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Johnny's Jubilance

Karen Werner, PhD, MEd's picture
BA in Sustainability Blog
Johnny's Jubilance

Graduating student Johnny Ridenour (BAS '14) chimes in about what brought him to Goddard:

"When I finally got it together to return to school after 20+ years off, I thought of Goddard. My Dad did the same thing when he looked for a way to fit graduate school into a busy family life in the late 1970s. He found Goddard’s low-residency program. He was thrilled to have folks like Raymond Carver as advisors.

"I thought mostly of the flexible schedule (and the immersion-vacation of residency!) when I applied, but when I left that first residency and began my conversation with my advisor Eva Swidler through packets and responses that contained exponentially-growing feedback loops of inspiration and new connections, suffice it to say my mind was blown. My mind was blown that my mind was blown.

"What I mean is that for many years before this, I felt calcified, jaded perhaps, set, even stuck. The Goddard style of pedagogy was a revelation to me. Even though it bears much resemblance to the child-led, parent-as-facilitator approach to homeschooling that our family favored, it hadn’t occurred to me that it could be this way – for me.

"The Goddard low-residency program is essential – the bonds that form during residency allow for the continued intense conversation throughout the semester (and beyond – each semester, I add a new adviser to my team, and I continue to dialog with Eva and Bethe Hagens even while working with Otto Muller). The faculty are amazing. And so are the staff. Goddard is an amazing place, and I’m so happy to have come to it at last."

Working with advisor Shaka McGlotten, Johnny's senior project, "Cultivating Jubilance," is a series of essays documenting his family's endeavors in urban farming, design patterns, collaboration, and intimate partnership.

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