Friday, December 4, 2009

Boston Globe article on Unity Amish impacts this blog

The main purpose of this blog is to communicate with students and friends of the college, particularly to provide a place where our extended Unity College family of sustainability-minded folks can catch up. A secondary purpose is to create an ongoing record of materials used for teaching in my various classes, a kind of library reserve. It's also helpful to have a place to publish student work and have them get an audience.

A final use is just as an outlet for my frustrated journalistic and publishing "talents." I'm really too busy teaching, building, and working on community renewables and energy efficiency to have much time for writing, let alone serious research (although I would love more time to do both), but having a blog helps me stay in touch with developments in my fields.

So it was only of side interest for me that my Amish friend Ervin, who makes his own wind turbines, was the subject of a Boston Globe article this last Sunday, and that the article was front page news. I took most of a day off from barn-building to help host the reporter, Sarah Schweitzer, although that turned out to be largely unnecessary since she proved quite capable of finding her own way around. It was fun and educational to hear Ervin describe the family and Unity Amish church meeting's beliefs, their ordnung, and their outlook on the world. I learned a few things I didn't know. I was pleased for Ervin, although a little concerned too about the potential result.

But what was almost as interesting to me was the increase in interest in the college and our sustainability programs as a result. The graph is the results from my blog-tracking service for that weekend, and see the spike in hits on Monday. Four times as many as normal.

I hope the folks that visited for the first time went away having found something interesting.

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