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  • Writer's pictureRose High Bear

The second of five firsts

Our second First this spring is our move into the new classroom on the farm where we convened our newest cohort for morning classes in March. This space is small at 700 sq. ft. and includes the classroom space with our large conference table and backdrop with monitor and several computer work stations. We also have an open kitchen, a bathroom and laundry facilities, plus bunkbed space for interns who live at a distance and occasionally need to stay over. Internet is wired in and we are prepared to teach remotely when we need to. Currently, we have been gathering in person with caution. The cohort is small and we continue to social distance so there are only six of us in the space, with three educators and three interns. If you look closer at the photo, you will see our sink on the ground which we are getting ready to install. Everyone is looking forward to having the plumbing finalized so we can use the kitchen and bathroom. We’ve been constructing our classroom for the past several years when I made the decision to convert my old oversized double garage into a classroom. Initial work was completed in 2019 prior to the arrival of 9 AmeriCorps workers who came to support us when we were all working at Wisdom of the Elders. After I was able to sell my home in Portland, I had the funding to complete the last of this renovation work, which intensified between October and April. We are happy with the space and feel it will meet our needs for TEK classroom space in the coming years plus a place to hold meetings and conduct research on our projects. Marion County Planning Department has approved us to have ten students so we have room for future expansion. As the pandemic subsides, we will be able to increase the number of interns we work with and we hope to also hold a tour for volunteers and partners who would like to see where the indoor academic side of our work is unfolding.

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