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Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the layer tools, top right, to change the map style or to view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

January 08, 2016

Learning by teaching

Halina Duraj, Assistant Professor, English & Creative Writing University of San Diego

Colleague Cruise


Ship's Log

18° 40’ N x 65° 57’ W

Description of location
Approaching San Juan Harbor


5 kts

Weather / Wind
Clear Skies, 5mph from the Southeast

An exhilarating last full day aboard the Corwith Cramer! A-Watch went up on deck at 03:00, and watched the  sliver of the moonrise, then dawn. Just before dawn, some folks practiced celestial navigation shooting stars with sextants, and then we headed down to the salon for more of Morgan and Kate’s amazing cooking: poppyseed-lemon pancakes, maple-honey bacon, and quartered oranges. In the late morning, some of us learned how to climb safely aloft, meeting and overcoming fears and spiking adrenaline! Meanwhile, science went on as usual, gathering data and processing samples (because on the Corwith Cramer, science never sleeps!). After a lunch of freshly made (from scratch!) tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches on freshly made rosemary bread, we prepared for our final class meeting on the quarterdeck: announcements, science report, navigation report, weather report. I was on the weather report team, charged with explaining to the rest of the group what trade winds are and why they’re important.

This task reminded me of why I ask my own literature students back in San Diego to present to the class the ideas they generate in groups. Teaching is how you really learn. Because I had to collaborate with my team members to teach others what trade winds are, I finally understand and I’m unlikely to forget. But just like my students, I was anxious about speaking in front of a group. And happy I did it. As one of our group members, Michael, said tonight during celebration and reflection time on the quarterdeck, it’s wonderful to be reminded of what it’s like to be a student again. On this voyage, I was a student every minute of the day; I learned about sailing, science, maritime history and culture, and the natural world around me. I return to San Diego for a spring semester in which I have more empathy for the students in my classroom. I’ll be telling all of them about the rich experience of SEA Semester. If a four-day experience was transformative for me, I can only imagine what a 5-7 week shipboard experience might do for a student!


Categories: Corwith Cramer, • Topics: colleague cruise  life at sea • (0) Comments


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