Hi all! My name is Yasel and this is my Campus Woods Blog, where I record my experiences hiking through the trails. Most of my journals will have my favorite photo attached from the specific hike I'm writing about, all other photos will be in the general gallery, along with bird and/or plant ID screenshots. A little about me: I'm a senior double majoring in English and International Studies with a Minor in Spanish. I hope you all enjoy these reflections!
Taken by yours truly
Something unexpected and inspiring that I learned in this class is how a group of people interact with one another and nature when out exploring the woods together. I spoke to peers I may not have spoken to just because I was hiking behind them. Being able to share experiences with one another, such as finding the pawpaw fruit and successfully taking it down and sharing a taste. Coming upon a snake in such a peculiar place. Many of these moments and observations wouldn’t have occurred if I had hiked alone because I only have one set of eyes and ears. This is inspiring because I think we can make the greatest difference working together (as a species), diverse perspectives are key.
I really enjoyed Savoy, Leopold and MacFarlane, as well as McNiel. Although I’m incredibly grateful for reading Sonnenblume, it was the most challenging for me because it evoked a lot of emotion out of me.
For the first two assignments, I focused on my own observations and perspective. When we moved to the Place History, I started focusing less on my own observations and instead on the observations of others, such as historical and scientific findings. The Eco Narrative dives completely away from my perspective and that of other humans, which is why I think it was the most difficult. The goal is to avoid anthropomorphizing the different species, which can be difficult when writing a story. I sometimes fear I’m droning information rather than telling a narrative. I think my best work would be my Place History, I invested a lot of time on the details, such as the weather on the day scientists decided to create the conservation easement.
Some skills I improved include identifying different tree and bird species and how each species is unique next to the other. I developed new and different perspectives regarding “the wild”, conservation, accessibility, and injustices and could implement this knowledge with park districts, schools, neighborhoods, and businesses locally, nationally, and globally over time. And to be able to share this knowledge is just as valuable among colleagues as it is with friends.
I highly recommend the group hikes, I gained so much from them. As a working student, being able to have time outside chiseled out for me was a blessing. Something I think could be improved would be the readings and how we discuss/cover them. Maybe take a poll at the beginning of class to see what reading wants to be discussed first or as a priority. If this doesn’t work, maybe provide some time for students to discuss anything they want about any of the readings for the day. I only say this with time in mind, sometimes we would start having really good conversations when class is coming to an end.