Quote of the Month

"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1954.

“We must change our attitudes toward the ocean. We must regard it as no longer a mystery, a menace, something so vast and invulnerable that we need not concern ourselves with it … Instead we want to explore the themes of the ocean’s existence—how it moves and breathes, how it experiences dramas and seasons, how it nourishes its hosts of living things, how it harmonizes the physical and biological rhythms of the whole earth, what hurts it and what feeds it—not least of all, what are its stories.” Jacques Yves Cousteau, 1910-1997.

"It's the glory of the sea that has turned my head." Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island, 1894.

"It is with you as with the sea: the most varied names are given to what is in the end only salt water." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maxims and Reflections, 1833.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sailing, Science and Literature


On Friday, March 27, 2009, two sailing vessels, Bebe (41' Benetau) and Bebe II (32' Benetau), sailed from Fajardo to Palomino with 12 first-year University of Puerto Rico students and two professors; Dr. Angel Olivares and Dr. Eva de Lourdes Edwards (me). Olivares teaches Biological Sciences and I teach Basic English at the College of General Studies. We named our adventure with students, SCI-LITE (science and literature). Olivares was working with coastal conservation and I with the novel, The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway. Michael Barnick and Felix Garcia, from the Caribbean Sailing School & Club, both American Sailing Association Instructors, captained the sailboats. Prior to this event, none of the students had ever been sailing (the natural mode of transportation used by Santiago in the novel). They sailed to an "uninhabited" island where they were able to witness first hand the human impact on distant coastlines. On September 12, 1950, Santiago sails his skiff off the Cuban coastline, witnessing the onset of industrial fishing, motor boats, noise pollution, over fishing, and in the last scene, tourism. These and other related issues were discussed on the island and midst humming winds and following seas on the sailboats.  The event, in a most natural classroom, was sponsored by the Student Support Services Program (Programa de Servicios Académicos Especiales), College of General Studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.
The Old Man and The Sea