You can sign up for as much or as little involvement with the class as you like. If you already know something about your time constraints or are only interested in one part of the class (a course description for which can be found by scrolling down on this page), you can note that in the Comment portion of the sign up form.
Generally, the students will want to meet with community members once toward the beginning of the semester (in January) to gather information and ideas. This will probably take place on a weekend in Esparto. They will use the information and ideas they get from interviews with Esparto and Capay residents as a basis for further research (following up on leads or stories through archival research, for example). Ultimately, what is shared with them by community participants – in the form of anecdotes, memories, histories, and hopes – will provide points of departure, at a minimum, and help the students give shape and form to their proposals for the train station.
While they are working, the students will benefit from additional input from community members. There will be at least one mid-term (work-in-progress) review of the students’ projects at which community feedback will be much appreciated. There will also be a final presentation and exhibit of finished work at the train station property at the end of the semester (early May) when all community members are invited to respond, ask questions, make suggestions, etc.
If you want to participate in the class but aren’t sure if you’ll be available, say, on one or more of these three milestone meetings (the exact dates of which have yet to be determined, after all), you should sign up anyway. You can be part of the information and idea gathering effort, for example, without needing to attend a review later. Or you can give the students feedback on their projects without having been their original informant.
Working with art and design students by providing knowledge and guidance in this way can be tremendously rewarding. When there is good communication and exchange, you will be able to see how your contributions evolve in a visible or material form. Another benefit to signing up is that it will enable you to attend special class-related events, like a walking tour of Esparto’s hidden histories (lost traces of the train system, for example) that we are in the process of organizing.
Signing up now does not obligate you to ANY level of participation, really, if it doesn’t end up working in your schedule. It just allows us to get in touch with you when we know more about how many students we’ll have and what the meeting and review times will be.