Chavez, December 2014

Time has gone quite fast this semester, reading over my past blogs and experiences through nature I am now able to see how time reflects in our environment in many ways. September is a month that is still full of all the summer perks and that I was able to enjoy here in Lake Austin. At the beginning of September the temperatures ranged in the high 90 to 95 degrees however, as the month progressed the temperature began decreasing by some degrees into the lower 90s and high 80s. Not only the temperature changed during the month, but also we started experiencing some rain during the month, which was one of the first signs that fall was coming to Austin soon. I was able to experience the transition from seasons while I went to walk my dog Calvin through the months of September and October; the leaves from the trees slowly started to change colors and fall down, temperatures were not that high so that hot Texas heat was leaving us slowly, and all those tiny insects and bugs that were all over the place during summer slowly started to leave.

An important statement that I did in my October blog was the fact that Austin is a city that is growing rapidly and many constructions are being done in the downtown area. Unfortunately, these constructions have blocked several parts of Town Lake and Lake Austin and will probably continue doing this, which interrupts the beauty these places offer us. I restate this in my final blog because it is something that should concern everyone living here in Austin, as we industrialize the city we cannot forget where everything comes from; as in A Sand County Almanac quotes “Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry”. I can compare this to my blog from New York from November, in which I described Central Park and how it is located in the middle of the city. Even though Central Park is a beautiful place and it’s a small getaway from the industrialized city New York is, I will not want that to happen to Austin. Our city is still full of green and open spaces for everyone to enjoy, and if we keep building and invading those places we will approach an environmental doom. As a society we need to realize that we cannot continue harming what gives and sustains life.

By analyzing the word cloud from our environmental science class I noticed something interest that made me relate it to the argument just stated. I have decided to take this word cloud as a chain that shows the connections to the importance of this problem. The words that were larger, which were the ones that were used the most, consisted of words such as water, creek, nature, and trees. By this I was able to tell that most of my fellow classmates along with me, also experienced and saw things similar to the ones I did, therefore this should be a signal that these words are some of the things that are most important for our society or at least the things that are noticed the most when we are outdoors. So if all of these are the things that are most common, why are we not taking action to preserve them? The next words that were medium sized consisted of a variety of things however the most important to me were life and people. You can now start to see the connection from the first set of words and the ones just mentioned; things in nature such as water and trees give life not only to people but everything that surrounds us. These are essential for the survival for species and us, so I am not able to understand why is taking us this long to take some action, or why are we allowing things like the construction of buildings in our parks to invade and destroy the things that our key to our survival. By looking at the word cloud I was able to tell that I was not the only one who saw some differences or problems that are occurring. The smallest words I chose to incorporate into this chain were preserve, gone, dried, shocking, and unfortunately. What I take from this word cloud is that as the time went on during the semester, my classmates saw changes from the places they had visited and were also aware that maybe some of this changes are unfortunate or harming to our environment, therefore preservation should be implemented. As I finalize this chain, my personal experiences during the semester are incorporated to this word cloud and how it all relates to what other students did. We began with things that surrounded the nature which are highly important to us such as water and trees, then this connects to us as part of our life and importance for survival of us and species, finally we are faced to this issue that all of these things are changing, and some of them negatively, so wee need to find ways to solve this problem.

I decided to focus this final blog not only for analyzing the things that I had experienced during the semester here in Austin and New York, but to create awareness for other people as this project did to me. Starting the semester with this project I was not aware on how things change and how we forget to look at details that surrounds our environment. This project gave me the opportunity to see my surrounding with a different perspective and as I learned more about environmental issues and the importance it has in our lives, I can take a different side of the things that are happening. Before this project I took many things for granted, as simple things as going for a walk here in Austin. However, as the semester passed I realized that if we do not take action to do something to preserve our environment, in a few years I will not be able to do simple things as go to the park to walk my dog. I really encourage St. Edward’s University to keep implementing projects like this in which we are able to do things “hands-on” as it creates an awareness and connection to things that should be important to all of us.

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