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Reflections on an unspoken hunger

1. A continue of former class discussion--what is the unspoken hunger?

I felt like I hadn't explained my points clearly enough in class. In my opinion, the unspoken hunger is a hunger for vitality (I didn't say this word in class because I forgot how to say it in English). When we eat the "green fleshy" vegetable, we are consuming not only its body, but also its "soul", its "life". Its bright green color and fleshy appearance are symbols for its vitality, and they are the important factors that make us "risking the blood of our tongues repeatedly".


2. "Life appeared fluid"

In "Water Songs", Terry Templest Williams wrote about the fluidity of life. The genes and life patterns of living organisms can be fluid, because they changes as the surrounding environment changes; The environment itself can be fluid, because it could be shaped by all organisms living in it together; Human activity can be fluid, because people could move from place to place, bringing other organisms with them and artificially isolate them with there original population by geographical barrier.

What does this fluid mean? I think it means a mutually changeable, reversible movement of material.

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Middle of the night

(This is a make up for last site reflection hw)

I happened to stay up late before thanksgiving. I was preparing for my exams and forgot to put down the curtain. Then, when I suddenly looked outside the window, I saw a bright moon hiding part of itself in clouds.

The clouds, twisted in shape and curled to form a whirl pool, were like a tunnel to another space. When moonlight--or rather, the light reflected by the moon--shines on the clouds, part of them became bright and even more mysterious. They were moving slowly, like cotton, like snow, like fluid. They remind me of Dracula's castle and Glass Mountain, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Alice's Wonderland.

The massive darkness and light brightness of the night melted, rested, condensed in my eyes. The movement of the clouds crushed the unchanging scene, breaking it in all direction, and when it stopped, everything was back in peace--again.

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The same, yet not the same!

The weather has been better these days and temperature rose somehow. The sun warms the world--the site I picked looked just the same as the first time I saw it. Grass was still green and the bench stood there, quietly, as if it had not experienced any wind, storm, or snow.

The Hurricane came and went away, leaving mess behind. It damaged trees, wires, houses, and hurt animals and people. However, it could never bring away the sunshine. When another day comes, everything natural grow back to normal, as if nothing big has ever happened.

For us, the hurricane is a disaster, but for nature, it is just a trivial event that brings nothing and takes nothing away.

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Reflection on revising essays--spontaneous thoughts

Honestly revising my previous paper took me longer time than writing it for the first time. The first time I didn't write a very argumentative essay, and I was just persuading people to "wake up and think about nature". But then, after I revise the paper, I had a clear thesis, arguing nature has the ultimate power that surpass that of human beings.

I tried to aim to perfect, and I want to explain every point clearly--at least seem clearly to myself--and I did...and then, it becomes tedious. I am still happy, because I felt like doing something right, and when I read the paper again, I feel like it is really becoming clearer.

Shengjia's advice inspired me--I could be MORE specific. If I concentrate on the first aspect I was talking about, the essay would not need to be divided in three parts, and therefore would become more concentrated, concrete, focused. I could just try to undermine anthropocentric views with more reasoning and fewer examples. I should learn to give up something--although I really didn't want to.

Reading each others' essays really helped me a lot, and I hope my suggestions could also be helpful to my dear classmates! :)

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Complex motivation

The class discussion about Hurricane was really interesting to me, but we still concentrated on ourselves--we are considering nature, but considering in a way that focused on how to change the behavior of ourselves in long term or short term.

I was about to leave this topic behind when I read Jan Narveson's article "on the survival of humankind", in which he pointed out that we have no OBLIGATION to think about the lives of our next generation. In addition to this, he analyzed the relationship between our happiness, number of human beings and prolonging the existence of our species on earth, and stated that even if we do many things nice to the nature, a huge, unexpected natural or universal disaster could bring the whole species to an extinct.

So what I was wondering was--do we have the obligation to prolong the existence of the species? If not, what motivated us to take action to think about it? Do we do everything based on "rational" decision? In economics, "rational person" means a person who maximizes his or her personal benefits.

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In this cold but sunny day, the bench has a mediocre temperature.

Just sitting or standing over my spot, I didn't realize anything related to gender and race, because everything was pure and peaceful. I didn't see any conflicts between either the biological or the cultural environment.

Still there were changes around me.

The wind was much stronger and colder than a week before, due to the left-over effect of harricane Sandy. I don't know if it's because my psycological effect or the environment really has changed, the whole scene in front of me appears to be a little sad, and chill.

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Nature and Culture tends to reach its maximum entropy.

How did a town of civilization emerge?How did it settled?How did it developed? After our historical and geological explorations, I got basic answers to these questions.


The soil under our feet, might have been sand from the sea;

The air we breath every day, might have been particles inside a leaf;

The first settlers brought exotic seeds, yet their plants could be replaced;

The farms expanded and shrinked, but people moved on with grace.

More people, more laughters, more trees.

Scattered--different species & various race.

I sat on the bench again,

the cloudy sky pressed against the field.

Time flied, birds passed by, and leaves were mixed into a rainbow-colored rug.



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Keep VS. Release

The natural environment of Harriton House was similar to that of our campus in many ways: Plants size, type, distribution...and coor and style of building. Unlike our campus, it had a plain, wide grass field for the brown-white cows and homes for sheeps and horses.

What I was interested in was the habit of bees and the progression of plants in this area. They made me think a lot more about sustainability and meaning of Life.

Bees at the Harriton House are not be caged, locked, pet--they were not kept intentionally.

What really makes them stay? Not cage, not fence, but the natural surroundings that they were attracted to. Those who prefer to stay stayed, and those who wanted to explore were released. "Staying" is not compulsory, yet most of them chose to stay.

They remind me of the squirrels on our campus--those with big, furry tail running around trees and bushes. They were a part of campus and some of them were not afraid of students at all. They collected the wallnuts and played hide and seek among the plants. They behaved in the way they are supposed to be, regardless of the disturbance around--they chose this place to be their home, and they are respected! When people are fighting for human rights this days, animals are fighting, too.

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Get wet, all wet

It is cloudy today.

The ground was moist and I could almost feel water flowing in the air, up towards the sky.

Human body has density that almost equal to that of water, and according to some biologists/anthropologists, human species originated from the ocean.

Water could construct a key connection between human and nature.

When we think about water in biology class, we came up words like solutions, osmosis, and homeostasis.

When we think about water outside class, we related water to life in other ways. We drink water, we swim in water, we see rain formed by water.

For many times we have heard "water is the origin of life", but we didn't know why. Because we cannot live without it, or because we are composed of it?

Perhaps we don't need to know why. Perhaps we should just have it, touch it, feel it.


A drop of water is transparent

yet no one sees it through

Get wet in the rain and have fun

whenever we could.


Dews make me wet

when tears are not dried

I do not wish to see sun shine

for one second in my life

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Scattered sadness and freedom

In Fun Home, Alison's father loves lilac, and it wasn't an unexpected choice. With its pale color and delicate shape, lilacs have been fascinating poets for ages. Originated from Greek Mythology, lilac has been a symbol for love and innocence. Nevertheless, in ancient Chinese poems, poets have often denote their sadness by lilac. Lilac is a flower of beautiful things, but it is so delicate that it could be damaged by slight tearing.

On the site I chose to sit, there weren't lilacs. Most flowers have bright pink or red color, and they could easily be spotted even in cloudy days. They look bright, energetic and exceptional on the endless green field. Their existence could encourage people to move on in their lives.

There is one thing that is same between the campus site I chose and the Fun House--both place have scattered plants that do not make people feel crowded. The plants are there, because they are supposed to be there. The plannings of both places are natural and undecorative.

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