Mo’ people, mo’ problems…life of a human

20 August 2009

I’ve been reading this book, The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman, and I’ve been traveling along this interesting journey with Weisman. The premise of the book is that humans have left the planet, basically by extinction. Remove the humans from the planet and what happens? Nature takes back over the planet.
Weisman talks about how humans are constantly repressing nature. He gives the example of weeds breaking up concrete sidewalks in the cities, tree roots taking over houses, and underground rivers taking over subway lines. We, as humans, are constantly cutting trees, pruning weeds or pumping away water just to keep nature back and to continue with our daily lives.
Throughout the whole book, Weisman writes about what life was like on earth without humans, and what it will be like without humans once again.

This led me to think about what the reasoning is behind our move towards global, environmental sustainability and change. Is it to take care of the earth or is it to take care of humans? Are we doing this all in self-interest, self-preservation? Or are we concerned about the animals and plants dying daily?
As the planet dies around us, humans are dying as well. We’re going to face a breaking point when the population reaches a maximum where the earth will no longer be able to sustain the amount of humans on this earth. At that point, the immense consumption of humans is going to hit a wall, and there’s going to be an immediate need for food and water.
Scientists claim that when the population reaches more than 10 billion people, the earth can sustain no more added human life, in terms of population growth. This means, based on Charles Darwin’s natural selection and the survival of the fittest, there’s going to be some catastrophe to or within the human race that will try to wipe out a segment of the population.
It’s considered scientific fact that when a population (i.e. humans) reaches carrying capacity and there are limited resources for a population, a battle begins for survival.

I think it’s easy, sometimes, to forget that we are a part of this world and depend on it rather than it owing us something and depending on us. After all, we are just advanced animals on the planet. Just because we’re the wisest of them all doesn’t mean that we can bypass the need for food and water and habitats.
It’s very interesting to wonder about how our human kind will adapt. Will we use our intellect and technology to figure out a way to trick nature into yielding more than is intended? Genetically engineered crops could be our food source in one hundred or two hundred years. Or, will we revert back to a more simplistic lifestyle that uses fewer resources and maximizes the use of those resources?
Who’s to know, really, until we get closer to the time. There are hundreds of estimates and theories about what will happen to us within the next 100 years to the next 100,000 years. It’s speculative because there are unknown factors that may play a part that we may or may not be aware of just yet. Humans could move in the direction of a complete change where they’re able to maintain life while maximizing the use of local resources. We can cut our consumption down and eat and use only what’s necessary. Or, we could keep going at this rate and see what sort of catastrophic change the human race is bound to encounter if we continue on our present course.

There’s no reason to despair, just yet. There is so much we can do to change our behavior and to contribute one of those unknown factors to the future of the human race.
The first step is education, the next action, and the final overhauling change. Step by step, we’ll see the progress of our changes.

Man vs. Nature

The people you’ll meet

There are billions of people in this world, and the sad fact is that you’re never going to meet all of them; it’s just not possible.  But, on the other hand, you’re going to get an incredible opportunity to meet a TON of people when you’re in college.  A lot of the people will come into your life and leave within the next couple of years, but then there are the people you’ll meet who’ll be around for at least a decade or more.

This past week my boyfriend, who I met through a mutual friend out in California (long story short, don’t rule out those people you hang out with for a short period of time, they can connect you with the best people!), came out from San Diego to visit.  We decided to go to Niagara Falls for his first time.  In Niagara, we met up with my old roommate from last spring semester (2008) at Paul Smith’s College.  Jena and her girlfriend live in Buffalo, NY, and I’ve been up to visit her several times since she and I were roommates.  All though we were only roomies for a semester, we built a great relationship to where we can go for weeks without talking to each other but basically pick up right where we left off the last time we saw each others.

The same goes for my best friend Adam, who lives in San Antonio, TX when not at school in the Adirondacks.  He and I met at PSC, freshman year, and have been close friends ever since.  We see each other several times a year, but we can still have conversations when we see each other as if we were never apart.

That’s the best part of college friendships.  You go all school year with your friends at college, hanging out all of the time, and then you split up during the breaks to go home and come back when school is back in session.  You visit one another at home to see what the home life is like, or you take trips with them to go on vacation and to spend time together.

Freshman year is crucial for making these friendships because it’s a time when your peers are all in the same situation as you: you’re in a new, unknown place, with an unimagined amount of freedom and responsibility, and you don’t know anybody, yet.  For starters, summer orientation is a great time for you to make new connections and to learn about the different types of people in a new setting.

Once you get to school, you and your peers spend time together, going to meals together because you don’t want to go alone.  You explore the campus because you’re not sure where the library is.  You search around the residence halls for the laundry room, and you go door to door on your floor meeting new people.  You go to the advertised events on campus, and you even go to some of the word-of-mouth frat/sorority parties off campus.

You spend a lot of time with these new people in your life, and you learn that some of them are like you and some are not.  You change friends a couple of times during your first two years at college.  Some people change or you change, and you find that your schedules are different or that your interests spread you apart.  This is part of college!  The great thing is that the few friends that stay with you throughout the entire four years or so are the ones who stick around for the rest of your life!

College friends last long after high school friends, and while you may keep in touch with one or two of your friends from back home, it’s the college friends you may find yourself working alongside in your careers.  These are the people who have a lot in common with you, allowing you to learn a lot about your job through each other.

SO, despite me transferring to a different college and my friends graduating and starting their careers, we all still keep in touch.  That’s one of the perks of college, besides a degree.  Jobs may come and go, but just as the cliche goes, friends will last forever, and the friends you make will be with you for years to come.

So don’t be afraid to get out there and make friends!!!

When I tell you not to think of the color red, what do you think of?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

To be yourself… I guess that’s my life goal. Figuring out who myself is, now that’s a lifelong journey.

Oh, to blog. I was actually against blogging at first because I always had the impression that blogging meant that you were really conceited and wanted everyone to pay attention to your life. And, I suppose the types of “blogs” like MySpace and Facebook sustain that stereotype in a way. But, if writers like Thomas Friedman from the NY Times have blogs, then I guess it’s legitimate.

Okay, stepping off that soapbox and onto another: I want to have this particular blog serve as an introduction to the whole idea of weblogs because I know nothing about blogging.

I am going to be a junior journalism major at Oswego in the fall. It’ll be my second year at Oswego, however, because I transferred here last year. I came from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. I was doing environmental writing there, but that wasn’t the best fit for me, so I transferred to Oswego.

I love it at Oswego, mainly because of the academics. Despite people thinking that state universities aren’t as good as private schools, Oswego State has got a lot of great assets. There’s a great variety of people, activities, classes, weather, etc. But, I’ll talk more about that fun stuff later.

Right now, I am at home in Elmira, NY a.k.a. E-town where we have t-shirts that say “Elmira is gansta” that actually sell pretty well, Mark Twain’s burial site (not really, just a headstone, but we like to think that he’s here), two maximum security correctional facilities within a 15 mile radius, and the national soaring museum for gliders.

I am currently getting paid to take a class to become a certified nursing assistant so that I can work in a nursing home for the rest of my summer. In this job market for our generation, diversity and versatility is key. So, I figured, if I work as a CNA all summer, that’ll broaden my horizon.

I’m also available to my local Star Gazette newspaper for freelance. Which is exciting in itself when I get the opportunity to write about my city.

Meanwhile, I am fundraising for a trip to Ghana over winter break. I have to get $5,000 by October so that I can go volunteer in a community for three weeks in December. I can hardly wait!

Other than that, I am living it up in the Southern Tier, enjoying the scenery and lack of blustery, blizzard winds! Hope summer fun is going well. The calm, carefree feel of summer is great, isn’t it? Enjoy and savor it as much as you can.

Ciao. Hasta luego!

Goodbye to my love…Oz

Hi, my name is Meg and this is my first blog ever. It is pretty exciting, but I think it is just because it is a novelty for me. I am kind of nervous, because as everyone knows, once it is on the Internet, its on there FOREVER. I believe this is quite ominous at the least.

However, you will soon learn that whatever I post is probably about the on goings of oz, my crazy jam packed life, and various odds and ends. I rarely have time to get into too much trouble, or at least too much trouble by my definition.

Just got back from a trip to Louisville, Kentucky, it was crazy. Lots to do, a lot of art oddly, horses at Church Hill Downs and great golf. Check out the cool jockey photo! It was a last trip/get together with my best friend to celebrate my leaving of Oz…which you find out more below 🙂

I had to say goodbye to Oswego on May 15th. I will not be back for school till January for spring semester because I will be spending this summer and my fall semester at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. I am still taking courses for Oswego, just at this sister program in NZ. It is the study abroad opportunity of a lifetime and I couldn’t be more anxious.

There is a lot of paperwork that is required for the program but it is almost done. I just recently discovered that my NZ housing contract is lost at the Oswego post office. I am infinitely disappointed with that post office, I never seem to get my things.

Alas I don’t know if I have a place to live in NZ but hopefully it will work out soon.

Be Ozzy

Do you have what it takes?

As we speak, thousands and maybe even millions of people are attempting to have your biggest dream(s). A woman named Beth, a guy named Joe or even a young man named Timothy who is in the 10th grade is desperately planning to be just a good as you are. Let’s not forget little Chantel who just entered pre-kindergarten. Chantel is a sweet girl I’ll be sure to introduce you to her later. But there is a news flash; someone just booked a plane ticket in your name and guess where you’re going? I don’t know but maybe at the end of this blog you will have a better idea….

The next 60 years for many of us won’t be nearly and I’m on a stretch by saying remotely of anything of the past 60 years. It has been projected by many sources that the next workforce won’t be able to expect to work the same job for thirty years, retire, and ride into the sunset. There is more of a high chance that a person will change jobs on several occasions if not changing career paths at some point in the process as well. With a great financial crisis that is facing our country now who knows what a financial meltdown would be like 60 years from now. In any event it’s important to learn how to be ready for such cases and why not plan now for it.

So I guess I’ll introduce you to Chantel. I haven’t met Chantel. I actually just made her up, but needless to say there is a Chantel that is out there somewhere in the world. She’s in pre-kindergarten and she just turned 4 about several months ago. Chantel has big dreams and undiscovered talents. What would be her potential in 20 years? What would you say or how would you feel if I said she or anyone else could take, perform, and deliver your job better than you can? Where will you be 20 years from now? How will you get there?

The biggest message that I can stress to you, myself, or anyone else is that you are just a fragment of a larger picture with billions of others. With that said, how would you compete against the rest? What would you do in order to acquire the knowledge? Where would you start? I bet you thought I had or have the answers, but I don’t. I have somewhat of an ideal format for myself, but at the end of the day whether it is right or wrong my methods work for me. I challenge you to figure out what works for you? Look at the people you’re surrounded by, the responsibilities that you take on, and the work that you produce.These are all small steps to a much larger framework of things to be done. The bell has just sounded and its boarding time so be sure to catch that plane. Is everything packed? Did you make it to the terminal yet? You do have your ticket right?