Posted by: Stefan Anderson | January 5, 2014

What is Nature? – Randa Pierce



~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS7 student Randa Pierce. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Randa is from Gig Harbor, Washington where she attends Gig Harbor High School. Conserve School is Randa’s second semester school, during her sophomore year she spent a semester at Coastal Studies for Girls in Freeport, Maine.~

What is Nature?

Conserve School Learning Goal: Comprehends the complex meanings of sustainability and stewardship, and uses these principles as guideposts for their personal and professional life.

Conserve School Learning Goal: Understands educational and professional opportunities related to the environment, and how to pursue them.

What is nature? Nature is a place with many sides and has many lines to cross and discover. Nature is a place for joy and reconnection, it is to be viewed through many different lenses. Nature also can be a sense of place to help you in your life. Nature can have a beautiful song, all you have to do is stop and listen. Nature is something to capture and see (Capturing for a Cause). Nature is an influence. Nature is worth protecting and speaking for, and nature is important to me.

People ask all the time, Why save it? What will it do for me? What is it worth?

Before Conserve School, I have been balked by these question.  Describing it briefly in a passing conversation or showing pictures doesn’t express its worth to those who can’t experience nature.

Now I know how to explain its worth. I will show them. Not just open a door and say “look out there, that’s nature, its cool.” I will show them by telling my story of transformation with it. I will show them by educating them about the natural world. My will to speak with conviction and power stems from my Marine Biology teacher telling me that it is my duty to spread my passion to the world because I know about it. However at the time, I didn’t take her seriously, and I took the statement lightly.

But now, after Conserve, I know it is my job. Conserve has helped grant me all of this awareness of the world that others don’t have. It is my job to show them what a great thing the natural world is. My previous entries have stated how overwhelmed I feel about this task I have, but not I look ahead to make a difference.

Staff at Conserve have helped me find new ways I can make a difference through collaborative efforts. I believe that AP environmental science was the most influential thing to me at Conserve. It wasn’t just the content, it was the teacher. Andy Milbauer has taught me and so many others about environmental science, and we owe it to him for teaching us and creating people to advocate for the natural world. AP environmental science allowed me to discover concepts that I didn’t even know existed, while the things I did know reaffirmed my passion.  

My goal at the beginning at the semester was to develop an ability to communicate my knowledge of nature efficiently to everyone in the world, also to find out if what I am trying to save is worth saving. I figured out nature is definitely worth saving. What was surprising to me is how much I over think about the whole situation. This mission I have won’t be so hard as long as I stay passionate. Terry Tempest Williams has been an inspiration to me, and she was asked what would she die for? She took that question and turned it into “What will you devote your life too?” I prefer this question more, and my answer to it is protecting and spreading the joy of the natural world.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood… I took the one less traveled by…”
~Robert Frost.

It’s my road, and people can either help me walk it or stay behind. The path I’ve chosen is very demanding, and not very many take it due to its daunting image. There is much to fulfill and expectations set high. But, there is a way to walk down that path that could make things a little easier, and that is keeping a fresh open mind.

“Empty your cup and do great things” (the cup is a metaphor for myself and a holding space for my knowledge and passion, emptying it means I need to stay open and accepting to new ideas so I can learn). My dad has always said this to me, and I take this phrase genuinely and use at as a first step to my path. Did I do that? Was I open at Conserve? Well, I believe I refreshed my cup with new knowledge and skills, and I am about to do great things.

To my friends, my family, I don’t know if you will ever truly understand my love and passion for nature. I will try, believe me I will try, to gently introduce my ideas and passion to you. As such ideas do need to be gently introduced to the world. Wish me luck as I go towards my mission and walk down my path.

~Miranda Kathleen Pearce, Conserve School Semester 7

More photos from Randa’s semester at Conserve School.

Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.


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