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February 15, 1985 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-02-15
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NELP: Live in the woods with Thoreau. et. al.

By Arona Pearlstein
IF YOU'RE looking for a different
approach to your education, you
might want to consider the New
England Literature Program. The six
week University program, help at
Camp Kehonka outside Wolfeboro, New
Hampshire, combines intensive study
of New England writers with intensive
study of nature.
Thirty-six students, two graduate
students, and three full professors par-
ticipate in the program during Spring
term. Along with the other studies,
students are expected to keep a journal
and share work in daily chores.
The atmosphere demands that
radios, TVs, and stereos be left behind.
"I would say that in addition to

1

meeting requirements of the education,
we're also interested in holistic
education and in what learning is," said
Professor Walter Clark, who co-
founded the 11-year-old program along
with Professor Alan Howes. "We en-
courage students to learn new things.
We also encourage them to teach so
that students can be both teachers and
beginners."
Students involved in the program last
year spoke enthusiastically about the
chance to experiment with new ideas.
Said LSA senior Tim Richardson, "I
picked up a lot of confidence knowing
that the ideas I had were valid.
Whereas in Ann Arbor, there is a bigger
risk of expressing them (new ideas)."
"Out there, ideas came naturally. They
weren't attacked."
"You're free to try," said LSA senior
Marc Bruell. "The level of acceptance
was extraordinary. You set your own
perimeters."
"It's an opportunity to do new things,
to go on your own. You're not just going
through a program," said LSA senior
Mellissa Holub.
Cut off from TV, radio, and stereo,
students must create their own enter-
tainment. Playing musical instrumen-
ts is popular, as well as reading aloud to
others, and writing. The program also
allows students to re-learn hobbies
that have long been forgotten.
"There was one woman who hadn't
played piano in years," said Richar-
dson. "She turned out to be a fantastic
pianist." ,
Students can create their own classes
in the program. Last year, student-
organized classes included lessons on
sign language and water safety, as well

as informal instruction on a variety of
musical instruments and music com-
position.
The journal students must keep is a
central part of the program. It has
many different functions, from being a
tool used in class to raise questions and
complete exercises to making obser-
vations about nature. The journal may
also be used for creative writing.
NELP journals typically run from 150
to 200 pages.
"Someone may write about loons on a
lake and then read Thoreau's account.
One is able to look at him (Thoreau) as
a fellow writer, rather than as someone
to worship," said Clark.
Another key feature of the program is
broadening a students' view of
literature to encompass daily oc-
currences. "When we go on the trail,
we take books with us," Clark said. "If
we read a Frost poem on junipers, we
show people junipers." Relating the
environment to the works studied gives
people a new understanding of
literature, Clark said.
Said Bruell, "You read them (New
England writers) in their environment.
They became real."
Hiking and canoeing trips are
another important feature of the camp.
The camping program encourages in-
dependence and knowledge and ap-
preciation of nature. Students even do
"solos", where each spends 24 hours
alone in the woods.
"I built confidence by being strong
physically through all the hiking," said
Melissa Holub.
"A lot of the emphasis with Thoreau
and Emerson was on the individual,"

said Richardson. "Going out on the
trips, we learned to be more self-suf-
ficient. It was similar to Outward
Bound."
Is NELP for everyone? The brochure
for the program explains quite clearly
that the ". . . atmosphere is sociable
and pleasant, but inappropriate for Ann
Arbor style partying." NELP, ex-
plained Clark, is a place for growth,
and sometimes growth is not always
fun. "I'm sure when some people come
to NELP, they find it's not for them,"
he said. "People feel much more ex-
tremely on the ups and downs because
of the isolation. It's not a place to
play."
Bruell has no doubts about what the
program meant to him. "It was the
best thing I did at the University," he
said. "It was amazing in a lot of ways.. .
It put education in a great perspec-
tive."
Said Holub, "A lot of the stuff that it
offered was not different for me in the
way I lead my life. There was an
amazing opportunity to take initiative.
I was thinking about going back and
getting a teaching spot. ..
NELP begins May 3 and ends June 19.
Acceptance into the program is on a fir-
st-come first serve basis. Though the
current program is filled for this year,
the waiting list is not yet full. If
someone is among the first ten on the
waiting list, he has a good chance of
being included in the program for this
year. If he is not included in the
program this year, he will get top con-
sideration for the following year. Ap-
plications may be picked up outside
2635 Haven Hall.

Going where
most tourists
have never
gone before
By Amy D. Goldstein
Everyone has wanted to climb the
Himalayas, hike through the Amazon
jungle, or hotfoot it across active
volcanoes in Costa Rica. But the travel
arrangements have always been a little
difficult to arrange, at least until the
Journeys travel company was created
seven years ago.
When Will and Joan Weber began
their travel company, Journeys, they
wanted to "continue the conservation
project (Will) started as a Peace Corps
volunteer, says Kurt Kutay, Journey's
Latin American program director.
Today, Journeys offers trips which are
opportunities for cross-cultural ex-
periences and conservation awareness.
Journeys makes available trips to
Nepal, Sri Lanka, Latin America, and
Africa. The purpose of the trips is to
provide an alternate form of tourism.
Mike Dively, a three time Journeys
veteran, says the trips involve camping
out, using public transport, riding
elephants or bicycles, or walking.
Each tour group is led by a native
guide who is proficient in many
languages. The most significant
qualifications for a guide are trekking
experience, and understanding of
natural environments, the villages and
people in the area, and the language
says Kutay.
The groups are usually comprised of
two to 15 people, ages 25 to 75. The only
qualification for the trips is that one
must be in "good physical health, but
they do not have to be athletes," accor-
ding to Katay. The treks usually last
two to four weeks, with the actual
hiking lasting from five to 20 days.
Katay recalls a 74-year-old Catholic
priest who came on a trip to the
monasteries on the Mt. Everest region
to "build a bridge between Eastern and
Western religion. He was exhausted
every day," says Katay, "but he loved
it."
One of the most appealing aspects of
the Journys trips is the cross-cultural
contact one gets with the native
peoples. On the monastery trek, a Bud-
dhist monk accompanies the trekkers
of their trip. The people sometimes
stay with natives in the villages they

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(Continued from Page 6.)
of the Festival of American Folklife,
which features exhibitions and food
strands from a different state and one
foreign country each summer. Last
year's featured state was Alaska and
state officials flew in a small iceberg
for the primary exhibit.
The nightlife in the nation's capital is
fun, though perhaps overrated. On
weekends, the college-aged crowd clogs
the streets of Georgetown on the west
side of Washington, wearing their prep-
py, New England clothes. Georgetown
is home to Georgetown University,
charming but very expensive old
townhouses, bars which appeal to the
young singles, and the best ice cream
parlours around. (Steve's Ice Cream is
firmly established here, but Bob's Cone
E. Island, and Swenson's are popular

Traversing treacherous bridges, like this one, is not an unusual oc-

too.) Good places to eat include Gepet-
to's Pizzeria, the Hamburger Hamlet,
and El Torritos (famous for their tasty
though virtually non-alcoholic
strawberry daiquiris).
The trendy crowd parties around
Dupont Circle. This is the site of some
of the town's best dance bars such as
Cagney's. There is also an all-night
bookstore which regularly features jazz
bands in its back loft.
The best means of transportation,
especially on busy weekdays, is the
subway. But during early morning and
late afternoon rush hours, the crowded
subway can be more frustrating than
convenient.
Unless you are immune to
claustrophobia, you might choose
walking. Drivers are not as kind to
pedestrians as they are in Ann Arbor,
so be careful. Getting lost is virtually
impossible because the streets are con-
veninetly marked. Streets running
east-west have letter or word names;
roads running north-south are num-
bered.

currence on Journeys tours.
visit. "We were exposed to the people
in a much different way than in any
other trip. We were traveling at a much
slower speed, and had an opportunity to
see and meet people," Dively says.
Journeys has had great success in
trying to better the lives of the native
peoples in the countries they travel.
"We go back to the areas where we've
distributed vegetable seeds, and the
people have much better diets (because
of the vegetables). We can buy back
vegetables, which provides a com-
plement to our menues, and also a
source of income to the people," Kutay
said.
The trekkers have developed solar
water heaters to heat shower water for
people on the popular Mt. Everest
climbs. As a part of the philosophy of
trying to enjoy and preserve nature and
the environment Journeys people have

also started a hatchery to save the en-
dangered sea turtle.
Recently, Journeys started a clean-up
Mt. Everest program. One of the main
objectives of the trip is to pick-up the
garbage left behind by the various
Everest trips.
However, this desire to help the en-
vironment is not exclusive to the Jour-
neys founders. "We have had trips
where people stay along to help
Nepalise people plant trees, or help
pass out vegetable seeds to the local
villages," states Kutay.
Kutay, a trek leader, describes the
trips as "a growth experience, sharing
emotional difficulties and physical har-
dships, supporting each other with
those hardships." He adds, "It's really
exciting to be with people who are
fulfilling a lifelong dream. The trips

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The subway-dubbed "Metro"-will
take you to the national zoo, the Capitol
and congressionall office buildings, and
to an interesting underground shoppingj
mall in Crystal City,VA.
At 5 p.m. on Friday, downtown
Washington metamorphoses into a
ghosttown for the weekend. This is a
good time to leave the city to see some
of the suburbs. Catch a bus to
Baltimore, MD. for a baseball game, or
to the Shenandoah Mountains for a
hiking trip, or to beaches in Delaware
and Virginia. Casinos in Atlantic City,
N.J. also run bus services from down-
town Washington to their gaming
houses where drivers refund part of the
busfare to be used at poker tables or
Qlnt m2PhinPc
DeLater is a Daily editor who
spent last summer as an intern in
Washington.

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14 Weekend/Friday, February 15, 1985

Weekend/Frid

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