~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS5 student Andrew Kasun. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s 17 learning goals. Andy is from Delafield, Wisconsin where he attends Kettle Moraine High School.~
Learning Goal: A student understands the ecology, history and cultures of the Northwoods from the local to the global levels.
The lumberjack era in the Northwoods played a major role in shaping the Northwoods region. In history we recently learned about this era and its affects. One of the many activities we did for this unit was splitting wood in order to feel like the original lumberjacks.
This activity helped understand the allure of the logging industry that has so shaped this area. Afterwards we were able to understand the thought processes of the people that inhabited and worked in northern Wisconsin. We were taught about the romanticism of the pine forests how it was thought they were an endless resource. We were told of how the cultures in the lumber towns were more un-civilized than an old west town and that they were just as dangerous. We essentially learned about the ecology of the forests, history of the logging era, and the culture that was present at that time.
Through this experience not only did I learn how to efficiently and properly split firewood but I also learned about the history and ecology of logging. I got to learn how to properly use a maul which I hadn’t really before (at least correctly). I also learned about the process of being cut, hauled, floated downstream and cut into the lumber that the trees had to go through before they were ready for the market. Another thing I learned about was the growth rates white pines and the life cycles of an old growth forest. This was because the clear cut made by the lumberjacks completely interrupted these cycles and decreased the global white pine population. So I think I learned a lot about this topic.
This experience was very memorable because it was just such a different way of learning, it was fun, and it was outside. We read excerpts from lumberjack accounts and split wood to get the feel for being a lumberjack. Because this is so different from learning anything from behind an uncomfortable desk and because it is so intriguing it made it so much more memorable. And really, who doesn’t enjoy pretending to be a lumberjack once in a while?
~Andy Kasun, Conserve School Semester 5
Photos of some more Conserve School Lumberjacks: