J500 Media and the Environment


Reflections on Taking the Road Less Traveled (for me at least) by shawng
November 5, 2008, 8:15 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , ,

For me, this class and our work with CEP has been like taking the road less traveled.  It’s like nothing I ever did in college.  Sure, I’ve done volunteer work, been active in our church, and the like, but this has been different.  Those felt familiar and comfortable.  In this, I’ve been forced to crawl outside my comfort zone, which is good for me.

In this class, I’ve learned a great deal about energy, clean and renewable energy, sustainability, environmental protection, and the list goes on.  Second, I’ve learned about CEP, GPACE, and many other organizations that do such admirable work.  It has been a privilege to contribute (in a small way) toward the efforts of CEP.

Third, I’ve gotten to meet many more new people.  Most of whom, I, otherwise, would likely not have met.  After spending 16 hours in this class together, I feel that I know everyone better than I know most of my other classmates.  The intimate and personal setting of this class is essential to making it work.  Plus, Simran is the only person I’ve met that’s been on Oprah.

I also wanted to share my favorite book, which is called “Hope for the Flowers” by Trina Paulus.  It is also, in a way, about taking the road less traveled.  If you feel like you need to break out of a rut or need some prodding to do something different, check it out.  Thanks to Simran, Susan, and my classmates for a great experience.

Shawn

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Shawn,

I’m curious, has the CEP project (or the course as a whole) impacted how you approach your engineering work? Or do you see it impacting your work down the road?

Chris Ronan

Comment by chrisr11

Chris-

I’ve found that this class and our work with CEP has served as a good reminder of my duty to do the best I can as an engineer to produce designs that minimize the impacts to the environment but still meet the needs of the project. I can do so by doing efficient and sustainable designs. Efficient designs minimize the amounts of materials required. We can also use recycled materials, such as recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) or fly ash in concrete (fly ash is a by-product of the coal combustion process that can be used in place of some cement in concrete. We can also incorporate items, such as pervious pavements or green roofs (both of which lessen rain runoff) to lessen the impact to the environment.

I’m also reminded of some of the basics of effective communication, such as authenticity, honesty, and accuracy. Engineers and scientists tend to be detail-oriented people and we can sometimes get bogged down in those details. I hate to say it but sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. We can do our jobs better by being better and more effective communicators.

Overall, it has been a good refresher.

Shawn

Comment by shawng




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