ESCI 302

ESCI 302 has changed me…

“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the Earth before we ask them to save it”. David Sobel, through this course I believe that Audrey has taken us all back to a time where we loved the earth through hands on experiences, and through our own led discoveries.  She has led us in our own inquiry processes through every aspect of the course where our Euro Western ways of knowing was disrupted without even noticing.  It was until looking at the course as I discovered how she has taken us through story telling of personal stories, hearing stories through classmates, and reading about the stories through Braiding Sweetgrass that took us to love and appreciate the offerings that the land has for us.  I truly enjoyed reading the stories within Braiding Sweetgrass because of the love and emotion that Robin Wall Kimmerer was able to share with her students, children, and with us ultimately.

She shared with us the discovery of whiteness in every aspect of environmental education that we have experienced to disrupt it from re-occurring over time through us as teachers.  Our eyes were opened and we were able to see with two eyes the various teaching strategies that we can use in our future careers and to explore the environment through our students.  “all education is environmental education… by what is included or excluded, students are taught that they are part of or apart from the natural world”  David Orr, through this course we learnt that we are all a part of nature, and rediscovering our love of nature and the environment we were able to learn and deepen our understanding of the environment and how we can reciprocate with the environment.

Also, Robin Wall Kimmerer shared “The ultimate reciprocity, loving and being loved in return.” – Pg. 123 I believe that us learning to love the land again, we can pass our love of the land on to our students in future years.  Before I went back through all of the slide show presentation and all of our assigned blog post I was unaware of the hidden curriculum that Audrey shared throughout this course that the ultimate goal was for us to learn to love the land and to get out of Euro Western ways of being that adults can’t “get dirty” and to experience and have fun with our learning.  “In the process of decolonization and re-inhabitation, I believe it is also important for one to unlearn the oppressive and/or privileged narrative that informs one’s sense of identity. At the same time, we need to relearn and reclaim who we are as humans” (p. 8) This is also true for the growing of my knowledge, I have had to unlearn and let go of many ways of my knowing and learn to grow and accept other ways of teaching.  I also have had to instill a lot of trust into Audrey to stop myself from getting worked up and overwhelmed on this journey.  The journey is as important as the product, and my journey is just beginning with these knew ways of knowing.  I am in no way transformed, this takes time but this course has opened my eyes to a variety of teachings and knowing’s.

Another thing that I have enjoyed through this semester is practicing stillness it has really made me feel even more connected to the land below me, the air and sky above me and the world around me.

 

Something that I also noticed within my blogs is the love and appreciation that I have to the environment and had as a child but because of the whitewash of the teaching we were never taught about the location or the land that we were in.  All my blogs also have an over arching love and appreciation that I have with the land that I include in my stories that I share.  I have big dreams on becoming more Eco literate and that is a process that will in no doubt take a lot of learning and changes taking place.

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ESCI 302

The Beauty of Inquiry learning

 

I believe that inquiry based teaching offers an incredible amount of love and appreciation to environmental education.  Your students aren’t just taking a pen and putting it to paper to share why they love Mother Earth and all that she has to offer, but instead they are living and breathing all the things that she has to offer them.  Writing down answers to a test is a temporary knowledge that many students forget as soon as the test is over, but living and creating memories lasts students a life time.

My picture I created is of the love and appreciation that inquiry based teaching offers to Mother Earth, an appreciation of all the different land formations, water, and trees of Mother Earth.

The only meaningful inquiry cycles I have participated in is through my career as and Early Childhood Education, where I would take what the children were interested in and then surround their everyday learning around their interests.  This is where I learnt that no matter what you are studying or learning about, it can be taught in every class possible.  For example a learning process about bugs can be taught through science in relation to habitats, health in life cycles, or diet, gym in pretending to be a bug and also trying the various movements of the bugs, English in reading about bugs and their habitats.

By engaging your students and teaching them through their interests they are more interested in what they are being taught and the learning can branch off in various directions.

ESCI 302

The potential for teaching while cross country skiing!

In high school, the only things I remember as outdoor education, or environmental education is cross country skiing.  There are so many learning possibilities while out on the tracks, however we never really took the learning opportunities unfortunately.  However, I remember my interest in the trees and and being out in the openness.  I remember looking and wanting to learn the trees and more about the land, because as many of Kimmerer’s stories share there are ample learning opportunities that can take place while in the outdoors.

beauty of being outside and in the soft snow.

ESCI 302

On the Fly Learning

I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to listen to Dwayne Donald’s speech, I appreciated that it was a last minute thing that Audrey felt that it was important.  I also think that his speech was crucial to my specific learning and I personally got a lot out of his talk.  I think it really hit home with myself when he was talking about the handshake after signing the treaty and the fact that the Indigenous people thought that they were building relationships with the Europeans, but the Europeans had believed it was to share land and resources with the Indigenous people.   So, as someone who is interested in the various sides of the treaty signage, and the history and hardship that Indigenous people have suffered in the past I felt like this speech was beautiful and eye opening.  My visual representation is a sketch down representing this moment in history that changed the lives of so many people.  Dwayne’s speech although it wasn’t the planned event for the day, turned out to be the turning point of so many of our educations (I am sure).  I know personally for myself and my classmates we were moved and moved by everything that he shared, and the way that he teaches really put a different teaching style into perspective.

ESCI 302

Embodying ecoliteracy or becoming ecoliterate?

I feel like embodying ecoliteracy means to me in relation to climate change is the changes that I make within my personal life to become more ecoliterate.  I have a very Western way of thinking and even while making this blog I feel like I am focussing too much on what I have to do and change over time rather then just living these changed now.  I think like living in the moment and being the change now would be more beneficial then all of a sudden once my life changes I make these drastic changes in my life to become ecoliterate as if I wont have enough to focus on.  However, this is what becoming ecoliterate looks like in my person life:

Step one Recycle:  Right now I am attempting to recycle whenever I possibly can, and reusing products as much as I can, and using less one use items – even bought supplies to make my favorite Starbucks drink!  I also am working on wasting less food (which is a big one for myself), and buying products with less waste as much as possible on a student budget.

Step two Research: I feel like I can be researching or should be researching more cheap ways that I can be ecoliterate and that I shouldn’t necessarily use my lack of funds as an excuse for not being ecoliterate because there are plenty cost effective and cost saving tips and tricks out there.  I need to expand my contribution by finding easy ways in a hectic like that I can help through.

Step three Minimize: my ecoliterate friend gave me so many suggestions on tips to becoming ecoliterate and she said that since I am on a budget minimizing what I use and have is cost effective and by selling many items I would make some cash to put towards becoming more ecoliterate!

Step four Own Place:  I have every excuse in the book in why I am not ecoliterate and one of them is the lack of having my own place.  I feel like since I am in a tiny apartment I am unable to do many things in regards to ecolitearcy like composting so I feel like once I BUY my own place a garden and space is something I can and will specifically look for!

Step five Garden/Compost:  I feel like having a great outdoor space is a wonderful opportunity to becoming ecoliterate being able to grow your own food is beneficial in many aspects of your own life.  I also think that having a garden or space to put your composting right away makes it a heck of a lot easier.  But also having a great outside space to get away too, to just be in in the moment is very beneficial in many ways to get away and just relax and clear your mind!

Step six Farmer Friend:  Since I am not knowledgeable enough and probably wont have enough time to become a farmer or to get a bunch of animals I feel like having a farmer friend to get meat and eggs from would be a great step to becoming ecoliterate.  I think the farm raised meat and eggs are better for you and hurt the environment a lot less then mass companies.

 

I know this post seemed like it was rushed because in all honesty it was, I just want to help with climate change and shut off all lights and this computer and go to bed 🙂 haha!

ESCI 302

Braiding to become eco-literate

When thinking of what it means to be eco-literate there are various ways we can go about it, to describe it, and how to live it or who lives it.  Two pieces that I found very interesting when readings them were Kaylee’s and Rebecca’s.  Both pieces took a different role at describing how people/animals are eco-literate and what it means to be eco-literate.  Kimmerer (2013) says “It is an intertwining of science, spirit, and story – old stories and new ones …  that allow us to imagine a different relationship, in which people and land are good medicine for each other.” (pg.X), these different relationships that I read about opened my eyes to noticing that various ways it means to be eco-literate and who all can be eco-literate.

I really enjoyed the impact that Kaylee and I found in people mine definition of eco-literacy being found in the lives of indigenous people and Kaylee’s being found in her parents.  The people who have shaped who we are and who have taught us many things also have taught us how and what it means to be eco-literate.  One crucial question that I thought of was “Eco literate or Indigenous?” – I feel like the definition of being eco-literate is living in the indigenous way of life before the settlers came and interrupted their ways of life and traditions.  I also found it interesting how Kaylee learnt how to be eco-literate from her parents who have taught her appreciation for the land and its beauty, “The snow, the wind, the rain and the sun; All apart of everything all in unison to one an ever changing and intertwined environment It’s no wonder how you embrace and love this beautiful planet.” (Kaylee).  I also really enjoy how she mentions that everything is in unison and intertwined with the environment.  That although many weather patterns are taken for granted there is beauty behind them and they offer our plant so many possibilities.

Another perspective that I enjoyed was the one through the eyes of Rebecca’s dog, Tucker.  I really found this interesting on how a dog can offer ways to be eco-literate and through the eyes of a dog you can learn these ways.  Dogs offer advice more then people realize and like many other things people miss from the animals of the earth we can learn from all living things.  I really found it interesting when Rebecca said “You never take more than they give and only once it had fallen to the ground as if to not let it go to waste.” (Rebecca), this quote made me think of the circle of life and how the earth offers things to our animals and they can only take so much.  That although there are ways for these animals to eat they still rely on mother earth to live, breathe, and eat from.  I think it is so important to remember not to take more then what you need because in today’s world the resources are becoming limited and what mother earth had to offered has been ripped from her and the human population has taken all she can give from her.

 

Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions

ESCI 302

Eco-literate poem – No judgement zone

Indigenous people – as eco-literate people

It was not that long ago that Indigenous people were here

Whom walked on and served our mother earth.

 

The people lived off of this land and praised this land.

 

These people utilized the animals for everything they had to offer

And in return respected every animal.

 

Mother earth has so much to offer

Herbs, food, animals, and shelter.

 

However, the only ones to use all of these resources

Were the Indigenous people.

 

Respecting, all that earth has to offer

Utilizing every natural element for every aspect of life.

 

Eco-literate or Indigenous?

 

When I think of being eco literate

I think of living like the indigenous people.

 

Living and breathing in all of earth’s beauty

Offering and protecting everything it has to offer.

 

Their carbon footprint?

Was their even such a thing?

They lived so eco friendly and didn’t waste anything.

 

Animal fur?

More like clothing and shelter.

 

Herbs?

More like medicine and remedies for many things.

 

Trees?

More like housing and transportation

  • But not the kind that left a black mark on our mother earth.

 

What has civilization done to this beauty?

What can we do to go back to these ways?

ESCI 302

Becoming the recycling queen!

Hey guys, so I know lame topic but what I am going to do to take a “leap” into action to help save the planet is to start to recycle more… or I guess to just start.  I obviously do the cans and bottles to get money (I mean don’t most university students need ALL the money they can scrape up?) but that’s where it stops.  So I have decided to not only just recycle but I am going to try and go paperless and plastic-less as much as I possibly can.  In doing this my first mission was to go to Dollarama and buy a blue plastic bin… how ironic? However, after talking to my mom and telling her my plans she told me how ridiculous my plan was to buy something plastic just to use for recycling, her words “don’t you have a plastic grocery bag to use? or a box? or something that you don’t have to buy just to put your recycling in?”… My thoughts in return “um, don’t you have to have that special blue box with the recycling symbol on it just to recycle?… don’t you have to support that blue bin company?” So instead I realized I have a container that serves no purpose to me other than to collect dust in my storage room (more like a closet, but that’s not the point) so low and behold I had a new recycling bin! So in the first hour of this new recycling endevoure while cleaning my dungey old apartment I actually recycled probably 4 x the amount that I threw away… it was crazy and this began my spiral towards leaping farther, I was brain storming things to do or use for my turtle tank filters or things I could do even if it was temporary to cut back my use of buy expensive carbon filters that all I can do is chuck in the garbage after, and what I can do to grocery shop rather then buying things that are wrapped in plastic… the shopping thing was sooo not a success because I am a sucker for chicken nuggets and french fries… both are wrapped in plastic… But hey I tried and I’m trying and me recycling is the leap which is the first step in how I am changing my life for the better of the planet!

“Individuals far wiser that I have said that we get the government we deserve.  That may be true.  But the maples. out most generous of benefactors and most responsible of citizens, do not deserve our government.  They deserve you and me speaking up on their behalf.”  (Kimmerer, 174).  I know that me beginning to recycle is not nearly as important of speaking up and voting but it’s not election time and next time it is I will vote for the government that will protect our natural resources… that are willing to make a leap themselves!

So this is my visual piece… I know it’s not the most beautiful piece ever but it was done on a white board with whiteboard markers (both of which I had at home so I did not buy).  Also, if you have every attempted coloring on a whiteboard I think I did pretty good if I can say so myself :).  It shows that not only am I working on recycling but my mission to try and go paperless and plastic-less.

This was the original box I had found to put my recycling in while cleaning my apartment.  It may not seem like a lot in there however, compared to the handful of stuff that made it’s way into the garbage and the majority of that being turtle tank filters I am pretty darn proud of myself too!  Also, just because he is cute here’s my pet turtle Crush who is going to be in for a rude awakening if or when I can think of an alternative to his carbon filters… any suggestions?

ESCI 302

C.J.1: Living in fast forward

Hey everyone this is my picture that I created in regards to my relation with my environment.  This picture represents the two environments that I encounter within my life.  While being apart of nature, and getting away from my everyday environment I feel like my life pauses and I can truly appreciate the beauty that nature has to offer.  I stop and realize how blue that water is, how green the trees are, and the various colors that I see that surround me as I am one with nature.  Life truly slows down and I am able to appreciate everything that the environment has to offer me.  While the second picture and it’s dullness represents my everyday life.  I often feel as if my life is on fast forward and nothing new, or exciting ever happens within it.  My daily environment is often taken for granted, and is seen as colorless.  I seem to appreciate nature when I am in it or away from it and often don’t appreciate my daily life and everything that it has to offer…