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I’ve adopted a travel metaphor as a way of structuring this course. We’re going on a road trip! I’ve done this in part because it helps me anchor the course into something other than a many-pages-long bulleted list and, by inhabiting this alternative structure, exposes creative learning opportunities we might otherwise miss. I chose a road trip, specifically, because it’s collaborative and, much like storytelling, it is as much about the process as the outcome or destination.

In my experience, good road trips have a good bit of forethought put into them — some major destinations in mind, a loose route outlined, the right road trip partners and supplies. It’s also important to make space, in this plan, for diverging, adjusting, and striking out on our own in between traveling together. Which is to say: The semester ahead of us has lots of great stuff already planned and lots of room for you to bring more.

We need to get packed! Tasks 1 & 2 below are some basic course set-up, while tasks 3 & 4 are activities that will require your time and focus. You’ve got exactly one week to pack and prep (that’s code for: this is due in a week, before midnight on 1/20).

  1. Please familiarize yourself with the route I’ve outlined for us by reviewing the syllabus and course course schedule. These are available in the “Maps” section of the site.
  2. Get registered for all the modes of transportation  we’ll be using this semester (forgive me. The non-metaphorical task is explained thoroughly in this post).
  3. Get yourself on the map! (due Friday, 1/17)
  4. Read chapters 1-2 of The Truth About Stories  by Thomas King (UAF library eBook, login required). As you read, consider the question, “Why do we tell stories?”. Share your thoughts in Slack.

Questions? Concerns? Confusion? Email me (klnewman4[at] or find me on Slack (ahem, the road trip van).

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