2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

The Wisdom of a Sailor

CANCELLED Last Updated: 02/14/2008

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: John Filmer maritime studies, business

Faculty Signature Required: Students must submit, on paper, a one-page summary of their goals and objectives as well as their expectations of the program. Acceptance into the program will be based on the student’s background and aspirations. For information and to schedule a faculty interview, contact John Filmer, (360) 867-6159 or by mail at The Evergreen State College, Seminar 2 A2117, Olympia, WA 98505. Please do not use e-mail. Qualified students will be accepted until the program fills.

Major areas of study include critical reasoning, writing, navigation, literature, maritime and Northwest history, maritime economics, communications, leadership and seamanship. Sea time can be documented toward USCG mariner's license.

Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.

"A passage under sail brings out in the course of days whatever there may be of the sea love and sea sense in an individual whose soul is not indissolubly wedded to the pedestrian shore." –Joseph Conrad

The challenge of sea and sail inspires ordinary people to do extraordinary things. It is truly a metaphor for life and it will open up exciting vistas of opportunity. Wisdom handed down through the generations by ancient mariners, explorers, merchant seamen, fishermen and all those intrigued by venturing out on open waters will provide the "mainstay" for all we do in this year long program. What they did and what you will learn comprise the "wisdom of the sailor" and give an incentive to learn even more about the world and about yourself. Our waters define the history, ecology and economy of the region. Placing vessels and students into that environment helps us make a strong public statement about the centrality of the marine environment to our economy, our identity and our future. The excitement of sailing and the challenge of sea and sail focus the talents and energies of students while building strong learning communities aboard the sailing vessels

During fall quarter, in the classroom, we will study the origins and patterns of world trade and exploration, U.S. and Puget Sound history and an introduction to nautical charts and the use of vector geometry in coastal navigation. Emphasis in our seminar discussions and in writing assignments will be on critical reasoning and an articulate analysis of issues. Students will be expected to develop and defend detailed responses to a series of sharply focused essay questions based on the reading.

In the classroom during winter quarter, we will examine the role of international trade, seaports and the maritime industries as drivers of the economic engine of the Puget Sound region. We will continue our study of the principles of coastal navigation and maritime history. As always, adherence to critical reasoning principles will be emphasized in our discussions and essay writing.

Spring quarter's class work will include material on navigational history, the physics of sail and the development and refinement of coastal navigation skills. Reading, seminar discussions and writing assignments will focus on understanding and developing team building and leadership strategies and their application in the teaching of seamanship and boat handling.

Every quarter, while on board a well-tuned sail-training vessel, we will "plunge into the past" and learn to apply traditional sailing techniques. This is an opportunity to study power cruise and sail seamanship, become part of a working crew, learn The Rules of the Road, tides and currents, weather, coastal navigation and various sailor's arts including knots, splices, hitches, reefs and the correct use of lines. While hauling down on a halyard or hardening up on a sheet, you will find the ship comes alive and you become a part of her. More importantly, you will learn about yourself, overcome your fear, develop self-confidence, self-discipline, responsibility and self-sufficiency while also learning teamwork, management and leadership skills. You will be challenged both physically and mentally to do things you never thought you could do. All this will be closely coordinated with our classroom work.

Indeed, the title of this program is no accident. A sailor's wisdom covers a plethora of subjects from weather to engineering and from geography to philosophy and marine ecology. A sterling example is how vector analysis is an essential part of the science of piloting (coastal navigation). This is a discipline you will actually come to enjoy even if you have previously despised mathematics.

The program will be ambitious and demanding both intellectually and physically. The development of leadership, teamwork and critical reasoning skills will be a constant focus throughout the year. Sailing will likely consume a full day of your time each week. It is on board ship that the work done in the classroom finds practical and sometimes urgent application. All U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security regulations, as required by law on commercial vessels, will be observed for your personal safety and protection. Nevertheless you will not be coddled and must be willing to work hard, study hard and of course, dress warmly.

Credits: 16 per quarter

Enrollment: 11

Internship Possibilities: winter and spring with faculty approval.

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Special Expenses: Approximately $500 flat, non-refundable fee each quarter for vessel use.

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in education, Northwest history, maritime economics and sociology, outdoor recreation, journalism, maritime industries, management, business and seafaring.

Planning Units: Society, Politics, Behavior and Change

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 14th, 2008 This program has been cancelled.