This is the second in our series of posts on the TC3 Sustainable Farming student perspective. Students currently enrolled in the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems Program at TC3 were asked to write a reflection on their first semester in the program as a class assignment. This is what they said.
You can see other posts by clicking on the following links:
TC3 Sustainable Farming Student Perspectives – Cedric
For me, the sustainable farming program has proven to be a successful alternative to a traditional learning environment. During my first two semesters at TC3, I was a liberal arts major taking all traditional style classes (English, calculus, psychology, philosophy, etc), and I honestly did very poorly. I was a good student in high school, I had high grades, took honors and AP level courses, yet I struggled in this new environment. It wasn’t the content that got me, I’ve always been a naturally quick learner and none of the concepts I was learning were particularly difficult, but what was difficult for me was showing up everyday.
School started to feel pointless to me. I felt like I could be using my time towards things that seemed more worthwhile. Why should I drive a half hour to listen to someone talk at me about proper punctuation for two hours? I would end up skipping multiple classes a week, telling myself it wouldn’t make a difference anyway, since it was all so meaningless. I would more often than not get above average grades on tests and quizzes (which I would almost never miss), but would get tons of points off for absences and missed class work. After two semesters of continuing that dysfunctional cycle, and after seeing my grades well below where I know they could be, I decided something had to change.
I found out about the Sustainable Farming Program through one of my friends who had already enrolled. He explained to me what it was about, a little bit of lecture and then a lot of hands on lab. I joined on a whim, and it’s proven to be the best decision of my collegiate career so far. Not only do I show up, I’m excited to go to class now. It’s not only fun and interesting, but meaningful too. Whether I’m weeding peppers, digging potatoes, washing cabbage, cutting garlic, planting spinach, taking seed inventory, or whatever I may be doing that day, I know I’m helping out, and my work has meaning. What I love most about the program is that I get to learn about things I wouldn’t normally, while accomplishing real, meaningful tasks. Learning and working on the farm has been more rewarding than any classroom ever was.