Peter BlueManager of Operations at Pine Lake
What is your most valued Hartwick experience?
Sitting by Pine Lake and having a loon surface close enough that I could hear the water dripping from its beak. Working in the garden with students who until then had never gardened. Having the privilege of caring for Pine Lake and watching its effect on students. Tracking a bobcat in the snow. Having tea in the garden with the Pine Lake resident students.
How did you end up at Hartwick?
It was a long and twisty path - the one less traveled, I imagine. I discovered Pine Lake when working as a field archaeologist at Hanford Mills Museum on water-powered industrial sites. I immediately fell in love with the place and met my wife at a contra dance there. We moved away, did a variety of things, including more field archaeology, milking cows, selling Christmas trees, playing music and calling contra dances, and worked for New York State with developmentally disabled adults for some years. I came to Pine Lake expecting to be here a few years. That was 25 years ago.
Pine Lake. Hartwick is connected to Pine Lake. My wife has two degrees from Hartwick (Sociology and Nursing).
What does "theory into practice" mean to you?
It's like gardening. You can read about gardening, and even buy a tomato at the store. You can spend a bit of money to buy a really good one. But until you have bitten into a tomato YOU have grown in THIS garden, you haven't put theory into practice.
What about your work energizes you?
Helping people to discover that Pine Lake is a sacred place, and that one can love a place, and by extension that all the world is sacred, and therefore to be cared for. Sometimes that involves some nitty-gritty, unpleasant stuff.
How do you describe our students, faculty, and staff?
They are people. They live, love, and learn like anyone. They are worth knowing and learning from.
What is your most important contribution to Hartwick?
I introduced the Guiding Eyes for the Blind puppy-raising program, re-established gardens at the Lake, introduced natural building to the college, which contributed to the cob house and strawbale house being built by students at the Lake, and I was instrumental in establishing the regular contra dances at the Lake. I revitalized the Pine Lake residency program, tripling the number of students who can live at the Lake. Pine Lake, and its programs are now a featured part of Hartwick. I don't know if any of these are my MOST important contribution. Perhaps I haven't made it yet.