Year in Review

Rowing:

This is the most beautiful picture that I took while in the boathouse during my rowing season. This experience is very close to my heart because it taught me a lot about life and how I want to spend mine. There were many moments where the team would stop what we were doing and just take in the beauty of the moment. This could be when it was 7am and steam was rising off the river and the sun was just peaking over the trees. However this team also taught me to work as hard as I could to get where I wanted to go and that I could do things that I didn’t realize I could do. Most of life is mind-over-matter but there is a certain point where you need to learn your limits. This has made an amazing impact on how I think about personally being able to change myself and my actions. I believe that really anything is possible as long as you are willing to work to make it happen.

 

Football:

Being part of 100,000 people all screaming for the same thing is one of lives greatest moments. For a little while, everyone wants the same thing and everyone is fighting for it in their own way. Whether it is cheering on your boys or screaming profanities at the opposing team, for one golden moment everyone is working together. My experiences from the Ohio State Football games is that when that many people want the same thing something amazing can happen! I hope to one day get that many people as passionate about the planet as they are about the Buckeyes and I know that when that happens the world will change. If we could get half as many people half as excited about stoping global warming there would be very few forces that could stop them and change would be forced to happen. There are so many things going on in the would that need help, if we act like saving the planet is a football game and get the world in on the game, there is no doubt that we would have a quick victory.

Volunteering:

There is nothing more satisfying then helping those in need. I spent a lot of time at the Bunny Shelter in Columbus where I learned a great deal about how to take care of rabbits as well as how many amazing people there are in Columbus who are willing to spend time and money on rabbits who previously had no chance at life. This experience has made me think a little more about the little things we could be doing every day to improve the lives of others. Even something as simple as feeding the birds though the winter could save the life a little tiny chickadee. And even though the bird is small I am sure that to that little bird, the seed supplied made all the difference in the world.

Home:

home is where the heart is. Home can change from time to time but it will always hold a special place in your heart. Even though I love Columbus, Michigan will always be my home and I will always make sure that I do everything in my power to keep my home as beautiful and amazing as possible even when I am not there.

Mid-Action Plan Check In

So far my first two weeks of action have gone very well. I have researched my topic and emailed a political figure. I have not heard back from Mr. John Kasich and I’m not sure if I will but I hope that the points I brought up in my email make it to him and that he takes them into consideration for the rest of his term. I think that if I want to make a bigger difference I should meet up with him in person but he is very far away and I do not have a mode of transportation. By meeting with him it would also ensure that he heard my points and would take into account many of the suggestions that I included in my email. Since I have started I have learned that taking a stance on something that you are passionate about can be really rewarding. There is no better feeling then trying to make a difference in the world. Even if it unlikely that someone like the governor of Ohio would read and respond to an email of a college student who is out of state it made me feel good to take a stance. In the next two weeks the biggest challenge I foresee is that I am not going to have a lot of time to do the things I have left on my list. Finals are coming up and all the professors have begun to cram so that the students have all the knowledge necessary to do well in their class. Another challenge is that I do not know how to get to the water treatment plant in Columbus or when their tours are. I would assume most of their tours would be during the week which would be a problem because I have classes and homework that need to be attended and finished. However, I am confident that I will be able to find a way around these issues and finish my tasks for the rest of the month.

Earth Month Action Plan

Week 1: Research problems that surround the water quality problems in Columbus and in other areas around the world.

This could be difficult because there are so many different resources and they are not all reliable sources. The difficult part will be finding out which sources are reliable and which are not. This will be a good lead in to the email to the governor so that I will have information and questions that I can ask the governor.

Week 2: Email the governor about the poor quality of water present in Columbus.

This is the governor of Ohio, and his name is John Kasich. The website that should accomplish this goal is http://www.governor.ohio.gov/Contact/ContacttheGovernor.aspx . This might be difficult because writing up a message to someone in power is never an easy task and there is no guarantee that he will receive the email and reply.

Week 3: Participate in a river clean-up.

This may be difficult if there is not already a group of people scheduled to participate in the river clean-up however it is not necessary for there to be a group that goes out. The weekend of the third week I will either join in a pre-existing river cleanup or I will go out on my own and pick up litter.

Week 4: Tour a water treatment plant.

This would be a very informative and fun tour and would also help me learn about the process of cleaning water. The difficulties of this would be transportation and time management. However the benefits of this tour far outweighs the difficulties I will experience. If possible I can talk to the people who work at the plant to get more information and schedule a time and I can use the COTA bus or Uber to get where I need to go.

Non-Profis

Non-profits are making a huge impact on cleaning up the water. They are raising awareness for the issue and they are creating a community that works together to help change what is wrong. These organizations or businesses are created for the soul purpose of benefiting the general public without shareholders and without the goal of making a profit. Right now there are many different non-profits working hard to help water quality improve. Many different non-profits are working to create a sense of urgency to help improve the water quality as well as working to get the public involved. This can be done in a variety of ways including making the public emotional and want to help, by encouraging people to donate to the cause. One of the most important things non-profits do to get people involved by using a call to action. This can be as easy as setting up tables discussing the issue to coordinating parades with media coverage to protest different issues. The public has many different ways that they can get involved which can be really easy or to difficult to help get to the root of the problem. One of the simpler ways to get involved would be to buy and donate water to a local water crisis, for example Flint, MI. A bigger way to get involved would be to change out the pipes that are leaking lead into the water supply and hurting the residents of Flint. Non-profits are working toward the second but they do not have the money to do so yet and they need both public and political support. These are the challenges that face all non-profits. They are not all being fully supported by the public or those in political power which cause even greater hardships on those who are suffering from the water crisis.

There are a few important things to consider when viewing the issue of polluted water. One of the main things is how difficult it is to clean up different areas/bodies of water. This is also a very very expensive task that would take an extremely long time for a non-profit to raise and for the governments surrounding each area to give the green light. As beneficial as non-profits are, it can be quite a while for them to take off and be able to follow through with what they are trying to accomplish.

The justice-oriented citizen model has three different levels to it. A personally responsible citizen would act responsible in their community, donating water or money to different non-profits so that they will be able to do their part. A participatory citizen would volunteer for the non-profit for a certain amount of time and dedicate a portion of their life to help serve the cause the non-profit is helping. Finally, the social-justice oriented citizen would start a non-profit and seek out and address the area of injustice that is occurring. They would dig deeper into the cause and act in ways to solve the root cause of the problem, in this case water quality. This last model is the most beneficial but also takes the most time and dedication.

I found an amazing ted talk about how the way we think about charity is dead wrong. My major take away was how important it is. Sometimes charity is the only way for people to get what they need, and it is crucial that they get it. Most of us think about charity as a way to make ourselves feel better and get tax benefits but it is so much more. It can help improve or even save lives.

The link is: https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong#t-124594

 

Reflection:

The speakers from class had a really big impact on my way of thinking. They showed us that there are many different ways to get into non-profits and help others. The speakers had such different back stories but both ended up doing something they love. My thinking really changed from the goal of each non-profit being all about the outcome to it being more about the journey to get there. Each of the speakers talked about how they ended up in the business of working with a non-profit and they both said that they really wanted to help others but that they enjoyed their work so much that it wasn’t even work anymore. The speakers also brought to light that a non-profit can work with different countries which would be huge for many different issues surrounding the globe. Additional things to consider while exploring my issue is that working with a non-profit should not only help others but should be enjoyable! Both of the speakers really believed in and loved what they were doing and it seemed to make it more productive and fun for all the others who worked or volunteered there.

My biggest takeaway from this class was that there are many different ways to get involved and many different non-profits that are working hard to try to help many different issues. Also there are many different ways to get involved with a non-profit, whether it is out of college or after you enter the country and want to do the same for other families.

One thing I would personally like to do is volunteer at a non-profit, learning about how they work and how I could possibly start one myself. There are so many different things that could help those in need but a non-profit would definitely be an amazing way to kick it off.

Social Enterprise

Social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvement in human and environmental well-being. The primary actions being taken are many companies are moving forward with different projects that will hopefully help with the water problems around the world. Social enterprise is a very beneficial way to get involved with issues around the world and can be very simple. It can be as easy as buying products that help other countries however it can also have great challenges because there is a lot of research necessary to discover whether the company is actually giving the amount of their proceeds to the fund that they claim they are.

The most important things to consider when viewing my issue is that helping distribute and cleaning water is no easy task. This means that the cost of the products will be higher. Even though the proceeds go to a good cause not all consumers are willing to spend the extra money to help said causes. Another important thing to consider is that the companies that claim to help with this could be fabricating information to make themselves seem more environmentally conscious and appeal to consumers. One of the best things to do when deciding to spend extra money to help the environment is to do research to make sure the product proceeds actually go to the cause that it claims to help. Even with these challenges social enterprise is very important to every issue as it raises awareness for the different problems in society.

On the first level of the Justice-Oriented Citizen model would be to buy the products that are sold to improve different aspects of society. This also includes doing the research to confirm that the money spent is actually going to the cause it claims to go to. The second level is when you get together with a company to organize different products that can be used to help improve the issues in society. This can also be starting a company that sends its product proceeds to organizations that improve the conditions of certain environmental problems. The final tier is to find out the root causes of these issues and work to change the forces acting upon them. This is a rather difficult endeavor so most people remain forever on the first tier and few go to up to the second tier.

I found and would like to share an amazing website that explains how different products help out the environment by impacting the world through clean water ventures. The website that displays these products is http://www.causeartist.com/8-social-enterprise-products-that-are-impacting-the-world-through-clean-water-ventures/ . My key takeaways are that there are so many different companies that are willing to put forth so much effort to try to help the environment. Also, even though there are many different companies that do not follow through on their products there are others who go above and beyond what is expected. If more companies joined in the social enterprise quest the funding for social and environmental issues would increase drastically and the awareness of the issue.

 

Review:

After hearing different individuals discuss their view on social enterprise I believe that it is a very good way to support different issues. It is also a great way to get the word out to the public about different social issues around the world. I really enjoy learning about how passionate those who are involved in social enterprise are. It is much different from what I had expected. I expected most people to only take part in social enterprise because it would get them more consumers who were willing to pay more for their products. However, it is almost the exact opposite. Those who are involved in social enterprise care much more about the people they hire and the environment that they produce then they do about how how many customers they get and how much they are paid for doing such amazing social work.

The biggest takeaway form the class session that I attended was that no matter your background you can make social change. There really aren’t any limitations as long as you have your mind set and have enough time and money. The two things that I was a little worried about was the time that he said it took for everything to follow through and how much time that you would have to spend without a steady income. This means that it would take a lot of money and a lot of patience to get where you are going with out a hiccup.

If I were to take action using social enterprise, I would like to start a business that would raise awareness for the water problems around the world and send most of my proceeds to nonprofits that could improve the conditions others live in. I am very passionate about this topic but it is not feasible for a college student to do so without taking out loans and massive amounts of fundraising. I am going to keep this on my list of things I need to do though because it is an amazing way to raise awareness and help other struggling individuals out.

Issue Exploration

The first issue I chose to write about and explore was water. I chose this issue because I am from Michigan and we are surrounded by the Great Lakes so every vacation my family usually takes is us going to Lake Michigan. Water quality should be on everyone’s mind because it is one of the main things that sustains us. A personally responsible citizen would probably pick up garbage along the shore lines that they visit, whether it is along a river, lake or even a reservoir made by man. A participatory citizen would organize a trip where kayakers would take a trip down a river with garbage bags in their boats and clean up the trash they pass, or organize the cleanup of an oil spill that is threatening habitats. A justice oriented citizen would seek the root of the problem and make littering have bigger consequences to discourage people form throwing their trash anywhere but in a garbage bin.

Another issue I chose to write about was mental health because this is an issue that flourishes along college campuses and among students struggling. Mental health is always a big thought on my mind because I hear stories every day about how horrible it is to have a mental illness or to be in a bad frame of mind. There is so much that we, as a community, can do to lower the amounts of individuals who are suffering from poor mental health.  Mental health impact society because those with poor mental health don’t really fit in well with other individuals with normal or good mental health. It impacts the economy by either putting those with poor mental health or mental illness out of work, homeless or making them spend money on therapy sessions. It impacts the environment because those with poor mental health may not care too much about littering or picking up after themselves.

The final issue I was considering is climate change. Climate change affects us every day whether we see it or not. It is melting the ice caps, hurting wildlife and overall changing our environment way too quickly for comfort. There are many individuals who agree with the science of climate change and want to work towards a better future but there are other individuals who don’t agree with the science of climate change and will do everything the can to convince others that climate change is a hoax. Those many individuals who agree with the climate change science want to change the beliefs of the other group and a personally responsible citizen would join a march or an awareness campaign spreading the word about climate change. A participatory citizen would organize the march or start and organization that raised awareness of this event. A justice oriented citizen would work to change the causes of climate change by writing to the owners of big businesses whose pollution is a big issue or talk to the Senate about what steps can be made to change this issue.

Overall, I chose to explore the issue of water. I feel like addressing this issue will not be too difficult because there are so many water crises all around the world. Form this stand point I can go towards the Flint water crisis, the drought in California, the plastic gyres in the oceans, the litter that is in every body of water or oil spills around the world. I’m sure that by exploring this issue I will run into different problems such as not being able to engage others or having them not be as passionate as I. This semester I will begin by participating in a river clean up because that is a very important step and it will help the quality of the river. The challenges I think I’ll experience are difficulty talking to people and getting them to understand the problem. Another challenge will be how difficult it will be to cause change in some of the bigger aspects. Some of these aspects include getting people to cut down on litter and oil companies to put greater regulation into the transport of their product to prevent oil from spilling into the oceans, rivers or the gulf. In the end my final decision is to try to reduce water pollution.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

This list I chose was the Nature and Outdoor Adventure list. I really enjoy the outdoors so this list was perfect for me. The five places that I choose was the Olentangy Trail, Goodale Park, Whetstone Park of Roses, Columbus Commons Park and the Audubon Center. The one I’m most looking forward to is the Whetstone Park of Roses because I really like the look and smell of roses. I’m super excited to visit this park and to spend time seeing the plants. I understand that the roses will not be in full bloom but I would still like to see where they are so that I can go see them next year and know what to expect. I hope this assignment helps me learn how to get around Columbus and also helps me see all the amazing sites that the city has to offer. As I stated before I really love being in nature and seeing all the parks that pop up around Columbus will be a fun adventure.

The Trail I have already visited is the Olentangy Trail, which was extremely beautiful and I will definitely visit again. I really enjoyed being on it and how relaxing it was to just walk it for a mile or so. I would highly recommend this path to anyone and everyone especially in the fall. It is a colorful and beautiful place and all the others on it are courteous and friendly. I’m excited to see how the other parks compare and if the Olentangy Trail will remain one of the most beautiful.

 

The other four places I visited that were on my list were Goodale Park, Whetstone Park of Roses, Columbus Commons Park, and the Audubon Center. goodale2My visit to Goodale Park was just as beautiful the second time as it was the first when the class met there for ENR. It’s a very nice park that is well kept and relaxing. I would highly recommend this park to my friends especially given its close proximity to the Short North and Jenny’s Ice Cream, both of which are also great places to visit. roseWhetstone Park of Roses was kind of a let down. It was quite busy which could be because I went very early in the year, before the leaves really started to turn. I was confused as to why there were a bunch of people there when very few of the roses were still in bloom. I had high expectations of this park and it didn’t live up to them as much as I had hoped. I would still recommend the park to friends but maybe not as a place to stay, more as a passing attraction. I also went there on a very gloomy day so it wasn’t in its full glory, but the only picture that I took that I liked was the one I took of the sign when I was entering. commons2The Columbus Commons Park was also very nice! I walked through it to get to the Greyhound bus station and I wished I could have stayed there longer so I went back a week later! It was very festive and even though it was super cold I really enjoyed myself. I loved seeing how people made a little patch of nature in the middle of the city. It was quite cold when I went but I would highly recommend this park to friends in a warmer season! audubonFinally, I visited the Audubon Center and I ran into many different types of animals. The day was very dreary so I was extremely happy that there were so many creatures around and that I had brought my nice camera. I took so many pictures of the animals there that it was extremely hard to choose which one to post. I chose one of two white moths because they were both beautiful and showed some of the grass that made up most of the plant life around the center. There were many birds that I took photos of as well but I was a huge fan of the moths. I would recommend the Audubon Center to my friends and I would love to go back in the spring.

My favorite experience from this project was getting Jenny’s Ice Cream and walking around Goodale Park while eating it. It was a unique experience because the ice cream was so different but the park looked just like any park but in a completely new city. I mixed the familiar with the unfamiliar and the experience made me happy to be exploring the outdoors! Columbus taught me that there will always be a little patch of nature and happiness even in the middle of a big city! There will always be somewhere nice to go when homesickness is overwhelming and all that’s needed is a few beautiful trees and a hammock. This has strangely led mw to want to explore the candy stores in Columbus, which is an odd transition but I saw a few while journeying to the parks and Jenny’s has made me really interested in trying out new sweet things as well as trying new and interesting flavors. For someone completing the same list I would recommend that they choose some really nice warm days to journey to the parks and take photos. The weather was quite a big factor in my enjoyment of the park followed closely by the number of people who were there. Another recommendation would be to go with someone to most if not all the parks because as enjoyable as they are alone, I had quite a bit of fun when I was with someone and we were exploring together.

 

Career

The career discussion in class was an eye opener for me. It really made me understand that I have no idea what I am going to be doing with the rest of my life, and that that is okay because I have many options. Currently in my career process I have narrowed it down to the type of work I want to do, meaning I want to do something that is involved in the sciences but I have not gone further to decide what field I would like to go into. From the completion of this workshop I learned that I am a hands on worker, I enjoy solving problems, I am passionate about helping others and I am very indecisive. The code that I ended up with is RIS or Realistic, Investigative, and Social. When I plugged this code into O*Net there were eighty-six careers that popped up. A lot of them were in the range of organized mathematics such as Insurance Underwriters, Financial Analysts, Fraud Examiners, Investigators and Analysts, as well as Government Property Inspectors and Investigators. From there it moves on to more social work such as Health Educators, Teacher Assistants, and Child, Family, and School Social Workers as well as Musical Therapists. Then it goes into the science and engineering field where it suggests Neurologists, Nuclear Engineers, Biologists, Fire Inspectors, and Firefighters. These are moderately in line with my plans, most of my plans center around biology and doing work with the environment although almost all of the jobs that are suggested seem interesting and fulfilling. My current career path is undecided but all of the careers that I have looked into in the past, such as environmental engineer and marine biologist, did show up on O*Net as a viable career for me given my interests and priorities. My current academic plans are to finish my undergraduate’s degree with a major in biochemistry and a potential minor in zoology. As of now, my next steps are undetermined. I would really like to get an opportunity to shadow an environmental engineer for a few weeks or another length of time so that I will understand what a career like that is all about and be able to make my decision from there. I also would like to look into shadowing opportunities for other potential careers so that I can make an informed decision after getting all the facts. Studying abroad through the school is also in my next few steps. I would adore the opportunity to visit another country and see how their opportunities and careers differ from he ones offered in America. This will also give me a great opportunity to explore a different culture and gain worldly experience which is smiled widely upon by many different companies. An internship would also be a great step because it would help me gain job experience before starting an actual career in the field I am looking at.

 

When I was younger my dream job was to be a veterinarian. The idea of working with animals and helping them get better made me happy and excited about what the future held. This dream of helping animals also spurred my volunteering which took place mostly at the local Humane Society as well as the Nature Center. The amount of time I spent volunteering at these places has brought me a lot of favor from the types of jobs I have applied for including working at our local park. As I got older my dream changed but my goal has always been to find a career that is very hands-on and fulfilling. I have always felt a great sense of accomplishment from doing my part to help others or the environment and I plan on continuing to search for a career that will accent this. From my early teens to the end of high school my thoughts on what I would like as a career has fluctuated from a marine biologist, to a pilot, to an environmental engineer and even to music major, though I didn’t know what I would do with that. I have always been very flexible as to what career I am aiming for so I am sure that no matter what career I choose, in the end I will be very happy with it.