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Sacred Australia at Vincentian Village - MG: LITERATURE&LIFE

About Sacred Australia at Vincentian Village

Previous Entry Sacred Australia at Vincentian Village Sep. 14th, 2006 @ 12:53 pm Next Entry
A wonderful start to a new twelve week program of teaching for homeless and marginalized people at Vincentian Village. We have embarked on a literature course called "Sacred Australia". This is bona fide university Literature Course that runs at our local campus. It is a literature course with a focus on Australia and especially on those ideas/ experiences in Australian literature that connect us with "The Sacred". This word will be variously defined, but simply it means, in this context, those aspects of literature that touch our experience at a deeper level. We had a mix of men and women Shayne, Jeanne, Ian, Luke, Cindy, Tom (The Tank Engine), Lana, Victoria, Anissa, John, Jason, George, Michael, Tania.... welcome all. Luke is joining us from the Education Research staff at our uni to help with facilitating the course and also to participate. We all shared something briefly about our life stories and came quickly to a sense of how an exploration of the sacred in Australian poetry might provide some source of understanding and renewal in our own lives. We began exploring the spirituality of some contemporary Aboriginal poetry. It was amazing how quickly the group came to an appreciation of how the spiritual emptiness in the Aboriginal experience is also a deep expression of our emptiness. And from them we can learn so much about what we need to make our "presence... whole"... to quote from Errol West's poem:

There is no one to teach me the songs that bring the
Moon Bird, the fish or any other thing that makes me what I am.
No old women to mend my spirit by preaching the culture to me
No old man with the knowledge to paint me being.
The spectre of the past is what dwells within
I search my memory of early days to try to make my presence real, significant, whole.

I will be uploading some images from our sessions in this space soon...
Thank you Peter H co-ordinator of the C. Education for Homeless Program and to Judy Brophy for helping the whole show come together.... we have all been nervous for the past few weeks wondering whether the doors would open to us to let the course happen... and it has.... thanks to a cast of people all working furiously in the background... We are simply the lucky ones who get to sit on the stage and have a party.....
Ciao
MG
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From:dr_mindbender82
Date:September 14th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC)

This just blows me away

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MG this is so awesome, I don't know how to describe it. I agree with what you're doing a thousand percent. Is there anything I can do when the holidays come up? I want to enrol in the summer school addition for philosphy, but maybe I can work something out, I don't know if there's anything I can do, maybe sit in, or staple work sheets together or something, or offer extra tutition or I don't know. Maybe not specifically this program or maybe something in the future that might come up. Maybe just having myself and a few other university studetns there to work with might some how help. . . I don't know if there's a lot we can do, or anyone else might be intrested, but when this semsters out of the way can I come and see you about it?
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From:michaelgriffith
Date:September 15th, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)

Re: This just blows me away

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Hi Timb.... many thanks for your kind offer... there may well be things you can do to help... keep in touch... I will get my thinking cap on
MG
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 14th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)

Sacred Australia Course

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MG,
I just read what Timb proposed and I just wanted to say that I would like to join him in his offer. I would LOVE to help in any way that I can. As Timb said, stapling sheets, photocopying, leading group discussions...Do you need anything like this??
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to be involved in this wonderful course you are teaching in. I would be only too happy to help with whatever needs to be done.
Nicole:)
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From:michaelgriffith
Date:September 15th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC)

Re: Sacred Australia Course

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Nicole that is a great offer thank you... I will now have to put my thinking cap on to think about how to "employ" your skills.... keep in touch....
MG
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From:nicolefernando
Date:September 14th, 2006 07:46 am (UTC)

Sacred Australia Course

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MG,
I just read what Timb proposed and I just wanted to say that I would like to join him in his offer. I would LOVE to help in any way that I can. As Timb said, stapling sheets, photocopying, leading group discussions...Do you need anything like this??
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to be involved in this wonderful course you are teaching in. I would be only too happy to help with whatever needs to be done.
Nicole Fernando :)
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From:anissa_c
Date:September 14th, 2006 09:03 am (UTC)
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I don't know about a party MG! Your definition of a party seems to include a lot of hard work. The stage part however is always fun. Glad you included more drama content this semester. Looking forward to the hard slog!
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From:tahilder
Date:November 3rd, 2006 07:04 am (UTC)

Our thanks to Peter Howard, Judy Brophy, Michael Griffith and many others who have made it possible.

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A big thank-you for all your help and support in pulling the strings (and heavier objects) to make the Clemente Course happen again this semester.

Tania
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From:tahilder
Date:November 3rd, 2006 07:07 am (UTC)

Our thanks to Peter Howard, Judy Brophy, Michael Griffith and many others who have made it possible.

(Link)
A big thank-you for all your help and support in pulling the strings (and heavier objects) to make the Clemente Course happen again this semester.

Michael's course is most inspiring and interesting. We are all enjoying the content and looking forward to the Drama segment at the end.

Tania
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