40 years ago I was deeply involved in environmental action programs. In fact, my then-spouse was a student at the University or Oregon in the Honors program, part of which included an optional program called “Search.” Each student in Search prepared his or her own topic and, with the supervision of a faculty advisor, outlined a curriculum or project to satisfy academic requirements.
So was born a class titled “Can Man Survive?” Since the catalog for the term had already been issued, my husband (Zed) and his advisor (John) and I sat around our dining room table and made paper signs by hand. We hung these all over campus (an environmental irony I suppose) and planned for 30 students.
We were not far into registration day when one of the registrars called and said that the class had been filled – could it be enlarged? I checked and the answer was, “sure.” So larger room was assigned (150 capacity) but in a couple of hours there was another call. At that point the decision was, “leave it open.” Larger and larger rooms were assigned, until finally the only option was the basketball court. 4200 students signed up, and since the townfolk were also invited, 6300 people attended the first class. It made the Wall Street journal and CBS news.
(Inquiries welcome about purchase of this volume, if anyone is interested.)