Posted by: csdailyblog | December 15, 2012

Final Thoughts – Megan



~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS5 student Megan Larkin. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s 17 learning goals. Megan is from Portland, Oregon where she attends Riverdale High School.~

Final Thoughts: The Journey

When I was given this assignment in Colleges and Careers 2.5 weeks away from the end of the semester, I got really sad. It was one of those types of sadness that hits you like you ran into a brick wall; it makes you stop; think. Think about how amazing it is that all of these 56 individuals were somehow chosen as the perfect fit for Conserve School – and that, we are. We all mesh together like it was meant to be, never hesitating to say “hi” to anybody in the hall, sharing a secret smile with someone as you walk past. Knowing that despite how different we all are, everyone just loves each other – and that is something really special. Something really, really hard to find in a high school. In fact, I can’t quite put into words how I’m feeling right now. I want to cry. This is all going to end.

HandstandAt the very beginning of the semester, my goal was “to develop habits that will help me make the world a better place by helping the environment. I want to make new friends, learn new outdoor skills, and learn as much as I can about being an environmental steward.” When I look back on it, I feel accomplished. I hadn’t known what to expect coming here, but I did everything listed in my goal, and more. That’s the thing about risks – what I’ve discovered, anyways – that it may just be the best risk you’ve ever taken in your entire life. And then you take another risk, and decide that’s the best risk you’ve ever taken in your entire life. The cycle repeats itself, as it has for me at Conserve School: taking a big risk by coming here, then taking more and more risks as a result of the big, glorious risk.

I’ve learned so much about myself, about the environment, about my friends, about human interactions and behavior, about friendships, about connections, about nature, about wilderness, about phishing for birds, about measuring the water levels in lakes, about snow, about leaving home and never stopping to look back until 3 months later and everything’s so strange and foreign. I could list things for hours and hours and never even get close to the amount of things I’ve learned at Conserve School.

I’ve also learned it’s easy to make mistakes, and with each new mistake I make, I learn more. I find that the song “New Soul” really applies to me, at least at the beginning of the semester. Here are some lines that I like:

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit ’bout how to give and take
But since I came here, felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

See I’m a young soul in this very strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit ’bout what is true and fake
But why all this hate? try to communicate
Finding trust and love is not always easy to make

I was a new soul coming to Conserve School, making mistakes and learning from them. And I will be a new soul in the real world, ready to take on environmental activism and stewardship but sure to make mistakes. I think one of the things ScienceConserve School has done best is prepare me for those mistakes; I now know how to support the “theory” of global warming (it is barely a theory, it has been proved so many times!). I also know that it’s good to manage a forest that has had a fairly recent disturbance (blow-down, fire, clear-cut, etc.) by cutting down certain trees to make more sunlight for other trees to come in. It will eventually help old-growth trees to come back! Also, with the addition of wolves, the deer are more skittish and less likely to munch on desirable baby hemlocks and white cedars. I can’t wait to educate my friends, my school, and my community! I want to help the environment as much as I can.

TriathlonI’d like to say that I am just so thankful for everything and everyone. Mr. Lowenstine has given me, my friends, and everyone at Conserve School a great and invaluable gift. This place, this Lowenwood, this Conserve School community is just so different from everything and anything else I’ve experienced in my entire life. At least one class a day is usually outdoors, and the teachers are taking their time to teach us how to care for the environment and be an environmental steward. 56 kids, about to make a difference in the world, and I will know every single one of them. I have formed such deep friendships with quite a few people here at Conserve, and even people I’m not super close with I still consider my good friends. I’m excited to move on and voice my environmental opinion, but I’m really sad I have to leave everyone. Once I get attached to people, I get really attached, as I have with my wingmates.

BobcatsSo, with that, I’d just like to thank a few people for making my time at Conserve absolutely wonderful. To the students: I have learned so much from each and every one of you. Yes, you. I have learned how to accept different beliefs, traditions, and personalities I didn’t even know existed – and they are all so wonderful. Instead of tolerating all your differences, I think it’s a privilege to learn them all. To whoever’s reading this, you have made me a better person. To my wingmates: I love you all dearly, and am giving you a longer letter later! To all of the teachers: I thank you dearly for teaching me life-long lessons. I can’t wait to go help the environment and be its voice in this big, mean, scary, and political world. You have completed most of your Hero’s Cycle, going through life, and now you are giving back. We all appreciate it. To all of the grad fellows: Thank you for always being there to crack a joke with, have random dance parties with, and for just being there when any of us students need you. To Jean and Michael in particular: Thank you for helping Brian when he broke his arm; I know you really helped calm him down and we both appreciate it. To Amy, thank you for driving me to the hospital and waiting there with me until 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. You are such a kind person.

Thank you for making me happy, Conserve School.

How is it that we all got picked to come here? Our lives are so awesome. Go out and live.

~Megan Larkin, Conserve School Semester 5

More photos of Megan from her semester at Conserve School.


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