The 12th Hour

To be honest, I felt extremely nervous walking into room 208 on the first day of class. I had heard from upperclassmen how hard this course is going to be and I was not looking forward to it at all. I went into this class with a bad attitude, no friends, and absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. With all of these preconceived notions stuck in my head, I went to class on the first day expecting to hate it but ended up loving it! I was greeted by a welcoming professor, friendly class mates, a room full of bean bag chairs, and a technology free thinking space. I decided I needed to become more open minded and give the class a chance.

I was reluctant to start the reading assignment because I thought it was going to be boring and I also really did not want to participate in the class discussion. I usually hate class discussions because I am very shy, but in this class I was able to speak up and felt like my voice mattered. It was also cool to hear everyone’s opinions on such a interesting topic. I come from a small town where the only things talked about are “Jesus” and “football” so talking about Easter Island was a nice change for me.

While I did feel happy and excited for awhile, these feelings switched to fear, angst, and anger when I was shown the documentary The 11th Hour. I couldn’t believe all of the environmental problems that are going on and I was mad at myself for being so oblivious. Of course I had heard about global warming, deforestation, extinction, and pollution before but I never really viewed it as my problem. Not only is this my problem, it is everyone’s problem! At this point I felt completely overwhelmed, I had so much brand new information thrown at me and I wasn’t sure how to process it.

One of the major things I realized this week is that I may have been a part of the problem, but I can also be apart of the solution! I now understand that there are small changes that I can make which will lead to bigger changes. I am now more conscious about the foods that I’m eating and check the labels for Non-GMO,  I have replaced all of my Styrofoam cups and utensils with ones that can be washed and reused, I’ve started walking a lot more instead of driving everywhere, I make sure to turn the lights off before I leave the house, and I am more aware of how my everyday decisions have an impact on the Earth.

Although it is scary to think about the “wicked problems” that are going on in the world right now, I do believe there is still time to make a change. There are so many ways we can make a difference and I am excited to learn how I can do my part. I cannot believe how much of an impact this class has had on me in the first week and I am excited to see what else Dr. Armstrong has in store for us!

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