The Field Semester seeks to introduce students to a thorough philosophy and practice of sustainable living. Formal curriculum is important, but so too are the buildings, the land use, the recreational activities—the spaces and experiences between and around formal instruction. Our school proposes an engagement in conscious community living as a laboratory for intellectual, emotional, physical, and environmental growth.
Sustaining oneself provides deeper insight to the depth of our needs as humans and the work involved in fulfilling them. Farm work, energy and fuel production, cooking, cleaning, building and maintaining housing and learning spaces, making and honoring budgets—such practices build resilience, wisdom, and a sense of scale. Living twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in a self-sufficient community nurtures interdependency—everyone engages in meaningful tasks and depends on the work and input of everyone else. Living close to others and close to the land builds care and empathy that yield stewardship and respect. We will facilitate carefully focused reflections on these profound and unfamiliar experiences, helping the students solidify new values and develop techniques and language for sharing their insights with classmates.
Chores: Each day students will be allocated time to complete their chores. These chores will rotate throughout the semester and include farm work, animal husbandry, cooking, wood collecting and chopping, weekly cleaning of dormitories, restrooms, and classrooms.
Campus Maintenance/Development: The design and development of our campus will be a central project for the students and faculty. Work in this area will help students understand their physical needs and how to address them. Under the guidance of experts, students will take responsibility for building new facilities and maintaining dorms, exposing them to carpentry, machining, plumbing and electrical work.
Community Life: Regular meetings as a school, and daily as dorm groups, help structure and nourish the sense of community at The Field Semester. Constant communication and education in interpersonal skills such as conflict resolution, facilitation, presentation, and leadership help equip the students for the challenging and rewarding experience of community living. The school's administration will reflect this commitment to community by collaborating with students, faculty, and administration on issues of school governance.