In light of the beautiful spring weather that has chosen to grace the city of Madison, many students and members of the community have taken to the formerly snow-covered streets to ride their vespas and annoying-ass electric skateboards. Wisconsin is going through spring fever, and everyone seems pumped about it. Perhaps the person most-jazzed about this emergence of warmth is James Danielson, a poetry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Danielson, who has the entire discography of UB40 in his office under his shelve of birkenstocks, recently suggested that his senior poetry class take to the grass for their analysis of Robert Frost.
“On my way to lecture, I decided to take off my shoes and feel the earth between my toes.” said Danielson. “Then it hit me--my students would probably love the opportunity to engage with nature in the same way!”
One of Danielson’s students, Laney Davis, offered her perspective on Danielson’s decision.
“When he walked into the classroom, he was barefoot. So I was like ‘what the fuck,’ ya know?” said Davis “Like, I knew he was chill, but I would have never pinned him as being THAT chill. He came into class that day, threw his Cliff bar and Naked smoothie in the air and exclaimed ‘let’s have class outside!’ And I have to say, in that moment, I really felt like our chakras aligned.”
Danielson walked his class out near a grassy patch next to the red gym. Ten minutes into his lecture, Danielson was asked to leave by an angry gaggle of UW-Madison administrators. Apparently, Danielson was standing between a tour of high school juniors, and God’s green earth.
“I guess I’m guilty of going outside of the box.” said Danielson while sporting a t-shirt that proudly read: “shop local.”