The Dying of the Bees

This week I started to teach the last novel of the semester, Sue Monk Kidd’s THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES.  This is the story of a young motherless girl who lives on a South Carolina peach farm and throughout the story, bees are a significant symbol, first of the young hero’s fears and fantasies, and then later for the health of her community and the hope for her own future. I’ve...

Scarecrow Wedding

Art often takes you to the wild edges of experience, those marshy, unvisited areas of your thought and perception. If you don’t know where your edges are, then step into the presence of art, and you can often quickly locate them. Art challenges and it confronts. It questions and confirms. It can make you feel lost and it can also make you feel like you’ve never left home. Sometimes...

Migration Station

For the last two weeks I’ve been seeing the monarchs migrating through. No, I don’t mean that convoys of kings and queens have been trucking down the interstate. I’m talking about the most royal of butterflies, the orange, black, and white monarch. Monarchs share the upstate with many butterflies, the brown skippers, the yellow-green sulphurs, the yellow and black and the blue...

Knee-Deep in Learning on Lawson’s Fork

I’m a Wofford College English professor, and most of my classes are traditional, me in the front of the room, or at the head of a seminar table, writing on a blackboard, with students in rows of desks taking notes. The discussion is about books, and the issues rise from reading sentences, paragraphs, pages. Every fall though I get to take freshman humanities students down to Glendale to...

Where We At?

This week has seen the release of a flow of master planning like the City of Spartanburg has never seen before. Parks and Recreation and the city have both made substantial commitments of funds and resources to shaping the future of our community through citizen-driven planning. Both organizations are holding forums and “charettes,” or “idea-shaping sessions,” as they are...

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