ENGLISH 2055 (3 CR)


in Yellowstone National Park

May 30 -- June 6, 2004

Students must register and pay course fee ($350)

by April 16th.


This exciting weeklong, student-centered field experience focuses on the reading and writing of imaginative prose and verse inspired by nature. Mornings and afternoons will be devoted to 1) collecting journal observations during hikes in diverse environments, 2) engaging in a variety of writing exercises, and 3) discussing readings and each others' work. Evenings will be free for students to write and explore the area on their own. The course culminates in the compilation of a portfolio, containing both verse and creative nonfiction, submitted at the end of July.


The prerequisites for the class include the successful completion of ENGLISH 1020 or permission of the instructor, alert senses, and the ability to hike moderate distances (6-12 miles a day) over uneven terrain. In addition, given the condensed nature of summer school and the fact that the class only meets for one week, students must be disciplined enough to independently complete the course requirements before and after our week together.


This course offers three humanities credits towards the Cultural Environment Requirement at Casper College.


Enrollment is limited to 14 students and lodging must be confirmed by April 16th.


In addition to tuition, a course fee of $350 is necessary to cover all meals and seven nights of lodging. Students experiencing financial hardship may apply for the Bonnie Sargent Scholarship, which covers the course fee (and possibly tuition.) To apply, send a letter by April 12th expressing need and interest to Terry Rasmussen, PS 336, Casper College, Casper, Wyoming 82601.


After registering for the class, obtain a syllabus and course packet from the instructor and pick up the assigned texts at the Casper College Bookstore. Some of the texts should be read before the class meets.


Students should arrange their own transportation to and from the Big Bear Lodge in Cooke City, Montana, only a few miles from the NE entrance to Yellowstone. Transportation for all class field trips will be provided. Students should plan to arrive by 5 p.m. for a welcome dinner on Sun., May 30th. For the next seven nights, students will bunk together in historic cabins. The class will end after breakfast on Sunday, June 6th.

-- to view nature as a source of creative inspiration for writing
-- to enhance our appreciation of the beauty and power of language
-- to recognize that writing, reading, and discussion are interrelated activities
-- to stimulate creative thinking through a variety of activities that exploit all the senses
-- to examine others' experiences with the natural world and to discover the value of our own through our writing

-- to demonstrate the ability to carefully gather and synthesize detailed observations and inferences about the natural world and shape that material into reflective verse and prose
-- to experiment with a variety of imagery and other elements of verse
-- to actively participate in class discussion and in friendly and useful critiques of each others' writing
-- to gain additional experience with the essay as a genre, and to experiment, specifically, with elements of the nature writing genre
-- to gain experience with the elements of verse

-- attendance, evidence of preparedness, and active participation in class
-- a willingness to look at the natural world as a child again (to lay in the grass eye to eye with a beetle or sego lily, to wade through a creek or meadow and search for life beneath a rock or log, etc.) and to reflect upon what one witnesses with the wisdom of an adult
-- alert and inquisitive senses (a willingness to learn the language of a Stellar Jay, to note the scent of juniper in a forest of pine, to describe the texture of moss, etc.)
-- a willingness to tamper, pamper, and play with language
-- the submission of a final writing portfolio


Contact Terry Rasmussen, English Instructor

PS 336, Casper College

Casper, WY 82601


Members of the 2001 class, from left to right,
included (top) Riley Morrison, Samantha Brochman, Julianne Booth, Amy Teachman,
(bottom) Tammy Frankland, Mikiann England, Don Robinson, Bonnie Sargent,
Stephanie Johnson, Sherry Johnson.

Members of the 2000 class, from left to right, included Bonnie Sargent, Anna Falgren, Karen Huckfeldt, Helen Schindler, and Dana Boe.

To apply for admission at Casper College

call 307-268-2100 or visit