Before we met for class on May 13th my expectation was to learn about the environment, nature and how to live in a way that is less harmful to them. It was interesting to learn that was actually not the main focus of the course. The course is designed for a group of people, with many different interests, to come together to have informal discussions about the world, their environment and their sense of place. The learning and outcomes of the class connect to my self and my sense of place by making me realize that everyone has their own sense of place and everyone is different. For example, my sense of place might be somewhere outside and quiet where as some one else’s could be somewhere inside and loud.
My sense of place is a small place outside where people go to see the planes take off and land at Ronald Reagan International Airport in Washington DC. When I was younger my family and I would walk there for picnics with friends, or just to go hang out if it was a beautiful day out. It’s one of my favorite places because it’s the one place where everyone would be excited to go to. I remember being so young and innocent and being amazed by every single plane that flew over my head. When the planes flew over you would feel a huge breeze and sometimes even a slight vibration beneath you. The place was placed right beside the Potomac River with a view of the National Monument. Recently they made this place a cell phone lot and a lot of the character is gone. However, whenever I fly home to see my family my dad always reminds me that he was sitting in the lot watching my plane fly in.
My sense of place now is in my car. I love being in my car because it’s like being in my own bubble. I can turn the music up as much as I want, not have to listen to anyone talk and just be alone with my thoughts. Sometimes when I’m stressed or annoyed I will get in my car and just go somewhere to escape reality. It works for me every time and makes me more relaxed. I have an hour-long commute to work and I take that time every day to be alone and to relax.
The reading about nature-deficit disorder and the restorative environment by Richard Louv and the coming of Biophilia Revolution connects with my sense of place in a lot of ways. Especially my first sense of place, watching the planes comes in, because they replaced the beautiful and relaxing place with a cell phone lot to adjust to the technology needs that people have. It is the concept that you have to love it or you’re going to lose it. I guess these don’t connect to my second and most current sense of place, my car, because cars are very harmful to the environment. Therefore it makes me feel like I love to lose it. We’re alienating ourselves from nature, which is going to be harmful for our kids and our future grandchildren. Our children follow us by example. If we’re constantly using technology and not going out and protecting or enjoying the environment and nature then our children will respond by doing the exact same thing.
David Orr said, “It makes far better sense to reshape ourselves to fit a finite planet than to attempt to reshape the planet to fit our infinite wants.” Orr is completely accurate in this quote. Humans have destroyed the earth for years and subsequently we have species, plants, and ‘animals’ that have never been here before. We’ve destroyed the earth by making less and less natural things go on. One thing that David Orr said that I completely relate to is: “When we heal the earth we heal ourselves”. This couldn’t be more accurate, we have destroyed the earth, which makes us ‘bad’ people in a way. It’s time for us to heal the earth so that we can be a better human race as a whole.
Airport and Potomac River. Source: https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;