J500 Media and the Environment

$625.80 WELL SPENT by shemme
April 29, 2008, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Society + Media | Tags: , , , , ,

I’d much rather spend my tuition dollars on a class like “Media & The Environment” – awesome guests, amazing field trips, free online readings, no exams – than the typical course where we listen to the same person lecture each time, nobody ever talks or shares opinions/ideas, you have to buy some big expensive textbook that you never read other than right before the exams, and you never really learn much about anyone else taking the class. I think this class was a truly worthwhile investment of both time and money.

I learned that there isn’t ONE solution just waiting for us to discover it. Nobody has all the answers – environmental issues are just too big and complex. However, there are a lot of little solutions that can be implemented in different ways that overall will have great impact. The future of humanity and the Earth will depend on every individual, world government, and business leader doing their part. Nobody is exempt; waiting around for someone else to find that ONE solution, for someone else to invent a technological fix, for someone else to figure out what to do with YOUR garbage … it won’t work. We all have to do our part, and we have to act now.

I learned that blogging can play a role in the communication of important issues and that bloggers can be a reliable information source (but be careful). I had never read a blog before this class, much less written for one. I always thought, “Who the hell are these bloggers? Who has time to blog? Don’t these people have real jobs?” Now I know the answer is that they’re people, just like me, who are passionate and have something to say. They squeeze blogging into their lives because they care and yes, most have ‘real’ jobs because blogging (in most cases) provides little to no income. (Suprise!)

I also learned that the frame in which I understand climate change and in which I make my daily choices is mine and may not make sense to anyone other than myself. Everyone has different values, different ideas, different priorities and agendas, different lenses through which they view the world – everyone is just different. We must consider these differences when framing environmental issues and make sure that the message is relevant to the audience that we are communicating with. Frame, re-frame, re-frame again and keep on keepin’ on. There will always be one more person down the road who’s just a little bit different from the last…

Anyway, I’ve learned more than what I’ve written here, but some of it is still digesting. I really enjoyed getting to know everyone in the class – some a little more than others and others maybe a bit too much – but it was always fun and interesting to hear what everyone was thinking. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to learn from y’all – hope to see some of you around this summer!

~ Sarah H

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Organic Food + Typical College Student = Probably Not by Sarah
March 4, 2008, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Food + Health | Tags: , , , , ,

Not people are interested in my daily food intake, but I’m posting it anyway to see how guilty I feel afterwards looking at it:

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs and a piece of wheat toast, and a cup of coffee —>obviously.

Lunch: one crunchy chicken cheddar wrap (from the union, duh)

Dinner: one serving of california roll sushi (courtesy of the Target deli section, love it)

Nighttime indulgence: a way-too-big piece of of white cake i made when i was bored yesterday.

So, besides the huge piece of unnecessary cake I ate last night when I was feeling particularly sad, I would say my food intake as a whole is pretty healthy in my opinion.

When I’m choosing what to eat, the main thing I TRY to go for is whether it is healthy or not. I’ll admit, I’m not a big organic food person, and I love convenient, semi-healthy food in my life. I’ve had Local Burger before, and honestly I enjoyed it. But if I have the option of lunch at the Underground while on campus, instead of driving off-campus to Local Burger just so I can eat organic, I’ll take the convenient route any day.

When I’m at the grocery store, I always stroll past the organic section but never really browse it or think about purchasing organic. I think that making the effort to eat organic is good in theory, but not realistic for me, or any other college student, for that matter. Organic=Expensive. In my opinion, why would I want to spend more money and more time when I can just buy food that is just as healthy, and less expensive.

Photo: Jeremy Brooks, Flickr

I came across an article where a student claims he based his decision on choosing Yale over Harvard because of Yale’s effort in serving sustainable food on it’s campus. In my opinion, that is a little extreme. Choosing a college because it serves MORE organic food?

In theory, I think eating organic is awesome, and for those people who are able to fit it into their lifestyles..more power to them. At this point in my life, I’m not sure if that’s me. I hope someday I will have enough money and determination to make that lifestyle change.

-Sarah Nelson