Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ecology of a cracker childhood

If you're interested in how place informs one's life, you should read "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood," by Janisse Ray. It's Janisse's story about how she grew up in a south Georgia junkyard but developed a strong sense of place around the pine woods and from the base provided by her devoted but troubled family. Several of us here at the University plan to use it at as a common reading across several of our classes -- English, Biology, Psych, Sociology, Communications. One of the ideas I need to do a better job of in my Ecology class is to show these science students that science facts are an important part of communicating information about natural resources conservation, but stories are very important, too. I'll explain that's why we're reading a Ms. Ray's very engaging story in addition to technical texts and articles.

Just in case you're curious, Janisse Ray is a conservation advocate, runs a farm in Georgia and teaches writing. I have not read her other books yet but highly recommend "Ecology of a Cracker Childhood."