my name is Thomas Wang.
i'm an instructor here in the Environmental Horticulture and Floristry Department.
i've been here teaching since about 2005.
my teaching philosophy, as regards to horticulture and plants, is you should be having fun. you're
out there in the most beautiful place in the world, which is the garden.
you should be having fun. and then to be actively engaged in a hands-on style and at the same
time, working safely, keeping in mind your body mechanics so you can stay healthy so
you don't get hurt. and you can keep doing this work until your 90 or 100 years old.
and then the other side is just to try to balance out your book knowledge and the stuff
that you pull up off the internet with the hands-on knowledge that you have from watching
a site, watching plants grow, seeing the rain come down and filter through the land.
so, trying to find some balance and harmony in terms of your relationship with nature.
sometimes when i'm standing there in front of the classroom and you're looking around
at all these students, you get kind of nervous.
they're all looking at you and i'm like, "whoah"... so, of course, to relay/delay some of that
stress and also for me to understand something a little bit more clear, i like to draw pictures.
but also for some of the students who can't understand english or the rapid-fire delivery,
sometimes a picture: boom!
it tells a story and it makes it easier for them to understand the curriculum, the material
we're trying to communicate. if you work a lot in the field, as we do in the garden,
in the landscape, in the forest, or in the woods, you have a lot of experiences that
ultimately, they're teaching experiences. and they're experiences that because you made
mistakes, because you missed something or didn't do that, then something happened.
and so, in the telling of these stories, hopefully, we try and get the students to think about
their lives as stories and also to learn, as you're listening to a story, you're learning
a precious lesson that might not be so evident in a book, full of cold facts.
but, it will be something that helps to serve you, in your work and your life, for the rest
of your days.