BA, Religion and Theatre, 2006
Sewanee: The University of the South (Sewanee, TN)
I spent my time in college learning how to read, critically analyze and write succinctly about ancient texts that hold great meaning for people. Acting in and directing plays, as well as learning physical comedy in London while studying abroad, showed me the power of synergy and the magic that happens when you choose to say “yes!” and to play.
After college I interned at a non-profit public hospital in Rome, GA, where my parents lived. I learned a lot about hospital administration, the Joint Commission, and public relations, and also that hospital administration was not for me. All the while I was waking up early in the morning to prepare cinnamon rolls, scones and cookies as the sweets baker at the local bakery, which was taxing (yet delicious), and I had my own apartment and I was figuring out my next move.
When my financial situation changed and I needed to move back in with my folks, I was crestfallen and felt an impulsive pressure to move forward in my life. Now what? I did some soul-searching and realized that I wanted to look at the connection between people’s religious beliefs and their attitudes towards the environment. Why do religious folks (and non-religious spiritual folks) care about our earth? And what does it look like when people attempt to live together in community with the purpose of taking care of the planet? How do they govern themselves? What do they eat? What might a future look like wherein people are mindful stewards of resources? What is sustainability and what is its driving philosophy? All of these questions led me to find an internship at an intentional community and aspiring ecovillage in Dexter, OR, called Lost Valley Educational Center.
Internship, Lost Valley Educational Center, Dexter, OR, July 2007-Dec 2007
Permaculture Design Certificate, October 2007
The internship consisted of a couple of cooking shifts per week, where we prepared vegetarian meals for the community and the on-site camp and conference center guests; cleaning shifts; checking and maintaining inventory; maintaining standardized recipes; preparing salad dressings and gomasio; ordering and picking up food each week; and making sure the outdoor summer kitchen was safe, sanitary, and stocked for the students at the permaculture design course.
For those who may not be familiar with the term, permaculture (coming from the words permanent culture or permanent agriculture) is a whole systems design process that when utilized allows us to live without using as many resources or as much energy.
One example of redesigning a life using permaculture principles that I really enjoy sharing is to design your life so that you can ride your bike to work: this stacks functions, allowing you to move your body, breathe fresh air, enjoy the beauty of being outside, bring consciousness to your immediate actions, and awaken you after either sleeping or working at a desk all day. For more about Lost Valley, see www.lostvalley.org, and for more about permaculture, see https://permacultureprinciples.com/principles/.