As this class comes to an end and this is our final contribution to Wicked Problem solving, I can say this was not what I was expecting. Before this class I did not know of the movie the 11th Hour and was not initially interested in it. I knew problems in our society could be complex and harder to solve but never knew there was a term for those problems. I had never tried to meditate before this class’s mindfulness activities, but I realize those activities are not for me. This class has surprised me and challenged more than I expected, and I was happy to be a part of it during my sophomore year of college.
While watching this short documentary I already knew of the environmental problems facing our planet and how bad it had gotten. Yet I never did much because of a mindset that I think affects all of us which is “I’m just one person what can I do”. But I still try my best, I have been taking any boxes I use, and breaking them down before recycling them but they don’t do much to counter the cans and greased containers that can’t be recycled. We have distanced ourselves from nature so much that every road you drive by has plastic waste in the small patches of shrubs and grass. It is sad. With our generation being ambitious and diverse and powerful, it is possible to turn the world around as we grow older, yet part of me wonders why we were given this burden. My generation was born as phone’s became an everyday item, metal detectors were put in place after 9/11, and even being in school could be dangerous on certain days. Our generation has seen so much chaos from being grown up post 9/11, school shootings fully effecting us and becoming more common, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and becoming an adult when we have people such as Biden and Trump as our candidates for president. Gen Z could change the world and make life more sustainable and accepting. Our generation is so diverse in sexuality, gender identity, culture, race, and ethnicity. We were born in a time where you could post something on the internet and people were willing to listen to you without knowing you, we were able to accept those for who they love in 2015 and over so many strong young individuals in one generation. Yet why is it so hard to change the world? If past generations want us to push boundaries and demand change for those who have been wronged, why do they doubt us and say we do not understand. How can someone say that the Parkland, Sandy Hook, and other school shootings were a hoax when those children and teens must live with the trauma caused by them and ask for change on gun control. I know this is not what the blog is meant to be about but it irritates me when older generations don’t listen simply because we are young, when a large part of our generation is taught that girls shouldn’t go out at night alone, don’t act suspicious if your black, Don’t be too loud with your opinion, you can’t love who you want and you can’t be who you want without being a certain way and it’s tiring. It’s exhausting. Why do we teach the victims how to avoid those situations and not teach the attackers human decency, that women are not objects for their enjoyment and how to treat others with kindness, regardless if they disagree with you. People say we should be excited to change the world and raising a new generation in it, yet, as someone who wants kids, I am terrified of bringing children into this world. I know I rambled but as a white women, I have some privilege but I’m still a women and I luckily haven’t experienced some of the trauma and disgusting behavior people exhibit but I shouldn’t be one of the “lucky few”. I apologize, I know I have spiraled off from the rails that are the guidelines of these blogs but I never speak out much about these opinions so it was nice to get some of it off my chest.
This class allowed me to experiment more with articles and ideas about mindfulness and problem solving. Not every problem has a simple solution and not every solution has a simple problem. I feel like if living sustainably was easy we would have already been living it but then again, nothing in life is every easy. We have grown so attached to cars that people can be “car guys” and own 7 yet only every drive one. We cannot imagine a world without petroleum and oil because that is such a normal aspect and material we need and use. Even wind energy, powered by wind turbine, have problems. One big problem being that it kills and harms birds because they get caught and hit by the blades of the turbines. Solar power Is only able to work during the day and on mostly clear skies so the sun can shine through. This class brought so much light to issues that are present in America and all over the world yet since we are not as affected as others, we pay no mind to it even though we should. The last project opened my eyes as well. It was interesting to investigate my own future field and realize how big the fashion and textile industry is growing and becoming a bigger issue to due the dying and creation of textiles and fabrics. In my textile class, we made raw nylon because nylon is created simply by mixing 2 chemicals but it was raw and not yet a fabric so the process of turning it into fabric or a more stable fiber provides more time and materials. With some clothes being made of man-made fibers, they do not decompose and end up somewhere else or in a trash pile on the sea or land. Overall, the world is crying out for change and this class made me open my eyes to that and I enjoyed every second of it.