Survival skills for the fittest

Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 2:24 am

Grinnell students learn the ancient skills of hunting and gathering in an unusual course taught by Professor of Anthropology John Whittaker. In this class, students are required to gather acorns and then use prehistoric tools to pulverize them and create a meal (which they are encouraged to taste).

This type of hands-on activity illustrates to students the stark contrast between their 21st Century lifestyle and the survival skills of ancient times.  Current students may be experts at text messaging, but may not know how to wield an atlatl, an ancient weapon used for throwing spears. As the coach of Grinnell’s collegiate atlatl team, Professor Whittaker also teaches this skill.

Professor Whittaker can provide examples of his unique teaching style and explain how learning about the evolution of survival skills can benefit today's students. If you would like to schedule an interview, please contact Grinnell Communications.