Monday, October 27, 2008

Favorite Places Downtown

Growing up in Phoenix and attending high school downtown, I already had a few favorite places in the area. In high school I loved going to the Burton Barr Central Library and taking the elevator to the fifth floor. Right smack in the middle between the bookshelves are study tables. I loved to sit at one and stare out the life sized glass windows at the Downtown cityscape. Part of the Phoenix skyline is visible and it is absolutely breath taking. On days I felt like journaling or thinking, one could find me there.

Attending ASU's Downtown campus has changed that a bit. The farther I get into my major the more appreciation I have for nature and being outside in general. This is absolutely wonderful for me, since it happens to be cooling off. Increasingly I am finding myself wanting to be outside. I cannot wait for the new civic space to be finished. The area will provide students with shade structures, open areas to recreate in, and ultimately link ASU with the surrounding community.

Check out more about the space at:

This seems to be the ideal place for students and working professionals. A sanctuary in the middle of the city. Getting away without going away.

Until then you can find me in the library...
Preservation and Conservation both work towards a common goal, but approach it very differently. For instance, preservation opposes utilitarian uses or preserved nature. This biocentric view is heavily influenced by transcendentalism. John Muir is often associated as the figure head of the Preservation Movement. Conservation was guided mostly by the politically powerful Gifford Pinchot. With the anthropocentric views of the Conservationists, many natural resource industries such as ranching, mining, timber, and water companies were aligning themselves with this group.

Both preservation and progressive conservation views are demonstrated when it comes to the Pantanal Wetlands in South America. These wetlands have been drained and used for agriculture in the past, but now experts believe that this has caused heavy floods in the rainy seasons, and a lack of water during the dry ones. Currently the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology is conducting research to confirm the importance of these wetlands.

I believe that the remaining wetlands should be preserved. The land should not be used for additional agriculture, especially if heavy flooding and droughts are linked to the lack of wetlands in the area. Ultimately, I feel some of the land will be preserved, but only after extensive research and heavy backing from private or nonprofit preservation groups.

For more information and the whole story check out:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fallin Out Into Nothing

It is amazing to me that despite my midterm exam a mere nine hours away I am still awake after reviewing my study guide listening to music via youtube since I can't quite figure out itunes. (yes, it is a miracle I can even post this blog) I am finding that I have quite the thing for John Mayer. Currently his cover of "Free Fallin" plays through my ipod headphones, since my roommate is long asleep. For the first time I can identify with this song. I feel as if I'm falling away from the world. Only time will tell if I'm letting go of my past and moving into my fated future, or just spiraling rapidly out of control.

I'm a bad boy cause I don't even miss her, I'm a bad boy for breaking her heart.

And I'm free, free fallin, fallin...

He is at home with a broken heart and I am free. Only time will tell if this is for the best or absolute worst. God help us both. It seems that my newfound freedom has shot me into a disorganized, time altered state. The lines between school, sorority, family, and my other extra curriculars are hazing together creating a never ending to-do list with boundless committments. Could it be that I am not cut out for the life of a multi-tasker? I must not let my broken heart whisper to my confused mind. Instead I will wonder out into the open, out into nothing.

Won't somebody catch me?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

John Muir and Transcendentalism

"We all flow from one fountain— Soul. All are expressions of one love. God does not appear, and flow out, only from narrow chinks and round bored wells here and there in favored races and places, but He flows in grand undivided currents, shoreless and boundless over creeds and forms and all kinds of civilizations and peoples and beasts, saturating all and fountainizing all."

This quote relates heavily to transcendentalism in the respect of nature being one with God. I appreciate that he brings out his love for all nature, not just the eye pleasing scenes that others may find spiritual. It is interesting to me that he goes so far as to say that we can find God in all places, people, and beasts. This to me goes beyond nature, but touches on even the civilized areas. John Muir obviously was way ahead of his time in thought, as he found God in all people. Not only was he standing up for all environments, but equality for all.
I was surprised to learn how free spirited John Muir was. When reading his writings I would never place him for one to hang off of trees during storms. His oneness with nature is astounding. Muir's obvious passion for the subject is inspiring. I hope to be half as passionate about anything as he is about nature. His beliefs are unique and thought provoking. I agree with Muir's philosophy on transcendentalism. I believe God can be found and appreciated in all nature.