In the last two parts of this series, we looked at metal music as a strategy for cultivating a sense of empathy and connection to a place. When it comes to cultivating a sense of empathy for a place, we looked at Freeman Tilden’s six principles of interpretation.
1. Interpretation that does not somehow relate what is being displayed or described to something within the personality or experience of the visitor will be sterile. Interpretation should be personal to the audience.
STEVENS POINT– This week I’m excited to be a part this year’s annual Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education conference. The conference spans from August 13-15th, and I’ll be presenting on Wednesday at 10 am!
The title of the presentation is “Continuing the Conversation of Cross-cultural EE”. I’ll be speaking about experiences working at Minneapolis Public Schools, covering some thoughts from my past blog entry on Malcom X, and highlighting a video entitled “Ecology and Culture”, posted below. The video is an EE experiment, mixing break dancing and ecological learning. It was a great learning opportunity, and a lot of fun to facilitate.
It’s March in the Wisconsin Northwoods. Sure, the days are longer and the temps are getting up to the mid-20’s, but the nights are still dipping well below zero. This is the testing time where even the strongest Winter enthusiasts stretch their endurance and quelling their longing for Spring for just a little longer. It is here where a booster of Winter appreciation could go a long way. The brutal cold, the barren dry landscape, the long nights… how onerous! Unless… unless we flipped winter 180 degrees. Enter Finnish metal band Wintersun!
This band is especially applicable to my setting on the top of Wisconsin, where just over the MI border (a stone’s throw away) were Finnish immigrants not even 100 years ago, coming to the Michigan UP for the copper mining opportunities. They left a legacy of their heritage on the landscape and in the MI community. In fact, Finnish may still be heard on a stroll through the down towns of Watersmeet, Bruce Crossing or Land O’ Lakes. Point being, Scandinavian cultures such as these have long been developing mechanisms to live and thrive in winter, metal being no exception. You have to wonder, if any of the immigrants mining copper were in the Mighian UP today, would they be rockin’ Wintersun?
In a recent UWSP course I’m taking, Environmental Education Theory and Practice, we’re discussing strategies for cultivating a sense of empathy and connection to a place. In a well-done EE curriculum, empathy and connection are the foundation, to then make space for more specific knowledge and facts about the environment. It makes sense… why would anyone care to learn a bunch of ecological facts without the framework of a personal connection to what they’re learning? What if that connection is established through metal music? Curious? Read on…