Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility English Comp I - Fall 2018 | University of West Florida
Skip to main content

English Comp I with Instructor Jasara Norton

Jasara Norton, an instructor in the Department of English at UWF, teaches a semester-long writing course that has focused on the garden as a site for public writing. The course utilized a variety of research methods, progressing from food memoirs and supermarket ethnographies to hands-on service learning in the garden with a final research component. Through this course, students not only expanded their understanding and experience of research but also expanded their experience of UWF, becoming uniquely invested in UWF as a source of varied learning and community spaces.

 Student Reflections... 


In my experience at the garden, there was little to do with the plants and much more to do with the people that were involved. I really felt the emphasis on the community in community garden. I had conversations with people I had never met before and got to connect with them while we were working on constructing the garden. At the end, it was cool to take a step back and observe the work we got done.”


I wasn’t on my phone for the full 2 hours, and it felt like I could just escape reality and actually enjoy the people around me. The lack of electronics allowed people to meet each other, make raw memories, and interact.

Natalie Duphiney, first-year English student

Overall, the community garden helped me grow closer towards the school and its community. To me it didn’t feel like a work experience but more like a social experience. Because of this garden visit, I now know a place where I can go to relax when I get stressed.

Haley Hyppa, first-year English student

I learned that the garden is a land of opportunity, and I really enjoyed the environment. I enjoyed the garden because it allowed me to think freely and relax. I also got to hammock on Saturday while at the garden by myself. The garden helps the community by providing opportunity.

Brayden Holland, first-year English student

I value community gardens as not only a place to grow food, but to meet new people and create new friendships.

Jacob Rabon, first-year English student

It was nice to reconnect to nature especially since moving into a dorm and being a college student ... Spending two hours focusing on nature really showed me the value of community gardens.

Sydney Clark, first-year English student

After working in the garden, I realized that gardening is not about the reward. It is about the experience. Gardening can teach you values ranging from teamwork to healthy thinking. My time within the garden made me very relaxed yet motivated. Overall, I found working in a community garden to be a perspective changing experience. Not only did it reshape the way I look at the community but also my place within the community.

Ian Rahn, first-year English student

The garden is mostly run by students who want to have an option of organically grown produce instead of only being limited to fast food. Volunteering at the garden teaches people about healthy food, but it also enforces a healthy lifestyle by having the volunteers participate in manual labor.

Kyle McIntosh, first-year English student

Professors who are interested in integrating a garden experience in their coursework are most welcome to contact Dr. Greg Tomso to discuss. This opportunity has proven to be uniquely enriching for students, professors, and all associated with our garden!