White, December 2014

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One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” -Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

In the beginning of the semester I dreaded this class. When we were told about the project, I immediately hated the idea of having to spend time outside every week to record the weather and write about how we feel. It was sad because I didn’t even give it a chance at first, but as the semester went on I started to like the blogs and this class more and more, and it soon became what I looked forward to most. It didn’t take long for the nature blogs to grow on me. I love spending time outside, but I guess I had the wrong idea of what we were supposed to do at first. In my mind, I thought that it was all about finding the facts and sharing what you know, but it has been so much more than that. It was about looking beyond what you know, and having the courage to go somewhere new, question what you’ve been told, and seek for more. We are so small in comparison to this big world of ours, so to think, or even pretend to think, that we can know it all is simply ridiculous.

Growing up, I would spend all of my time outside. My neighbors and I would play from sun up to sun down, but as time has gone on things have changed. Nowadays people spend most of their time inside. My neck hurts more from looking down at my phone or being on my computer so much, but really I should be looking up. We easily forget that we have this giant, beautiful world right outside our door, but instead we disconnect ourselves from who we are because we’re so busy “connecting” ourselves to social media. Having to take time out of my schedule in order to spend an hour outside away from my phone, laptop, and other people was really important for me. It was so refreshing, and it made me feel grounded again. It gave me an opportunity to think more about who I am, and why I’m here. It also allowed me to physically see why we need our planet so much. People are so destructive, and we don’t really think twice about what we’re doing. What goes around comes back around, and we need to see that what we put out there will eventually come back to bit us in the butt. I couldn’t imagine living in a man-made world, and we should’t have to resort to that. I think it’s important for everyone to have these moments where we really see what’s going on.

I love the sound cloud because it shows our class’s most used words in our blogs, which connects all of our experiences. Words like see, naturebeautiful, different, small, time, around, life are just a few that show the power of our environment, and how it can open up the mind. It goes to show how we can all relate, even if we did our blogs over different places. No matter where you go, all around you will see something beautiful. You’ll experience life in a different way, and realize how small you are in comparison to time and nature. The sound cloud also reveals words like shocking, unfortunately, take, change, and dried which show that our environment is changing, for better or for worse. I think that as time goes on the sound cloud would change and develop more, and I would be interested to see how it would change. For the most part the words we see are happy, but would they still be like that 20 years from now if we continued this project?

Fall 2014 Word Cloud

A Sand County Almanac is all about creating a relationship between man and earth, and how humans need to consciously recognize the importance of conservation. Over the course of this semester, I have really come to understand how our nation has been brushing our environmental problems under the rug, and how people refuse to accept that we have been treating our planet so poorly. I’ve also learned how crucial it is for us to take care of our environment. We like to think that we’re invincible- that we can do whatever we want, however we want, without any circumstances. When we’re reminded that we’re not invincible, and that we not in control of everything, we either try to fight back or we try to forget. I think that people are waiting to see something like the movie 2012- massive earthquakes causing killer tidal waves, wiping out entire cities. Nobody wants to believe it until they see it, but if we wait it’ll be too late. I was one of these people too. I knew that has been commotion about environmental problems, but I didn’t care to look into them. I was like everyone else- happy with my oblivion, unscathed by the harmful effects our actions have been having on our world. What I love about this course is that it opened my eyes. It showed me to not be oblivious; to not be afraid. My heart has grown 3 times in size for the environment, and I can only hope that others will have the opportunity to understand these things too, so that one day people can come together and make a change.

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I would like to continue to spend an hour outside each week, even if it’s not for a class or project. I think that everyone should take at least an hour each week where they set everything down and enjoy some fresh air. We live in a world that’s on the go, but sometimes we just need to stop, breathe, and be thankful.

 

God bless ya’ll,
Mary White

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