Back in Mo’orea, where our story in French Polynesia began, we saw one part of our cyclical story come to a close. As the sun hid itself behind the basalt peaks, the students of S307 performed the Earth Monologues. The project, which served as a capstone for the course Climate, Society and the Humanities, brought together various lessons, insights, thoughts and experiences that the students have been engaging with over the last weeks and months. Working in their watch groups, each team of students performed a monologue depicting the perspective of a different earth critter.
The coconut crab larvae students brought about laughter, a coral life form spoken by Lila made us think deeply on the impacts of a changing world and a human perspective was also brought into the fray to exemplify our connectedness with the world we are after all, an integral part of. With each of these monologues the students reflected out and exuded a small part of the bigger learning they have undergone throughout the duration of the course. This learning has its core in several key pillars; first, empathy – with one another and with the natural world around us. Second, a breadth of perspectives when considering life on earth. Finally, and this is one which the students excel at- embodying and leaning into their creative mindsets for both communicating but also for thinking and considering the world around them.
Sitting on the deck and watching the performance, I reflect on the growth and journey that we have all undergone, both individually and as a collective. Not only have we travelled over 2000 nautical miles, but I believe through this process, we have also journeyed leaps and bounds towards a happier, kinder and more empathy filled world. It gives me hope to see these students, so vivaciously throwing themselves at the world. I so vividly hope that in the future, they can find the space to remember these perspectives they once portrayed in a play, at sunset to their shipmates. In doing so, I hope they can tap into their ability to relate to the wild oceans and cute coconut crab larvae and thus, find peace, solace, and inspiration in this wild world.