. The good news is that it’s not outside our reach – but it requires a dose of intelligent skepticism, and that includes being willing to think deeper about our own beliefs.

    Student Garbology Site – Wordless Wednesday: While the student site is still in development in coordination with the CTEC 160 WordPress I class, we’ve created a weekly “Wordless Wednesday” meme for students once the site goes live, and instructors if they wish to use these in their classes.

    The idea is based upon the long-held blogging tradition for bloggers to publish an image on Wednesdays without commentary. They encourage their readers to respond to the image in the comments. Some readers are inspired to write poems, share stories, offer commentary and essays, or just add a few thoughtful comments – it’s an opportunity for a prompt, to create a discussion based upon a visual.

    If you would like to offer or recommend images to this project for the student site or for your class, please contact us.

    The following is a summary of the news in and around the subject of garbology, our regular attempt to collect more resources, references, and information you may use in your classroom discussions.

    Reminders and Nags

    Book Club Meeting: Please add Friday, November 21, from 12-1:30PM to your calendar for the next Garbology Book Club Meeting in the Cannell Library (LIB 101). It is open to faculty and students.

    Discussions: We have numerous discussions on the site for you to participate in to learn more about garbology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. See the Discussions category.

    Ideas: If your class has incorporated any or all of the Garbology book into your curriculum, we’d love to hear about it. If not, are you wondering how to incorporate garbology into your curriculum? Check out the list created by the brainstorming sessions from the Faculty Focus event on Clark Faculty Ideas for Garbology Projects.

    Garbology, Garbage, Recycling, and Related News

    Garbology Announced on The Independent:Clark Throws Book at Garbage” was the clever title for the announcement of the Common Read project for Clark. (More …)

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 11:06 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commentary, discussions, , essays, garbology, language, language arts, prose,   

    English: Garbology Prose 

    The author of Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, Edward Hume, won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the US military in 1989, and was a writing workshop high school teacher in Cerritos, California, so he knows a thing or two about writing prose.

    In the first chapter, Hume describes the giant mountain of garbage created daily by the garbage accumulated and processed outside of Los Angeles this way, referring to the compacting of the garbage into cells, blocks of trash.

    Big Mike sculpts such a mound not in a month or a week, but in one glorious day, every day, as he and his colleagues dump, push, carve and build a pinnacle of trash where once there were canyons. He is king of a mountain built of old tricycles and bent board games, yellowed newspapers and bulging plastic bags, sewage sludge and construction debris—all the detritus, discards and once valuable tokens of modern life and wealth, reduced to an amorphous, dense amalgam known as “fill.”

    The football-field-sized plot at the center of activity atop Puente Hills is called a “cell,” not in the prison-block sense, but more akin to the tiny biological unit, many thousands of which are needed to create a single, whole organism. As with living creatures, this cell, titanic as it is, represents a small building block for the modern landfill—the part that grows and reproduces each day. A dozen BOMAGs, bulldozers and graders swarm over this fresh fill every day, backing and turning and mashing and shaping, their warning gongs clanging and engines roaring in a controlled chaos, mammoth bees crawling atop the hive. Their curved steel blades raise up and blot the sun, then drop into the sea of trash and push it forward, waves of debris flowing off either side as if the dozers’ blades were the prows of a schooner fleet, complete with the flap and quarrel of seagulls overhead, their cranky squawks drowned out by the diesel din. A sickly-sweet smell of decay kicks up when the cell is churned this way, and the thrum and grind of the big engines can be felt in the ground near the cell. The noise induces sympathetic vibrations in the chest of anyone nearby, creating the uncomfortable sensation of being near a marching band with too many bass drummers.

    From the chapter excerpt published on Huffington Post in 2012.

    In two short paragraphs, we are there, watching the behemoth dozers dance with the daily trash, molding and squeezing 13,000 tons of garbage into a 15 ft deep rectangle the length and width of a football field. We smell it, we feel it, it vibrates our body – all the senses are touched.

    Bringing beautiful prose to garbage takes a mastery of the language.

    Garbology: A PAST Foundation Educational Program produced by the Solid Waste Autority of Central Ohio covers the adoption of Garbology as a school-wide project, and cited the English class reading of William Rathje’s book, Rubbish and listening to guest lecturers from Mexico describe how their country handles waste and waste management. The English curriculum recommended in the book include Socratic discussion on changing how we generate trash, review and dissemination of garbage in the news, and a poetry competition following the prompt from Rathje’s book, “In sight, Out of Mind…”

    California State University at Northridge English Department published several creative writing and English essays on Garbology from their English classes citing two student essays. Jenny Dullas wrrote a letter home to her Dad for her English 113A class about changing their shopping habits and Pamela Palencia’s essay on an ocean of garbage beautiful commentary on a photograph:

    Isolated in an ocean of grey, none others present but the clear loose plastic that surrounds the abandon wooden boat. A wooden boat whose appearance looks like rusty, ancient handles bars from a forgotten bicycle. This immense amount of waste floating on a grime-filled body of water is motionless. His hope is trapped in the surroundings of multiple junk food wrappings and pieces of ivory paper. As youth lets the sadness from these grey waters touch his fingertips, youth is slowing losing all hope. A child rests at the front of his lonely, faded boat, viewing the poison that is being fed to this world known as Earth. A boy is at his edge, his climax, his tipping point of desiring a healthy home, a better life. A child with an inferior lifestyle attempting to paint his desired future in a pond instead is blurred by the unsanitary trash that lies beneath him. Eternal trash covers the gift of beauty of blue crystal seas like a darkness covering the gift of sight of a child. The sea of scraps is a variety of different shapes and sizes of plastic. Long, narrow, big, or small it does not matter its appearance because plastic is danger. This danger swims in a pond that was once a home to fishes, a delightful view to people, and a reflection of the cloudy light blue skies. It is now hiding under the toxic garbage we put there like the filth hidden underneath one’s fingernails.

    Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES Curriculum Center on Education for Sustainability offers a lesson overview on “Talking Trash” with an outline on how to consider what our culture perceives as waste and how cultures can live sustainably within a natural environment for the art and music classes for English Language Arts. The lesson plan includes a list of study and talking points on Garbology.

    A student in the UW Garbology project shares her views on garbology including examples of keeping a trash log, documenting and analyzing the trash Mara generates during her school and home life, then describes the three benefits she’s gained from doing garbology, a good example of a summary writing project and analysis.

    A search through Tumblr topics on Garbology reveal many articles and posts from students and teachers on the topic, often featuring lessons and assignments as students report on their findings.

    Almost all Garbology projects involve writing and research, digging deep into the facts, history, and science of our trash. There are stories about our lives and trash everywhere, from hoarders to recyclers to employees in the garbage industry to every day people coping with the confusion of what to do with all the trash they generate and collect.

    If your class is writing about Garbology, please share the questions and discussions you will use in class to help other teachers see the potential in the subject matter.

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 1:16 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , garbology, , , , , , , , ,   

    October 16, 2014: Garbology Weekly News 

    Garbology News badge.The University of New Mexico’s Lobo Reading Experience this year is also garbology, their common academic reading program. The goals of their project are:

    • To provide a common experience for all university community members to facilitate transition to a new academic year and create connections between classroom and out of class-room experiences.
    • To engage discussions between students, faculty, staff, and community members surrounding societal issues, and to share learning aspirations.
    • To integrate the book within course curriculums across campus providing faculty with a listing of ideas for faculty on how to incorporate it within their classes.
    • Develop a year-long comprehensive program within campus curricular and co-curricular activities, housing, parent association, new student orientation, and human resources that reaches all student, parents, and staff communities.
    • To create the value of reading as a university community.
    • To collaborate with the City of Albuquerque Cultural Services to promote literacy and reading as fun within the libraries, youth programs, and family centers.

    These are in line with the goals of the Clark College program. Check out the Faculty Resources, related books, and more information on their project on their site.

    The following is a summary of the news in and around the subject of garbology, our regular attempt to collect more resources, references, and information you may use in your classroom discussions.

    Reminders and Nags

    Book Club Meeting: The Clark College Garbology Book club will be meeting Friday, October 17, from 12-1:30PM in the Cannell Library (LIB 101). It is open to faculty and students. You do not have to have read the book.

    Take the Poll: Please help us by completing the Poll: Will You Integrate Garbology into Your Class?.

    Discussions: We have numerous discussions on the site for you to participate in to learn more about garbology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. See the Discussions category.

    Ideas: Wondering how to incorporate garbology into your curriculum? Check out the list created by the brainstorming sessions from the Faculty Focus event on Clark Faculty Ideas for Garbology Projects.

    Conference: The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2014 Conference & Expo is in Portland October 26-29. Registration is still available.

    Garbology, Garbage, Recycling, and Related News

    Conference: The annual conference for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) will be in Portland, October 26-29, 2014, at the Oregon Convention Center. The announcement states:

    “The annual Conference & Expo is a very important and ‘must attend’ event for like-minded higher education sustainability professionals to come together to learn, share ideas and best practices with one another and take back to their institutions,” said AASHE Executive Director Stephanie A. Herrera. “We are excited and proud to see this year’s conference come together in one of the most sustainable American cities in the country, and look forward to unveiling the location for the 2015 AASHE Conference & Expo.”

    The AASHE Conference & Expo is the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. Attendees from around the world will come together at AASHE 2014 to network and share new innovations, activities, frameworks, learning outcomes, tools, strategies, research, theory and leadership initiatives that are changing the face of sustainability on their campus and surrounding communities.

    The event includes presentations from national experts discussing practices for transformative sustainability education, indigenous practices for sustainability, driving innovations simultaneously at the economy, community, and campus scale, and data to action – advancing sustainability investment decisions. the event also features the creator of “The Story of Stuff” and Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard, Environmental Professionals of Color and the Center for Diversity and The Environment founder, Marcelo Bonta, Anna Lappé, bestselling author and sustainable food advocate, and others. There are pre- and post-conference workshops available as well. (More …)

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 3:42 pm on September 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: albatross, , , garbology, impact, , , , pollution, sea,   

    Garbology and Birds: Baby Albatross and Plastic [VIDEO] 

    The following short film is by Chris Jordan called “Midway: Message from the Gyre.”

    Called a “powerful visual,” the film goes to one of the remotest islands in the world for several years where tens of thousands of baby albatross die each year from trying to digest plastic from the Plastic Garbage Patch, where the garbage of the ocean gathers in the currents.

     
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