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Wissahickon Reflections

Kelsey's picture

When I arrived back at Bryn Mawr after our trip to Wissahickon and saw one of my friends, the first thing she said to me was, "So I heard you got lost."  She was jokingly referring to the first part of our walk, when jccohen and I, absorbed in our cameras, fell behind to the point where Hummingbird had to call and ask where we were.  We kept pace after that point, and I fell into conversations with various groups of people, but the trip felt somehow different after that- not better or worse, just like there was an an after where I was engaged in conversation and community, and a before where I was silent staring through a lens.   

There are different ways of interacting with the world around us, with our environments and ecologies, and each has its benefits and its tradeoffs- its opportunity cost, if you will.  If you talk to your classmates and professors on a field trip, engage in meaningful conversation and help strengthen the community amongst you, what are you giving up when you miss how the ice is frozen on the rocks or sacrifice a beautiful shot of the opposite riverbank?  But when you walk by yourself and listen to the mud squish under your feet, when you take ten photos of the "hobbit hole" building to get the perfect image, what are you losing out on when your classmates walk out of sight ahead of you and you don't get to hear the way they laugh about a moment you just missed?  

I don't think I was lost at the beginning of the trip, at least not in the joking way my friend implied.  But I was losing something, losing out on the chance at a different experience, in the way that we always are.  I suppose we are constantly forced to choose what experiences we want to have, what opportunity costs are worth it to us.  Life has started to feel very economic.