Shealey, December 2014

So, here we are. It’s the end of the semester and another class has gone by. Usually, I am done with the tests and I throw away my notes for the class (really I recycle them) and wipe my hands clean of the hard tireless nights I stayed up for a grade. While I will admit that this class has been apart of those tireless nights, I cannot truthfully say that I am glad to be done with it. Environmental Science is not just a class you take that as no relation to your every day life like algebra. All the math in my life is simple and can be solved with a few buttons on my smart phone. On the other hand, environmental science opens you up to the earth and how we are not taking care of it like we should. You challenged us to go out into nature and just sit. Even though I was not truly doing anything, I feel like I learned a lot. I learned that I need to take more time to actually engage myself in the world around me. I love to read books and now I have found how fulfilling it is to sit outside with a book as opposed to being holed up in my room. Plus I took some really cool pictures of some trees and people working in the community garden. One shot I am particularly proud of is an action shot i got of my pal Robert putting down some mulch around the garden fence. At the time I had a really good phone that enabled me to take a bunch of pictures. Unfortunately, my awesome phone is no longer in commission and all of my pictures are gone, but I guess I could still admire them from the previous blog posts.

Now I know I sound like I’m just trying to fill up the page with flowery words about nature, but I truly feel like I have realized how out of touch I was. If you look at the word cloud, the words that are most prevalent in people’s posts are water, creek, and nature. These words are very relevant to the posts I have made. In my first couple of blogs I immersed myself in nature by volunteering in the school community garden. It was great to get to learn about the importance of weeding and tilling the land. However, it was not as fun working in the hot Texas sun. My hair doesn’t really keep me cool with the hots sun beaming down. However, once the weather cooled down, I was able to appreciate the courtyard areas around my dorm a bit more. While in the courtyards I was able to to a lot of reflecting on this year, but unfortunately I didn’t make any friends with the St. Edward’s cats milling around campus. But relating back to the word cloud, the other words that were prevalent in all of the blogs were a bunch of animals like tadpoles, birds, rabbits, and squirrels. Seeing as my blog areas were limited to being on the campus, I didn’t really get the chance to see many species other than the many squirrels located on campus. It’s nice to see that people were including much about the environment around them. I feel like other focused more on the environment around them, while I mostly spoke about the human relation to the environment. For example my last blog spoke of the many cigarette buds always covering the ground around my dorm’s courtyard. It’s just one of the countless ways people are negligent to the environment. I am pleased to say that recently I have been visiting the courtyards and no cigarette buds are to be found! So I am convinced that people either realized the horrible acts they committed ooooorr the rain has just prevented the people from sitting around the tables and smoking. While I wish it was the former, it is probably the latter that is true.

By looking at some of the smaller words located in the word cloud you see unfortunately, shocking, and gone.  I would have expected these kind of words to be a tad bit bigger on the cloud. It is sad, but you can easily walk outside of any building that your in and find an example of environmental negligence. To be more accurate, you could probably walk outside the room you are in and find just as many examples. Even though I have taken a class that shows just how much of a negative impact I can have on the earth just by doing my everyday routine, I find myself not changing my ways. And I know I am not the only person. So what can we do to change this way of thinking? Your last lecture really stuck with me and there needs to be an overall shift in the human consciousness to encompass more than just our day-to-day routine. We need, as you said, to become more “earth centered” rather than “self-centered”.

In school we are required to have English, history, and biology classes. These ideas and concepts are integral to our everyday lives and the further improvement of society. I think that environmental science classes should be required as well. Just from my experience in one semester, I learned information that I feel that should be known to the general populous, not just a college student who is just trying to fulfill her science in perspective general education requirement.  I’m sorry to admit it, but I came into this class hoping for an easy A with minimum participation. However, once I got the syllabus to my dismay I was in for a lot of work and time commitment. Looking at all of the debates, blogs entries, and the ten page paper I thought long and hard about dropping the class. Once I took the time to actually forget about the work load and just enjoy learning about a new topic I felt silly for even thinking about not taking this class. Thank you for a great year Professor Wasserman and have a great break!

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