Self-Reliance and Interdependence in the Woods

I'm 700 miles into the Appalachian Trail (you can catch up on the journey here, here and here), and this year I've found some truly wonderful friends that have helped me get through rain and pain. I came out here last year and this year solo, looking to discover my "self" at the outer limits of my abilities, and … Continue reading Self-Reliance and Interdependence in the Woods

The Walden Soundscape in Winter

A Project in the Making The Walden Soundscape is a project funded by a Graduate Center Provost's Digital Innovation Grant. It's my effort to share the sounds at Walden Pond with any interested reader of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden in the form of an immersive website experience. I’m recording sounds at the pond in all four seasons, … Continue reading The Walden Soundscape in Winter

Reading American Romanticism with Students after the Election

"What is wanted is men, not of policy, but of probity--who recognize a higher law than the Constitution, or the decision of the majority. The fate of the country does not depend on how you vote at the polls--the worst man is as strong as the best at that game; it does not depend on … Continue reading Reading American Romanticism with Students after the Election

“Leave No Trace”: When American Transcendentalism Leads to Wilderness Preservation

Having hiked over 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail this summer, dutifully carrying a copy of Thoreau's writings with me, there are certain habits I've cultivated with a now-ingrained daily routine that I'll take with me off the trail. The "Leave No Trace" policy of American hiker culture is what keeps the Appalachian Trail special for everyone … Continue reading “Leave No Trace”: When American Transcendentalism Leads to Wilderness Preservation

Losing a Wild Soundscape 

Hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer has been a musical experience beyond anything I could have predicted. I've now hiked over 300 miles along the state line of North Carolina and Tennessee, arriving in Virginia yesterday just in time for the shocking gun-like echo of fireworks. Before I get to that, let me share with … Continue reading Losing a Wild Soundscape