Microcollege:

The Thoreau College Podcast

MICROCOLLEGE is an exploration of the crisis in higher education and the innovative projects and thinkers working to address it, with a special focus on the human-scaled, place-based, meaning-oriented learning communities we call “microcolleges.”

The podcast is hosted by Jacob Hundt, Founder of Thoreau College, a microcollege initiative rooted in the Driftless Region of rural southwestern Wisconsin, and inspired by the model of Deep Springs College, the pedagogy of the Waldorf schools, and the life of Henry David Thoreau.

This is a podcast for thoughtful, motivated teenagers and young adults who are disappointed by the options available to them in post-secondary education, as well as their teachers, parents, counselors, and mentors, and anyone interested in the quality of higher education and its role within our culture.

Listeners will be introduced to new ideas and alternative opportunities for post-secondary education, as well as thoughtful criticism of mainstream models and practices at colleges and universities. Listeners will discover exciting educational programs to apply to, books to read, and thinkers to learn more about.

Microcollege:

The Thoreau College Podcast

 

MICROCOLLEGE is an exploration of the crisis in higher education and the innovative projects and thinkers working to address it, with a special focus on the human-scaled, place-based, meaning-oriented learning communities we call “microcolleges.”

The podcast is hosted by Jacob Hundt, Founder of Thoreau College, a microcollege initiative rooted in the Driftless Region of rural southwestern Wisconsin, and inspired by the model of Deep Springs College, the pedagogy of the Waldorf schools, and the life of Henry David Thoreau.

This is a podcast for thoughtful, motivated teenagers and young adults who are disappointed by the options available to them in post-secondary education, as well as their teachers, parents, counselors, and mentors, and anyone interested in the quality of higher education and its role within our culture.

Listeners will be introduced to new ideas and alternative opportunities for post-secondary education, as well as thoughtful criticism of mainstream models and practices at colleges and universities. Listeners will discover exciting educational programs to apply to, books to read, and thinkers to learn more about.

8 + 13 =

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 10

“Steve Lawless on Service Learning”

Steve and Jacob strike a rich vein of conversation in the topic of service learning, from its origins to its applications in the world of higher education today.

Steve Lawless has an M.A. in Education, and has taught in many settings including as a traditional writing and literature teacher on Native American reservations, farm schools, alternative middle and high schools and a Waldorf school. From his nearly thirty years of teaching and facilitating adventure and service learning experiences, Steve has an infectious enthusiasm for taking learning outside the classroom. He is currently the proprietor of Sittin Pretty Farm in Viroqua, WI and the man behind the wheel of the Merry Green Marvel, a rolling community of adventure and service.

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Merry Green Marvel: https://www.merrygreenmarvel.org/

Sittin Pretty Farm: https://www.sittinprettyfarm.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 8 – “Austin Smith – Leaving Stanford, Coming Home”

The poet Austin Robert Smith joins Microcollege for an examination of the current state of higher education and the role of poetry in a liberal arts education. 

Austin Smith is a poet and formerly a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. He grew up on a family dairy farm in northwestern Illinois before receiving a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MA from the University of California-Davis, and an MFA from the University of Virginia. Austin’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Yale Review, Sewanee Review, Ploughshares, New England Review, Poetry East, ZYZZYVA, Pleiades, Virginia Quarterly Review, 32 Poems and Threepenny Review, amongst others. His most recent collection of poetry, Flyover Country, a celebration of the rural Midwest and small-town life, is available through Princeton University Press. 

Flyover Country, Available Now: Flyover Country

Substack: Poem-a-Day

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 7 – “Julie Tomaro, Nicholas WazeeGale – Folk Schools, Skills, and Knowledge”

Julie Tomaro and Nicholas WazeeGale are both instructors at the Driftless Folk School in rural southwestern Wisconsin. Their dialogue this week revolves around the Folk School tradition in America, some of their life experiences leading to their involvement in one, and the important role a Folk school can play in helping to build personal and cultural resilience.

Julie Tomaro is the owner of Blue Bobbin Studio in Viroqua. Julie has been sewing and crafting for most of her life, though more recently her journey has led her to take these skills into the world of sustainability and reaching towards zero waste. Through sewing for herself and her community she has found a new platform to empower others reaching for those goals themselves. 

Nicholas WazeeGale has been a lifelong student of Nature, traditional culture, and sustainability. He is passionate about Nature observation, living closely with the Earth and natural rhythms, hunting and gathering, craft and handwork, and community. He resides in the Driftless region with his wife and children and has taught for DFS, the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, and independently for almost 20 years. He is a certified wilderness guide, holds a level three track and sign certificate through CyberTracker, and he and his wife earn their livelihood teaching outdoor skills and hand crafts, running summer camps, and selling fine handcrafts through their business, WildRoots HandCrafts.

Blue Bobbin Studio website: https://www.bluebobbinstudio.com/

Blue Bobbin Studio Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bluebobbinstudio/

Wildroots Handcrafts website: https://www.wildrootshandcrafts.com/

Wildroots Handcrafts Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wildroots.handcrafts/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Folk Education Association of America: https://www.folkschoolalliance.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 6 – “Ciarán Willis – Rethinking Remote Learning at A Place Beyond”

Ciarán Willis speaks about his experiences leading up to the foundation of A Place Beyond, a unique approach to the remote learning boom prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ciarán is currently the operations director at Deep Springs College. Prior to founding A Place Beyond, he was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and studied English Literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He lectured English at the University of Finance and Economics in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and he is a faculty member at NOLS, instructing mountaineering, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and adaptive leadership throughout the Western US and Alaska.

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Deep Springs College: https://www.deepsprings.edu/

A Place Beyond: https://www.aplacebeyond.com/

National Outdoor Leadership School: https://www.nols.edu/en/

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 5 – “Sue Darlington – Deep Springs College and The Edge of Academia” 

On this episode of Microcollege, guest Sue Darlington and Jacob discuss the story of Deep Springs College and its subtle but resounding societal impact during its 105-year existence.

Sue Darlington is the current president of Deep Springs College, and former professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies at Hampshire College, where she taught for 30 years. Her research focuses on socially-engaged Buddhism, with particular attention to environmentalism and Buddhism in Thailand.

Deep Springs College: https://www.deepsprings.edu/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 4 – “Lucien Dante Lazar – Art and Anthroposophy as a Pedagogy for Self-Development”

Lucien joins Microcollege for a conversation about the intersections between art, spirituality, and education, as well as his artistic process and the divine wisdom with which his work is infused. 

Lucien Dante Lazar is a multi-disciplinary artist, musician, essayist, poet, social worker, philosopher, and anthroposophist from Evanston, IL. 

Find Lucien on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luciendantelazarart/

Learn more about Thoreau College and the microcollege movement at https://thoreaucollege.org/

Driftless Folk School: https://www.driftlessfolkschool.org/

Thoreau College Podcast

Episode 3 – “Dr. Julie Shackelford and the International People’s College”

Dr. Julie Shackelford discusses the origins of the Scandinavian Folk School movement and its applications to a wide range of issues facing students and educators today. 

Dr. Julie Shackelford is an academic, writer, polyglot, anthropologist, Wisconsin native, and a teacher at the International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark. 

International People’s College: https://ipc.dk/

Folk Education Association of America: https://www.folkschoolalliance.org/

Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark: https://danishfolkhighschools.com/

Find Julie on linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/julie-shackelford

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 2 – “Jacob Rowland, Liam McGilligan – Thoreau College Alumni Reflections”

Thoreau College alumni Liam McGilligan and Jacob Rowland outline their educational upbringing and reflect on their experiences at Thoreau College versus other more traditional institutions of higher education.

Liam McGilligan is an actor, artist, scholar, and citizen, alumnus of the Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program and Thoreau College, and the producer of this podcast.

Jacob Rowland is an alumnus of Thoreau College who is currently enrolled at Oberlin College, with interests in philosophy and literature. 

Thoreau College Podcast

Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Microcollege: The Thoreau College Podcast
Thoreau College Podcast
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Episode 1 – “Jacob Hundt — An Introduction to Microcolleges and Thoreau College”

Podcast host Jacob Hundt provides an introduction to the concept of “microcolleges” as an alternative to traditional forms of higher education. 

Jacob Hundt is the Executive Director of Thoreau College in Viroqua, Wisconsin. Growing up on a dairy farm in the Driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin, and as a founding student at the Youth Initiative High School, Jacob gathered inspiration for transformation in higher education through his studies at Deep Springs College, the American University in Bulgaria, and the University of Chicago.