~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS7 student Rebecca Edmonds. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Becky is from Washington, DC where she attends the School Without Walls.~
An Invite from the Snow
Conserve School Learning Goal: Appreciates and experiences the wonder of nature; values fundamental, life-long connections with nature; and expresses those connections in creative ways.
I’ve always wondered when I would reach a “nature revelation” and feel like Ralph Waldo Emerson or Henry David Thoreau. Yeah, nature is beautiful and fragrant and entrancing, but I have always wanted to be in love with the trees. How was I going to rescue the scenery without a passion to feed my drive? Today I got a taste of that affection.
During science, we visited our phenology spots. Mine has grown on me (no pun intended). The first time I made the trip around Little Donahue Lake to get there, I was almost scared. I had no idea what was through the woods beyond the trail. Sure, I had never seen a bear or a coyote or even a deer while wondering in the woods, so why feel nervous? Then again, I come from the city and had no speculation on what to do upon encountering a bear… Now, it’s different. Every time I walk through that narrow, fairylike section of the trail, I feel more and more at ease. I feel at home. So, with the fresh carpet of snow beneath my feet, I smiled the whole way there. I sat down, recorded my findings, the usual routine. We did an assignment where we had to “interview a plant” and I discovered how many fungi grow at my spot. I felt like a little science paparazzi, sketching everything I saw and snapping pictures for Robert [teacher Robert Eady]. Energized by my findings, I tromped back home along a different trail. I had never been on this single track and despite my limited time, I had to ‘plore it (you only live once). There was no saying what I would find. The icy breeze invited me, whispering about the beauty.
The track was a shortcut to the road, so I wasn’t late for class, but the walk left me with an itch to explore the rest of campus. I’ve wanted to do this the whole time I’ve been here, but this time, I had the vitality. The white branches blended together and made the forest infinite. I had to go to places unknown, just to feel the sense of estrangement I felt on the mini-track but magnified. Yes, exploring is a humble performance, but I had to be in the thick of the pine. Away. After class, I tromped as far away as I could in the hour I had before dusk to lie off of Lake Elaine.
Becky Edmonds, Conserve School Semester 7
More photos from Becky’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.