J500 Media and the Environment

Teary-Eyed, End-Of-Class Gushiness by bobbygrace
April 29, 2008, 2:38 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags:

Photo: scotersen, flickr

Last fall, Bill Woods, head of the Environmental Studies program, told me about a class called Media and the Environment. The class was going to be taught by Simran Sethi, who had worked with TreeHugger.com, NBC and everyone else, and that it was going to be really interesting, but a lot of work. I told him I was already enrolled.

Bill was right about everything. To make time to blog every week was difficult, but the schedule was nice. It taught me regularity and timeliness. Plus, the chance to blog about green tech for class credit only happens every so often. I strengthened my writing with the great tips I received: be personal, lead readers on, fact check, get out in the field, don’t be afraid to use humor, and so on; all of which are fairly self-evident, but brought to light by the most insightful and influential group of guests I’ve ever had in a class.

I learned about the systems of bees and ants, I looked up close at my trash, reaffirmed my hatred of photo-degrading plastic bottles, and learned on multiple occasions the stark differences between scientists and journalists in their ability to communicate. I still get a headache thinking about those CReSIS graphs. I learned through photo, video, writing, audio, but not by paper. I took from Simran and our guests, but learned equally from my classmates.

That was awfully, awfully gushy and apologize for that. I hope I wasn’t the only one excited about this class from start to finish.

Thanks, everyone.



3 Comments so far
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I know I set up this whole last post as a gush-fest. I didn’t mean to. I was going to revise the assignment, but my flight back from DC was delayed, I took a sleeping pill and slept for 13 hours, and my computer wasn’t home when I got back and, well, then it was Monday.

Bobby, there are at least two of us who were excited all the way through. I learned more from you and your colleagues than I could have ever imagined. It was always hard, and it was usually great. Overall, teaching this class is one of the most rewarding things I have ever gotten to do.

I greatly appreciate everyone’s good humor, patience, and wisdom as we navigated the terrain together – from green sex toys to bad skype connections and everything in between.

So a very public, sentimental thank you to all of you for making this class – and this blog – everything it is. 21,000 hits and counting.


Comment by j500


As someone who could stand to increase his “tech” awareness,” I really appreciated the way you made such complex and foreign topics so accessible. I hope you continue to explore the intersection of technology and environmentalism through some form of blogging–I know I speak for others when I say you provided an extremely important service.


Comment by rarab

Thank you, I really appreciate that comment. I’m sure I could learn a thing or two about economics from you. You’ve been such an intelligent, strong voice in the class and I have really appreciated your presence.

I’m not sure how you do everything you do. Is there some sort of time-space warping device you use? You’ve got to let me blog about such a thing. Really though, I’m not sure how you maintained enthusiasm all the way through, or found the strength to stand up at all for that matter. Thanks for everything.


Comment by bobbygrace

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