Syllabus: Autumn 101

Syllabus: Autumn 101


Happy Fall, Y’all! I’m introducing a new category for the blog I’ve been really excited about…

I have a harmless but kind of odd habit: I collect syllabi. And textbooks. And worksheets. And library cards. And teacher clip art. I know, I know. It makes me happy, and that’s good enough for me!

With that in mind, I thought how much I would enjoy creating syllabi for, well, a bunch of different topics and hobbies and other things I love. It’s kind of a pet project for myself, but why not share the love just in case someone else might find it useful or inspiring?

Wheeee! Autumn is here!


NOTE: I write a lot about things I love – however, I do not use ads or “affiliate links”  or anything like that here, and I never will. I even paid for a version of WP to ensure an ad-free place here, and it’s worth every penny. If I link to a specific product page or use a particular brand name, it’s for one reason only: because I love it so much I want to tell you about it!

Okay, class – grab a fresh cup of coffee, sharpen your pencils, get out a fresh piece of paper, and start taking notes. The fall semester is here, and you are officially enrolled in Autumn 101. I hope you enjoy it!



Autumn 101

Fall Semester 2018




General Information



Course of study for appreciating all things autumn. The 2018 Autumnal Equinox began on September 22, and will end on Friday, December 1.

Expectations and Goals

By the end of this course, you will have mastered the basic prerequisite skills and knowledge required to enjoy a fully immersive experience of the fall season.


Course Materials


Required Materials

  • Internet access and search engine
  • Library card and/or access to books
  • Any device capable of downloading and listening to music & watching movies/videos
  • Quality headphones or earbuds


Optional Materials

  • Access to a kitchen, basic baking and cooking ingredients.
  • Autumn-scented candles such as pumpkin, apple spice, etc.
  • Field Notes and/or journal books for nature walks.
  • A comfortable pair of walking shoes for nature walks.
  • Backpack or daypack for nature walks.


Required Listening



  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Seasons: Song of the Autumn (Orchestral arrangement is best)
  • Bizet/Guiraud, Carmen Suite No. 2: IX. Nocturne
  • Maurice Ravel, Pavane pour une infante défunte
  • Claude Debussy, Clair de lune
  • Andy Williams, Autumn Leaves
  • Richard Strauss, Four Last Songs, ‘September’ (Soile Isokoski is the superior version)
  • Parov Stelar, Autumn Song
  • Yo La Tengo, Autumn Sweater
  • Barbra Streisand, Autumn
  • The Kinks, Autumn Almanac
  • Barbra Streisand, Memory
  • Earth, Wind & Fire, September
  • Paul Bateman, Seasons Of Woman – A Symphonic Journey by The City of Prague Orchestra
  • Frank Sinatra, Autumn Leaves
  • Fiona Apple, Pale September
  • Arnold Bax, November Woods
  • Nat King Cole, September Song
  • Andy Williams, Theme from Love Story
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Autumn in New York
  • John Coltrane, Autumn Serenade

Required Reading





  • John Keats’s “To Autumn”
  • H. Lawrence’s “Autumn Rain”
  • “Autumn,” by Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “An Autumn Evening”
  • “A Yellow Leaf,” by Ariana Reines
  • “Sonnet 73,” by William Shakespeare
  • George Cooper’s “Come Little Leaves”
  • William Blake’s “To Autumn”
  • “Between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, Today,” by Emily Jungmin Yoon
  • Fyodor Ivanovich Tyutchev’s poem: “Autumn Evening”
  • “Blackberry Eating,” by Galway Kinnell
  • The Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “For the Chipmunk in My Yard,” by Robert Gibb
  • “Fall Leaves Fall,” by Emily Brontë
  • “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost
  • “Nature Aria,” by Yi Lei
  • James Wright’s “Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio”
  • “The Death of Autumn,” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Keith Ratzlaff, “Yellow Landscape”
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind”
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Shelley just looks like an “autumn” kind of guy.




  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • The Cider House Rules by John Irving
  • Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
  • Dark Harvest, by Norman Partridge


Nature Reference Books:



  • Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins
  • Fall colors across North America by Anthony E. Cook
  • Autumn: a season of change by Peter J. Marchand
  • Fall Color Finder: A Pocket Guide to Autumn Leaves by Ritchie C. Bell and Anne H. Lindsey


Required Watching:


  • Dead Poets Society
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • The Village
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Legends of the Fall
  • The Fox and the Hound


Nature Walks – Resources:




  • While the weather is nice, get a backpack! You’ll want something lightweight and sturdy that has room for snacks, water bottles, your field guides and notebook or sketchbook to take along with you for jotting down observations, pressing gorgeous fall leaves in the pages for safekeeping, and any journaling you might do! I cannot recommend highly enough the Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack, I purchased one on Amazon for 20 bucks last year, I love it so much I bought more for my kids. It’s roomier than it looks, and my son who is a biology major and works in the field much of the time has put it through all kinds of wear and tear and it’s still going strong.


I take this everywhere, indoors and out. It’s taken a beating and is still in great shape.
  • Field Book Notebooks
  • Hardback journal for sketching and journaling
  • When the weather is in that magnificent sweet spot between way-too-hot and brrr-too-cold, camping can be wonderful. I found some excellent fall weather camping tips here. And if you go camping, you need campfire stories! Here are some spooky ones!




Additional Information and Resources


Optional Goodies


Best Yankee Candle fall scents:


  • Autumn Leaves
  • Autumn Wreath
  • Harvest
  • Spiced Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Pie


Good Eats & Beverages:










A savory noodle casserole bubbly and hot from the oven – Yes, Please.
Spicy Bowl Of Chili. Hot bowl of fresh chili with cheese, onions, and peppers.
I risk losing my True Texan status by confessing to putting beans & tomatoes in my chili. Not sorry.


Extra Credit:


  • To get you in that “I think I want to go outdoors and see nature and stuff” mindset – Read: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson. Bryson is one of the best travel writers I’ve ever read – his ability to tell his tales in an entertaining and engaging manner is head and shoulders above all the rest. This is his story of how as a middle-aged, out-of-shape, nature-phobic man, he decided one day to hike the Appalachian Trail, because why the hell not, I guess. I can’t believe I didn’t read it til this year, but once I started it, I could not put it down. It made me laugh so hard I was accidentally snorting, tears sprung from my eyes and I had to stop reading constantly to contain myself while trying to explain to my husband across the room how he MUST TO READ THIS BOOK NOW!


  • Learn a bit about the Danish concept of Hygge. Hygge (hue-guh) is, according to Wikipedia, “a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment.” It’s really the perfect concept for autumn. I found a wonderful article on the website The Nest: How to Hygge Your Life and Home for Fall. And now I must indulge in some white twinkle lights to complete the whole aesthetic!


Relaxing autumn day at home with coffee and blank notebook for copyspace in warm coziness scandinavian hygge style, POV first person look which is female
I could totally get into this Hygge thing. 


  • Check out the 2018 Autumn issue of Halcyon Days Magazine! I wrote a fall-themed tribute to my wonderful Grandmama here (pg. 4 – “A Bushel and a Peck of Autumn Love”), and the whole issue is a delightful…dare I say it – cornucopia – of autumn poetry and prose, with glorious colors and photos throughout!



Well, that’s it for Autumn 101, I hope you learned something that will make this autumn season the best yet! I’m already working on another syllabus, here’s a little hint!



Jack O Lantern halloween pumpkin