Wild Cherries – Homework

For June

Readings: Fatphobia

Videos & Podcasts

Reflection Questions

  • How were bodies, body image and fat/thinness talked about with family or peers growing up? How are they talked about now?  
  • Where do societal expectations around bodies stem from? How do these expectations affect your relationship to your own body? Are there parts of your body that don’t like or avoid, and how does this affect how you care for your body? How does it affect your emotional health?
  • How do these expectations about bodies affect your relationship / judgements about other people?

The memes

  • Dissect these memes! What do they tell you?

Fresh Air

  • What do you observe about the interviewer’s/host’s unconscious bias in her questions to Lizzo? What was being revealed?
  • What do you observe in your body when Lizzo answered questions from the center speaking truth to power?
  • At the beginning of the interview, the host asks Lizzo about her album cover and Lizzo responds, you’re asking that because I am fat.  And the host responds defensively making an excuse for why she asked the question. What do you think would have been a better response?  Or what would you have liked the host to say instead?

Materia Medica

  • Pick an herb you’d like to know more about. Look in books and/or on the internet for “monographs” or “profiles” of that herb. Compare the information and style of different monographs. Here are some recommended sources.

Energetics

  • We went through two tissue states from the tissue state worksheet in class. Complete the worksheet for the other four tissue states. A helpful way to think about it is to think about different systems in the body: what might dampness in the digestive system look like? What about dampness in the lungs/respiratory system? What about in the lymphatic system? What about in the nervous system? (Use your creativity and make educated guesses!)

Plants ID & Botany

  • Try a tea, tincture, or snack on a plant, using the grounding and listening techniques we used in class. Spend at least 15 minutes with it, and write down any notes about your observations. (Or come to our next Plant Sip — our monthly donation-based gathering where we spend a couple hours with a plant. June 20th, from 7-9:30ish PM! We’ll be sure to send out more information about this by email.)
  • Key out five more plants that you haven’t keyed out.
  • Take some time to do some garden care at Garden Dreams. The garden needs to be watered and weeded, and it’s also a space for you to learn about how these different plants actually grow from seed or seedling to full-size plants. Please visit the garden at least once before our next class.

Anatomy & Physiology

  • Last month we talked about mental and emotional health. Before our next class take some time to examine how your mental and emotional health interacts with your other body systems. At least one time this month examine how the way you’re feeling in your head/heart  affects your respiratory system, your immune system, and one other system of your choice. Do you have physical feelings that result from your emotional health? Where do these feelings reside in your body? How can feeling the physical sensation of an emotion help us work with that emotion?

Change Work

  • Do some kind of anti-capitalist care event for your community. This can be anything, from giving extra care to someone in your life, to a community event of some kind. We’re leaving it very open ended, but we’d like to hear about what you do.

For May

Readings: Capitalism, Mental/Emotional Health

Videos & Podcasts

Questions: Capitalism, and our personal experiences within

  • How has capitalism shaped how we think about what health means?
  • How do our ideas about health perpetuate capitalism?  
  • How has it shaped how we care for each other?
  • How do we build anticapitalist care networks?
  • What parts of my life exist inside the capitalist system?  What parts exist outside of it?
  • How does capitalism affect the relationships in my life?

Questions: Mental/emotional Health

  • How was mental illness discussed or dealt with in your family growing up?
  • What are the stigmas around mental illness?
  • How have you seen that in your own attitudes?
  • How does it affect your relationship to your own emotional health?
  • Make a “Mad Map” of your mental states and the supports that are helpful in different states. (You can do this by/for yourself, or do it with people who you are in relationship with.)

Materia Medica

  • Pick a medicinal plant to spend time with for the month, in the same way we did with dandelion — finding it in the world, observing, keeping it company, eating it, using the medicine, meditating with it, daydreaming about it. Try out some of the research tools we talked about to learn more about it.

Energetics

  • Think of two foods or spices that you think would be moistening and two that you think would be drying. Try them, and use the tools that we’ve been practicing in and out of class to see what they feel like in your body. Write a paragraph or two for each about what you notice.

Plants and Botany

  • Key out five plants. (Turn in a sample or drawing of the plant, plus the steps you took in newcombs and your id.)

Anatomy & Physiology

  • Pick a first aid skill that we covered in class – burns, cold/flu care, cuts and scrapes, food poisoning, sprain care. Practice this in a real or pretend first aid situation.
  • Make a real or imaginary first aid kit for a situation in your life (eg. workplace, backpacking, child care, etc.). Draw or write a description of your kit and why you included the things that you did.

Change Work

  • What does care look like in your life, and the lives of people you care about? How can we give and receive the best care possible? What are the barriers? What are the resources we have for our care or to share with other people?
  • Reflecting on times that your (or someone you care about) access to health care has been limited — feelings, impacts. Imaging those situations having been different — what would that be like?
  • What role do you feel more comfortable in: a caregiving role or a care-receiving role?  Reflect on that. How could you feel more comfortable in both roles?

For April

Discussion Topic: Wildcrafting

Wildcrafting – Questions

  • How do we practice a culture of gratitude?
  • How might our herbalism affect our ecosystem?
  • In what ways can herbalism be a form of environmental activism?
  • What do we do if a plant is at risk or endangered?
  • How do we balance the use of plants/herbs/food with the protection of them?
  • What are ways to have relationships with wild plants that don’t involve gathering them?

Discussion Topic: Cultural Appropriation

Cultural Appropriation – Questions

  • Write ½-1 page about a family healing tradition you grew up with.
  • What things do you participate in that are from a culture beside your own? How do you benefit from that? What harm might you be causing with your participation? How can your participation counteract cultural appropriation?
  • How can we disrupt cultural appropriation?
  • Myke Johnson asks: What does it mean for an earth-centered spirituality, that the particular land on which we live is stolen land? What about the grief of the land for her original people? Are there ways to be welcomed here? This is the land of our birth, perhaps for many generations. I believe we do belong on the earth, she is the mother of us all. But how do we live here with honor? Is it the responsibility of all of us who love this land to restore her original people?”

Materia Medica

  • Seek out dandelion. Spend time with this plant, visit it, sit with it, eat dandelion, drink tea of the roots or leaves. Learn about it by spending time with it, or spend time researching traditional uses of dandelion. Connect with it in whatever way feels good to you.

Energetics

  • For one a whole meal, think and write about the energetics of each food in your meal –
    • What are the flavors you notice, thinking about the five basic flavors (sweet, salty, bitter, sour, pungent/spicy), and any others you want to describe
    • Is the food hot or cold? Dry or damp? Does it seem slow or fast?
    • If it feels ok, spend some time noticing how the food feels in your mouth.
    • Where do you feel the food in your body? How do you feel 15 minutes after eating? An hour? (Set a timer!)
  • (Optional) Do this for a breakfast, a lunch, a dinner, a snack (it doesn’t have to be all in one day)

Plants and Botany

  • Get a Newcombs
  • Find two different opposite and two different alternately arranged trees.  Draw them.
    AND/OR
  • Go look at trees, choose two trees and spend 15 minutes with each tree.  Observe. Write down all the observations you make of the tree so that someone else could go find that tree.  

Anatomy & Physiology

  • Write one fantastical or real scenario where you could use first aid. (Extra points for hilarity. Like lots of them.)

Change Work

  • Revisit the intentions you wrote in class. Spend some time with them, daydream about them, change them or add to them if you desire.
  • (Optional) Celebrate spring by building or renewing a personal altar, or make one specifically for this class