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SuperWeed

communications from an eco-anarcha-feminist animal

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Moo-ving on Up!

Big news, folks. Dunno why it’s taken me so long to announce this, but I am moving back to the sanctuary, where I’ll be living in a 1973 Airstream trailer, sharing my front yard with cows and chickens in the part of the mountainous sanctuary property we call “up the hill.”

My new home

As regular SuperWeed readers know, I co-founded VINE Sanctuary (originally Eastern Shore Sanctuary) with Miriam Jones in rural Maryland back in 2000. We both lived on site for the first several years. Then I managed operations on site while Miriam lived elsewhere (visiting frequently) for a couple of years. That experience—solo sanctuary work in rural isolation—really wore me out, so I’ve taken a break from direct animal care for a couple of years while Miriam has more-than-ably not only managed but significantly expanded the sanctuary following its relocation to rural Vermont. (She’ll still be running the show. I’ll just be pitching in with sanctuary chores while getting back to the steady schedule of writing and speaking that I used to maintain.)

Speaking of writing, I’m just now finishing what ought to be the penultimate round of revisions on the book about the sanctuary’s first decade (and so much more—it’s about birds and people, race and place, and the ecology of violence). I started keeping notes for that book shortly after we took in the first chicken, becuase it was already clear to me that other people both wanted and needed to hear the stories I was living and observing out in the chicken yards. I had a go at writing the book in 2005, but that draft was a disaster, partly because I was still in the midst of of its narrative and partly because I didn’t yet have the skills I needed to tell the tale adequately. So, I wrote Aftershock and then set about developing my creative non-fiction skills while continuing to live the story. The next big push to write the book started in 2009, as the sanctuary’s decade on the Delmarva came to a close, providing a natural endpoint for the narrative. Three years and heaven-knows-how-many rebuilds, rewrites, and remixes later, it’s really ready. Next step: Pitching to publishers, so wish me luck on that.

I’m excited about that and about the move, but I also have mixed feelings. While it will be very good for me to get back to the sanctuary and to pick up some of the work set aside whilst making my living by teaching, I’m going to miss teaching at MCTC and Metrostate here in the Twin Cities more than I can say. And there are people (and places) I’ll miss too. So, don’t be surprised to see some “what I’ll miss about Minneapolis” posts in the next couple of months. But do feel free to cheer me on as I prepare to segue to the next stage in my life.

9 Responses to “Moo-ving on Up!”

  1. 1
    Sarahjane Blum:

    Minneapolis is better for having had you, and don’t be surprised to find regular visitors from the Midwest mucking our way up the hill.

  2. 2
    veganelder:

    Here’s hoping the transition will be a unstressful as possible and as rewarding as it can be.

  3. 3
    catherine pdojil:

    Weezie! Or wasn’t your “Moo-ving on up a reference to The Jeffersons?

    Good move, though I’m sure Minneapolis will miss you. I’ve wnnted to visit the sanctuary for awhile, and now you’ll both be there if I can ever get the funds together.

    You’ll appreciate this. I originally read your statement here: “partly because I was still in the midst of its narrative and partly” as “partly because I was still in the midst of its narrative and poverty” meaning your own, and I was nodding and saying, “yup, yup, got it.” Then I reread it.

    Happy and safe move. Miriam and the chickens await you with joy.

  4. 4
    b:

    Warm wishes for your next phase, pattrice!

  5. 5
    Lisa S.:

    Thank you for coming to our town and being one of the best teachers I have ever had. I know other students who agree with me. For me your classroom was a place of cultural healing and inspiration.
    I think what sets you apart is your embodied approach to teaching, that you were right there with us.
    I wish you the very best in your next phase!
    Lisa S.

  6. 6
    AngelinaS:

    Hi Pattrice,

    I was wondering what happened to you? I am glad that you are moving on up, and YES!! Minneapolis and I will miss you soo much!! You are one the BEST professor I have encounter and a WONDERFUL WOMAN and teacher. I wish the best on your next phase and I hope I can visit one day!!

  7. 7
    pattrice:

    Thanks, everybody!

    Angelina–It’s so good to hear from you and, yes, of course you can visit the sanctuary someday.

    Lisa–It’s funny that you should say “embodied,” because I’ve been thinking specifically about that aspect of my teaching praxis and imagining ways of provoking other instructors to see (and feel) the benefits of being fully present and teaching with their whole bodies. Dance classes for college faculty?

  8. 8
    Cassandra:

    Patrice, I just found out today that you will be leaving MCTC and MN. Like everyone else said you will be missed. I just wanted you to know how much of an impact you had made on my life. You made me change my whole definition of what women is. Your class changed my life and has set me on the path to help other women. I am currently Interning at Sojourner project and hope to find work in this field. I just wanted to say thank you and I am so glad that you came into my life even though it was for a short time.

  9. 9
    stupidstuff:

    When I initially read your Sun Ra shout at last fm I thought ~ wow, this seems like a class assignment!~ I didn’t realize you are actually a teacher. Best of luck with the publishers!

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