~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS5 student Sune Wolf Pulsiano. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s 17 learning goals. Sune is from Madison, Wisconsin where he attends Madison West High School.~
“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” ~John Lennon
My goals at the beginning of the year have not changed radically since then. I still want to do more for the environment, and advocate for animal rights and wilderness conservation. However, I do feel more strongly about my opinions on these subjects. I feel that I can now go out and say why something is wrong to do, even if it’s as small a thing as keeping someone from buying diamonds or a second TV, or as big as writing letters to the nearby golf course informing them of what they’re doing incorrectly and unsustainably and what they can do to mediate that situation. My horizons have been opened, and I’ve been able to view things from a broader perspective. I’ve already been talking to people about sustainable practices and how to live without as much impact on the environment, and I’ve already been commissioned to do a stand release on parts of a forest, which feels great, just knowing that I’ll be outside practicing things that I’ve learned here.
From being at Conserve, I’ve realized how little I go outside at home, and how sad that is. My life was dictated by computers, technology, and homework. And as horrible as this may sound, I’ve learned that homework really can be put off until last minute in favor of going outside and having a good time. Staying up until 2 in the morning is not that big of a deal in the long run, as long as I’m not denying myself the right to go outside and go stargazing, or take a hike, or climb trees. Because while I can afford to do a half-job on homework, every sunset is different and should be enjoyed to the fullest.
As a person, I’ve realized that I need to calm down, think of things in the present, and that just walking or sitting out in the woods or an uninhabited area can make me feel better about situations and about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. I’ve realized that I need to live and let live, and let situations and stress go in favor of living happily. I’m starting to learn how to not let things bother me; to let things that shouldn’t concern me just roll off my back, and to not spare a second thought about those things. I’ve learned how to develop more of a Taoist and Zen perspective on life. And it feels good.
Thank you to each and every one of you – the people who have helped shape who I am; who have had such an enormous impact on my life. I don’t know how I can go back to living in the city – my mind will be wandering back to Conserve and to the woods and lakes; to my friends, who I will miss seeing every day and who helped me discover Ed Sheeran and other amazing music and spoken word; to the teachers and grad fellows, who showed me a new way of learning (the kind of learning where I actually learn and retain things) and who taught me to appreciate nature and live sustainably; to Lowenwood, and the beautiful campus whose trails I have wandered and whose spectacular sunrises and sunsets I have witnessed. I’ll miss leaving home to go back to life in the city, with trees growing scraggly and unhealthy by the sidewalks, and without the comfort of knowing that I can walk across the hall or up the stairs to see my friends.
Conserve School has been a dream come true.
Thank you all so much for making this an amazing experience.
~Sune Wolf Pulsiano, Conserve School Semester 5
More photos from Sune’s semester at Conserve School.