Spiderwebs and the beginning of the academic year

Spiderwebs seem to be in the news, or at least seem to be a featured addition on NPR these days. Last night I heard a story about the massive spiderweb being created at the Lake Tawonki State Park in Texas.

Scientists believe this massive web (at last check it was close to 200 yds in length!) to be the work of a Southeastern Social Cobweb Spiders. As the report goes, this is a community of spiders that work together to weave these extraordinary webs. Perhaps not the largest social cobweb spiderweb on record (the last recorded web of this magnitude was reported in British Columbia and went on for 60 acres ), as you can see below the growing web in Texas is indeed an impressive accomplishment for these wee intrepid beasties.


While things are –always– bigger in Texas, yup, yes we know, I thought this image to be a fitting metaphor for the commencement of yet another academic year and semester here. As we in our Center try to weave connections between teaching, language learning, and technology we also hope that we can send out tendrils to catch other disciplines and teachers and learners in our school and outside of our school who can help our language faculty enrich and sustain their respective and collective curriculum.

Avoiding for the moment the spider and the fly analogy (we wish neither to trap nor to eat our faculty, thank you, but rather to connect the webs they weave to others), I am reminded of the Ethiopian proverb (also heard on NPR this week!) that says: “When spiderwebs unite, they could tie up a lion”

Hmmmm… How many lions will our collective and connective social webs ensnare this year?

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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  1. Colleen · September 1, 2007 Reply

    Confirming connection. Thank you for this amazing resource. I have been lead here as a personal and professional skyper… I leave as an inspired language teacher and fellow web weaver. ¬°Adelante LLU!

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