Thursday, February 17, 2011

New job, New student...wait what?!

Tonight was my first Master Composter class at the Cornell Cooperative Extension!

As as sat in the semi circle, looking around at the faces of my fellow classmates (all of which are older than me) and listened to the directors talking about the 60 hours of service plus the homework assignments required in the course.... I began to wonder if I was in the right place.

I was secretly thinking to myself...these people are all adults! They seem way more serious about composting than I do, and they seem to have way more time to commit to this demanding class.  But, no worries, I stuck it out for the two hours and came to realize that the Master Composter class will bring me more than just an extensive knowledge of worm excrement.

The class began by explaining the basics of the class, the agenda, and so forth.  Then we went around the semi circle and told a little bit about ourselves in 20 seconds.  Everyone mainly talked about their fascination with compost.  As I listened to these people talk, I found two immediate sources for my wise project.  Pretty cool, right?  I was reassured that taking this class is not too unrelated from my project, and can offer me some good contacts.

Before I talk about the people I met tonight I will discuss a little bit about what I learned.
-The compost class was made in efforts to support the Tompkins County Solid Waste mission to maximize waste diversion.
-Last year, the master composters volunteered 2,126 hours of service.  This is equvialent to having another full time employee on the cornell cooperative extension staff.
-The Master Composter class does not only hope to educate their students, but to equip those students to educate others as much as possible and to get them involved in this community.
-Each person in the class is responsible for giving one mini presentation on a compost related topic.

What I got out of this class.
-I am now a student, required to do 60 hours of service, homework and class time for this program.
-I am now a staff member of the Cornell Co-op.  because I will be helping the Master Composters at the Co-op to do their jobs of educating and promoting composting in the community.
-I will learn so much about composting, that at the end I will be an official Master :)
-We are all here to learn and have a good time in the process.

One of the women in the class was talking about herself in the allotted 20 seconds, and mentioned that she was a Landscape Architect.  whooaaa!!!! That's exactly what I need! So I got her information at the end of the class and I will get in contact with her to learn more about the field.
I also got the name of  a Community Energy Educator from Cornell.  Although this is not related to my project, it will be a perfect edition to what the green team is planning: The Living Green Series.  This will be a month long event where we will bring in speakers to the school to encourage IHS faculty, teachers, and students to live greener. 
Lastly, I got a lot of fliers and informational packets from the Co-op about learning to garden and classes to take.

So lot's of contacts, and lots of excitement.

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