The only thing connecting South side, where I live, and the rest of campus, are the Townhouses. Walking through them, it’s almost as if I’m in a tunnel. A long stretched out, symmetrical tunnel, with one beginning and one end. The only way I know I’m outside is by looking up at the sky, looking straight ahead to see a patch of lawn grass, and the crosswalk.
One night at 7pm, I was walking back from dinner with my friends. They were well ahead of me, because I had stopped at the stairwell to my right facing an opening. Past the evenly aligned sides of the apartment walls, was a violet pink sky, making every building and shadow around purple tint. The white lines on the soccer field were pink. The normal color of every object was juxtaposed, which made me feel lucky to notice it. Now that the sun is setting later, and the sky is much darker, I was lucky enough to acknowledge and capture this moment in time. From what I thought was a tunnel of destination, turned into a window of openness to color, light, and admiration of my surroundings. — Samantha
Yesterday evening, my friend Luis and I were returning to the college union after walking our friend Juli to the south side dorms after dinner. The sun had set, and the evening had become quite chilly! The wind was howling around the corners of buildings, and something cold and wet was falling sideways from the sky. “Ugh, cold rain is the worst,” Luis said as we rushed past the townhouses with our heads down. I stopped and looked at how the precipitation was passing through the light cast by a lamppost; it appeared far more chunky than regular rain, and it began to hurt my face as it fell. Extending a hand, I realized that it was, in fact, hail that was falling from the sky! I hadn’t seen hail since the spring, but because Luis is from Long Island, his experience with hail is severely limited. We discussed the weather predictions for the coming days: Friday the temperature is supposed to be in the mid sixties, and on Sunday it might even snow. I am from Syracuse, so I consider myself to be quite accustomed to the crazy weather variations that are common here. Luis, however, has never even gone sledding, which was a common childhood (and teenage) occurrence for me. An intriguing conversation ensued about the local climates in our respective regions of New York. It’ll be wild to see everyone’s reactions to the copious amounts of snow we’ll be receiving this winter. Let’s hope everyone packed warm clothes! — Vizma Leimanis
As I sat outside one cool Tuesday afternoon eating my veggie burger from Letworth Dining Hall I took a deep breath knowing fall had finally begun. The sun wasn’t out but it was still warm enough to just wear a lightweight sweatshirt and some jeans. The leaves on the trees were different shades of yellows and oranges. The brisk wind brought goose bumps to my arms and made my nose preticulary red. I watched as the multicolored leaves swayed in the trees and a few began to fall on the green grass. Next to where I sat was a crab apple tree with crab apples surrounding the ground around it. Crab apples would fall from the tree and hit the ground amongst the already fallen. Some, squashed into the cement walkway from a passerby or a stressed out college student worrying about their midterm tomorrow. It was amazing to just sit and watch everything around me not thinking about anything else. I sat there taking in the perfect weather, soft breeze, beautiful colors, and of course my veggie burger.
You can find amazing things when you stop and look around. I know it can be hard especially with all the work and stress put on us as college students but trust me it is some much needed time off. When you take the time to use all your senses and engolf yourself in that moment then you can find and experience amazing things that you never thought you would. — Ashley
This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to visit and reconnect with loved ones and experience the familiar and calming atmosphere within my hometown. While it felt out of the ordinary at first, I quickly adjusted and became reacquainted with my surroundings. I was overjoyed to make a stop at the biggest “tourist-spot” nearby at our local cider mill. Nothing beats a bag of fresh apple cider donuts first thing in the morning. And of course, this trip had to include getting a few classic snapshots of the rushing waterfall just behind the building. The cider mill wasn’t always such a highly regarded establishment; its growing popularity certainly alters the authenticity of the environment. Evidently, this has little observable impact on the love the community shares for this fall-filled favorite.
In significant contrast, just a few short minutes from all of the hustle of the mill is an independently owned farm stand along the edge of the road. Wind Swept Meadows Farm, as photographed, is well known for their wide variety of homegrown produce, as well as flowers and fresh baked treats, all of excellent quality. Not only does buying from personal stands benefit the growers, but it also shows support of the locavore movement and promotes nutrition and small-scale agriculture. One of the main aspects of this stand that I personally adore, though, is the trust system established with the public. As opposed to having constant watch to ensure all is payed for, the roadside stands in my hometown run solely the principle of honesty. This stand specifically always has a small notebook and pen sitting out alongside their metal tin for visitors to pay and record the goods they purchased. All in all, this just goes to show the impact that the public can have on a given environment. Despite this, the simplicity maintained in this single farmstand is implicit of so much more regarding the true genuinity of individual experience. — Michaela
Today I attended the sustainability lecture given by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. At first, I thought it was going to be weird listening to a kid my age speak about all of the crazy things he has done in his life; more things than I will ever be able to do in my life time. It was truly inspiring to hear him speak. The amount of passion he had in his work is what captivated me. The fact that he has written a book taught in courses, presented at a UN meeting, been on several talk shows, and given TED talks is incredible. His story was fascinating to listen to as was motivated by his family around him to make a difference in the world. Oh, and the fact that he and his group got a court date for their movement is amazing. While I don’t usually enjoy spoken word hip hop, I could appreciate what he was doing with the feeling and passion behind it.
I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see my home engulfed in a flood or a fire. What he was able to live through and keep moving forward with his movement is incredible. The Earth Guardians movement is amazing. Its crazy to think that someone my age is doing so much good for the world. The story of the boy in Africa that had this movement started was fantastic. He managed to spread this movement to a level that the government recognized and adopted.
I was stuck for a while on what to write for my blog entry, but this lecture was truly inspiring, and I had to share. This lecture will be in the back of my mind for a long time to come. It makes me wish that there were more people out there that were doing what he is, in getting the youth involved. — Doughty
A couple of weeks ago during class, my Nature Writing Professor brought us three types of cookies to taste as part of an introduction to our next assignment. He made delicious homemade cookies for my class and explained the ingredients that he walked for a half hour to get. Professor Cooper told us about his walk and explained how, even when in a rush, he takes time to cherish his surroundings.
That day on my walk back to my dorm from class, I saw things around me that I usually had not noticed. I stopped to photograph a dewy tree that held vibrant, red berries that glistened in the early sunlight. I walked among the hot pink flowers that lined the sidewalk and took photos of these as well. As I neared my dorm, nearly a mile walk away on south campus, I stared at the leaves that were in the process of changing color from green to red and yellow and brown and orange. On the ground, I saw some leaves that were made of each of these colors, holding rain from the night before. Some leaves had several drops of water on their backs, and a few had small pools of water in the center of their curved figures. I photographed these as well.
Being an artist myself, I have always known that the art of photography is beautiful. But after taking this class for a mere few weeks, I have learned that it is not necessarily the photo that is beautiful – what is beautiful is the object in the photograph and the time taken to cherish it. –Heather
It is well known that the transition into college can be difficult, you miss your family and all the things attached to home. Being in a brand new place, not knowing anyone or being familiar with anything is a stressful and intimidating experience. It is easy to be consumed by all the work given to you or feel like you constantly have to be doing something or hanging out with the new friends you have made. There is barely any time to be alone and appreciate where you are in life. The thing that I really appreciate about being here at Geneseo is, although there may be a lot of work and it may be very stressful is a very pleasant environment. The times when you get to walk around and see all the nature the campus provides are very comforting. Watching a sunset as you walk home or observing the vines of ivy on the sides of the buildings as you walk to class will occasionally stop the overwhelming “to-do list” inside your head and remind you to appreciate the world around you and take a deep breath. The nature here is what gives me comfort in such a huge transition in my life, it has really shown me how important it is to notice the little things around me and remember that there are other things happening in the world other than what is happening to me. –Devin
Our thanks to Katy and Adam, student assistants of Dr. Jennifer Apple, for leading an interpretive walk in the Roemer Arboretum. We learned about slave-making ant colonies, the complex dynamics of native and invasive species, and two fox dens that are on-site. So many semi-familiar plants! Fortunately, a lot of them are labelled for visitors who don’t know the names.
I may be fairly close to home compared to my classmates who are from places like Long Island and Syracuse, but it doesn’t mean I don’t miss my home. I can’t always click my heels together and flash back to my nice apartment in Dansville.
There was nothing more pleasing to find a place that could bring me there, without me having to physically go home. It wasn’t the comfort I was used to. It was absolutely nothing like my messy bedroom, where I could hide away from all the noise and problems in the world, with my fat orange cat.
I’m sitting in this coffee shop called “Crickets”, watching the sunset, and it’s like being back at home, but better. There’s like 10 upperclassmen that I don’t know. The espresso machine behind my head is making that whirring sound that usually annoys me, but in that moment it was oddly soothing. The air smells of fresh coffee beans and waffles. I’m seeing this beautifully, talented girl singing and I’m so entranced by the just-plain-awesome environment that I’m not feeling any anxiety, or awkwardness. All of my stresses just seemed to melt away. I didn’t realize how healthy and awesome it was for me to be there until after I left and thought about how truly happy I felt.
I felt like I was home, but there was a beautiful Geneseo sunset setting over the valley, the coffee shop was full of people socializing, and my orange cat was nowhere nearby. I can’t tell if it was spending time with two of my super awesome friends who brought me to this coffee shop that released all the dopamine in my brain, or if it was Allison Leah singing the powerful lyrics “Where do hearts go when they need healing? ‘Cause there are no stitches to rid me of this pain I’m feeling. Where do words go when they’re unspoken? ‘Cause I can’t find a way to tell you that I’m broken,” and all of her other wonderful lyrics speaking to me.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if you miss home, you can find something right in Geneseo that will make you feel the same comfort you felt at home. Maybe you’ll even feel a better kind of comfort. –Tessa H.
Last class, we visited a replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin, located on the south side of campus. Living at Monroe Hall, on the North side of campus, I was annoyed to have to walk ten minutes in 60-degree weather–not to mention I did not dress weather appropriate, but that was my negligence. Regardless of the rocky start, I much enjoyed this class time.
Thoreau’s cabin reminded me of the Tiny house social movement. I have watched many videos and read articles about this moment. Many times these tiny houses are off grid, allowing people to travel with their homes. Small houses also encourage people to be outdoors, something I think everyone should do more often. Overall, the idea of living with only the essentials in a small space fascinates me. I believe society attempts to reconnect with nature by living a simple life. It’s a hard concept to grasp for many people. This concept of living in a small space with only the bare necessities can be daunting to many. For me, it seems like a perfect balance between nature and modern life.
I am glad to find a connection between a particular interest of mine and a class topic. Having a personal interest in a subject makes learning a more enjoyable and meaningful experience. This field trip was not just about a half-constructed cabin and standing outside in 60-degree weather. Instead, I learned about the fundamental ideas behind modern-day social movements. –Luiza