ESCI 302: Final Project

To conclude ESCI 302, I have decided to create a video that reflects my experiences and understandings for this past semester. Please find attached at the bottom my video uploaded to YouTube. I would like to thank iMovie for making it look like Stephen Spielberg directed, filmed and edited my video (just kidding).

SCRIPT:

Before entering and learning about environmental education, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. My understandings of what the Earth means to so many organisms was limited but now reflecting back on re-occurring themes that entered my mind every time I walked into class and looking back on my blog posts, I now know that it goes much deeper than my previous knowledge of the environment. Environmental education has now reshaped my mind and how I will view the environment going forward by helping me understand important themes of what the Earth offers us and spreading that knowledge on as a future educator.

Looking back on the themes in my blogs that were important to me, and what I think needs to be passed onto students as a future educator is the importance of the true meaning of wilderness. We as humans, view land that is not inhabited by humans as wilderness. Understanding that no matter where you go that is deemed as “empty” probably is home to many various forms of wild life that goes as unrecognized. Is there true wilderness? Probably not as we share the land with many living organisms. What true wilderness helps me reflect on is the colonization of European ancestors coming to North America onto First Nations territory and how it’s important to recognize early ancestors and who’s land we are really on.

Looking at this so called “wilderness” and shared land  through our eyes as humans is a beautiful thing. There are many aspects of this Earth to appreciate as it provides us with so many opportunities. In order to keep this Earth beautiful, we need to reflect on our acts of reciprocity. We get so caught up In taking what the earth offers that we don’t think of giving back. Looking at my blog posts I found that I honestly don’t give back to the Earth as much as I should but during the embodying eco-literacy project I found out that there are many ways I can give back in more ways than just recycling or picking up garbage while on a hike (as I explained in my first blog). As humans we need to be more ecoliterate, which is understanding what things make life on earth possible.

By understanding what makes life possible on Earth, we need to have everyone on board to disrupt climate change or else these natural systems on earth that make life possible won’t be existing in the future. Doing little things that make you feel better like recycling, isn’t going to fix the problem, it goes much deeper than that. We need to have an environment first mentality, and figure out ways to disrupt climate change and pollution like ways such as carpooling or reusable water bottles for example. There needs to be a major movement in what we do with this planet.

Moving forward, reflecting on my blog posts, learning in class and what I thought beforehand,  I now realize that I have become a more eco-literate person and have realized that environmental education is an important subject area to incorporate in school systems. It is an integral part of the future.

To end this video off, I have saved a few of my favourite quotes from this semester. These quotes have challenged my learning all semester and will continue to challenge my thinking as a future educator. The first quote I would like share comes from Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass. Kimmerer states in one of her chapters we read “the world is a gift”. It’s a very simple quote, but when I unpack that quote, I think of gifts being a special gesture. When she states “the world is a gift”, we need to treat it special and to take care of it, but the way she sees it is we are doing the exact opposite.

The second quote that served a meaningful purpose to me came from David Orr’s article. The quote I liked was, “the plain fact is that the planet does not need ore successful people. But it desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, story tellers and lovers of every kind”. We need to start treating the Earth as our friend.

The last and my favourite quote was the one by Leonardo DiCaprio which really struck me at the start of the semester and I continue to think about it. It comes from his movie Before the Flood, which was a very interesting documentary that I encourage people to watch. The quote I want to leave you with is “you are the last, best hope of Earth, we ask you to protect, or we and all living things we cherish are history.” There needs to be a change in the ways humans think of the Earth before it’s too late. We need to have everyone on board in order to be successful.

Works Cited:

Kimmerer, R. W. (2013) Braiding Sweetgrass. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed                              Editions.

Fisher, S., & DiCaprio, L. (2016). Before the Flood. [Documentary] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj8kRKpOheI

Orr, D. W. (2004) Earth in Mind. Washington, DC. First Island Press. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8VQFXPP3QToTERuYWRMa2ExRzg/view

Advertisements

Creative Journal #5 ESCI

IMG_E0796

Reflecting on what my own homemade ceremonies are for my last journal entry, I have decided to talk about my family religion and how it relates to the ceremonies that we do. On an honest note, my family doesn’t have any traditional ceremonies that offer anything that directly relates to Earth, but let me tell you, my mom loves taking family pictures outside for many holidays to remember ceremonies or celebrations. We do love being outside when it’s possible for our ceremonies if the weather cooperates. We like to do lots of family skating in the winter when it’s cold and celebrate birthdays outside when its warm.  We are a pretty traditional Catholic family. Our ceremonies are basic catholic traditions such as celebrating Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and others. When we go to church, a tradition is always going for Sunday brunch after and hanging out taking time to relax.

When looking at the quote “Ceremonies large and small have the power to focus attention to a way of living awake in the world”, for some reason,  it really made me realize that ceremonies are a good way to connect with the people you know regardless of the circumstance. Everyone has busy lives and I think, especially when my whole family gets together, it is a lot of catching up with each other and talking. Ceremonies “awake the world” by uplifting connections between people. In my families case, in regards to being catholic, our Easter, Christmas and thanksgiving celebrations are a happy and good time. I think that the good intentions that my family ceremonies have really wake the people in my family by getting away from the reality of our everyday lives.

Regardless of what religion or anything you celebrate or believe I think it’s important to realize that there are many beliefs in the world and everyone has their own opinions. With that being said it’s important keep that in mind and respect everyone’s beliefs. When we were at the Residential School First Nation Burial ground, it really made me think about what my family traditions and ceremonies were in collation to what First Nations people believed or other people in the class and it was interesting to see that there are lots of variety in beliefs. It was great to see the variety of similarities and differences.

Creative Journal #4 ESCI

For creative journal number four, I have decided to share a couple pictures from my childhood. In the first one (it’s kind of blurry), is me and one of my friends playing outside on hill by my house made of snow. We would spend hours sledding down it and playing on it. Even though this hill was just across the street, my friend and I were the first ones on it. We waited eagerly to get on the hill as we watched it being made from my house across the street. Since we were the first ones on it, we felt as if it was okay to call it ours because no one was using it, disregarding anyone else who lived around the hill.

Now looking back on it and what we have learned about colonization, I think this is a good way to connect my past experiences to what we have been learning. Obviously as a kid your more likely to be less understanding of situations, but as my friend and I went and claimed that hill as “ours” we weren’t thinking about the property it was actually on or if anyone owned it. This is an example of colonization since we thought no one was using it, or going to use it, it was ours to have now. We automatically took ownership. With learning about colonization in class and reflecting back on my past experiences as a kid, I now know for the future to be more cautious to what I call “mine”. In my situation, even though the hill was there, it was still someone else’s land it was on which doesn’t give me the right to claim it mine. Just because you think something isn’t being used, or your unaware of something being used I think its important to do research before you claim something as yours, because there is a chance you could be disrupting a home, piece of land or someones way of living for your own use.

Creative Journal #3 ESCI

For my creative journal entry #3, I have made a display of one of my childhood memories of camping in one of my best friends backyard at the lake which is located in Katepwa. For some reason, when someone asks me what I think of what the Canadian ideal wilderness is as a common sense, this exact picture gets painted in my head which is a couple tents set up near the beach (lake front property) with a camp fire going. Not only do you spend all morning and afternoon in the lake, playing in the sand, and hunting for snails, clams, and various other lake wildlife, but you get the true wilderness experience by sleeping outside also. When you are camping, you become one with nature because everything you do relates to the wilderness and outdoors.

At this age, when I was backyard camping with my friend, I obviously wasn’t aware of the history the land had to offer. I was aware of the Indigenous population that lived there but had no clue to why it was like that. Katepwa lands in Treaty 4 territory and before European settlers arrived, it appeared that the Assiniboine and Cree were most dominant in the area of what they now call Katepwa. Now knowing a lot of the history that has gone on in Treaty 4 territory I now know that it is important to acknowledge the history that has risen from the grounds that I now call home. We have to be mindful of who’s land we are really on, and continue peace in the sharing of the land.

When reading through Newbery’s Canoe Pedagogy I thought that the quote that stood out to me most was, “Their lives are not often idealized although they are often glorified; statistics of miles travelled, hours paddled, calories eaten, pounds carried, bugs endured, and lives lost create a sense of awe for these working-class young men.” When I saw this quote it made me come to realization of: Was I really experiencing wilderness  when I was out camping compared to the types of battles that our early ancestors had to go through? True wilderness back then was seen as resourceful, but also a threat of deterioration and death more so than now days because of education and how society is structured. So was I really in the wilderness when I was camping compared to what people back then were exposed to? I can most definitely say no. In modern society wilderness is almost seen as recreation more so than survival. We learn different types of things when we are out in the wilderness compared to what they were learning about. What our concept of wilderness now is no where near of what the concept of wilderness meant back then.

Something I found interesting that disrupted Canada’s wilderness from Kimmerer’s Sitting In A Circle was how the wilderness in this story referred to living off the land and using what nature offered to provide humans with basic necessities whereas modern camping we are well prepared with food and water and other basic needs like when I was camping with my friend. By the students using what nature offers it gave the students a true understanding of how significant it and how powerful nature is. Overall  people might think they understand what wilderness is, but I think that you won’t get that true wilderness experience unless you ditch societal norms.

 

Ecoliteracy Braid

After going through many of my classmates poems, love letters, and other ways of responding of what it means to be ecoliterate, I was amazed to see some of the  differences and similarities to my poem on what it means to be ecoliterate. The poems I looked at were very interesting.

The first piece that stood out to me that showed similarities to my poem was Jade’s poem. In one of the verses of Jade’s poem, it states “capturing every breathtaking experience in the world”. I found that it connected with one of the verses in my poem which was “as there are so many places to go and roam.” The major similarity I found between these two statements was the travel aspect of what it means to be ecoliterate. Enjoying nature, because there are so many “breathtaking experiences” and you can make “unforgettable memories” by going to new places. Taking in, and honoring what the Earth has given us and taking a chance to experience other parts of the world and the beauty it offers if the opportunity presents itself. There’s so many places in the world to discover that offer different types of nature and landscapes which may give you a whole new perspective on the way you treat and understand the Earth. By experiencing new ways of seeing how the beauty of the Earth presents us with different opportunities to understand nature it will leave us realizing what the Earth is capable of and how diverse it can be. By seeing other parts of the world it may change our opinions on how we need to protect this beauty. In our poems we both show a more positive side of nature.

The second poem that I found similar to mine was Laura’s as we both talked about how humans are just taking from the earth and not really thinking about giving back and the greed humans can contain that comes with lack of respect for the Earth. This part of our poems seems very dark. At the end of my poem I state “You demonstrate how we need to give back to this Earth and not just take, as there are many consequences that are at stake. / One day this Earth might be as bare as a bone, for future generations we need to set the right tone.” This braided with Laura’s part of the poem on how she referred to human and Earth relationships and how it can be considered “one-sided”. Laura’s poem also states that “one will wear out / and be forced away / leaving the other with nothing.” Like in mine, if we don’t have a good relationship with the earth we are not only going to destroy nature we are going to destroy humanity also and this planet will be left as “bare as a bone” if we don’t consider giving back and the pace of consumerism doesn’t slow down.

A poem that I found different from mine was Mack’s poem. I found in Mack’s poem he was talking about his own personal commitments of what he is actually doing to be ecoliterate whereas my poem it’s more of an observation of what it means to be ecoliterate. I’m looking up to somebody who is ecoliterate in my poem and he as actually demonstrating the hard work through his poem on what it means to be ecoliterate as he states “I walk these steps, a dozen floors. / Catching my breath, knocking on doors.”

When asked to connect to a certain reading we took up in class I thought that David Orr’s chapter on “What is Education For?” was a perfect example. Orr explains that “the plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every kind”. What it sounds like to me is that the Earth needs people to treat it like a true “friend” like my poem suggests. In my poem it talks about how we need to be the Earth’s friend and in order to become the Earth’s friend we must stop hurting it and keep it clean which will leave a better place for future generations. Friends are understanding, and by understanding what the Earth needs we will be able to prevent the Earth from destruction. We don’t need successful people to just keep taking but instead we need successful people to use their power to be more eco-friendly. The Earth is hurting, we need to give a helping hand as a true friend would.

Ecoliteracy Poem

Dear my ecoliterate buddy

You have shown me the Earth is such a special place,

With so much to study

With life so abundant on Earth,

We can’t forget how much its worth.

 

You tell me I should be honored and lucky

To call this beautiful Earth our home,

As there are so many places to go and roam.

 

You show how we need to keep the Earth clean,

While recognizing the planet as our friend

And not be so mean.

 

You demonstrate how we need to give back to this Earth and not just take,

As there are many consequences that are at stake.

One day this earth might be as bare as bone,

For the future generations, we need to set the right tone.

Creative Journal #2 ESCI

Creative Journal Blog #2 – How can we be more ecofriendly and give back to the land?

img_e0523

For week number two’s creative visual, I decided to construct a little collage full of actions that are in my power to be more ecofriendly. I decided I could leap into action by taking public transit and carpooling to use less gas, walking and biking more often to get to places, reduce the energy that is used to power my house and the last thing which I have been getting better at, is reducing the amount of plastic water bottles I use. The Earth has given us as humans many opportunities to succeed. It is our job to be mindful of the resources that we have been given and make sure that we aren’t destroying the environment that has given us so many opportunities. I know it is easier said than done by doing these ecological pledges as a lot of people might say, but if we can get enough people to buy into being ecofriendly we can have a massive change in how we focus on what is right for the Earth. We need more environmentally friendly leaders to set a good example so more people can follow in the right foot steps to get things turned around.

For my ecological pledges, not only am I helping the environment out, I am also saving money for a lot of these things. Gas and power can be really expensive so reducing these things will help save money. I know my room mates and I have been doing a really good job carpooling this year and instead of blasting the heat in the house we have been throwing on sweaters and using blankets more often and keeping the heat to a reasonable temperature and we have been noticing huge money savings.

InBraiding Sweetgrass, it mentions one of the sacrifices that humans may face when trying to be more ecofriendly and that sacrifice was raising taxes for things that can benefit the environment. I know that some people may disagree with these decisions like the people in the book but we need to do these types of things to raise awareness and take action to be more ecofriendly before it is too late.

Creative Journal #1 ESCI

Creative Journal Blog #1 – Keep Our Earth Clean!

In the pictures you find below is my visual representation of a time I felt connected to the environment. Last summer, I was out in Nelson B.C. visiting a few of my friends. One day we decided to go on a hike in the mountains and I found this Gatorade bottle, like the one I show in my pictures, laying on the ground. I picked it up and placed it in my backpack. This recent memory made me feel really connected to the environment because I felt I was doing a good deed and helping protect the environment from waste. The little things count. I know it is a very small gesture but the Earth is our home and we have to keep it clean and we have to find proper ways of disposing or recycling our garbage and use our resources wisely. We can’t destroy Earth we have to work with it and respect it. What you do with the resources now can affect the future. The environment to me means home, so we need to treat it right and respect it and by doing that we can do things as little as picking up one piece of recycling like I did or else we are going to leave a huge mess for future generation. A clean future is the right future.

As Kimmerer speaks in her recent chapter we just read, she mentions and talks about how the world is a gift. As humans, whenever we receive a gift we treat it with respect and we are thankful for it. By doing things like keeping the environment clean and recycling are types of ways we show that we treat our world and environment as a gift.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑