~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS5 student Michelle Wilson. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s 17 learning goals. Michelle is from Glendale, Arizona where she is a homeschool student.~
Conserve School Learning Goal: Demonstrates deep knowledge of and affection for Lowenwood, the 1200 acres on which Conserve School is located.
One of the biggest changes for me when I came to Conserve School was the climate. Where I come from, the temperature can be a steady 100 degrees Fahrenheit from April to October, the average rain fall is about eight inches a year, and severe weather comes in the form of Haboobs (powerful dust storms). To take a walk in nature you take a trail up one of the low mountains surrounding the Phoenix area, chances are you’ll see palo verde, creosote, cholla, saguaro, and, if you’re lucky, the brilliant colors of cactus blossoms that contrast the pale brown desert ground.
The campus of Conserve School is very different from what I’m used to. So different, in fact, that I’ve started seeing things I have never seen before in my life. The Northern Lights, falling snow, and a forest of trees changing color are all firsts for me, and as far as this place is from my home, I’m starting to fall in love with it.
My science teacher, Robert, is currently having us spend time at a ‘phenology site’. A location we picked out early in the semester to observe and learn from. Robert had explained to us to pick out an area that we could easily spend a lot of time in. He said that the site would one day become our friend.
I have already learned so much from my beautiful little chunk of Lowenwood. I have identified the yellow birch, hemlock, and sugar maple that shade the mushroom covered logs and ferns and faded orange leaves on the ground. I’ve seen holes carved into the trunks of trees by pileated woodpeckers and watched deer wander through.
It reminds me just how lucky I am that a man I never knew made a school I’d never heard about for a teenager just like me.
~Michelle Wilson, Conserve School Semester 5