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Ecological Imaginings and its ESEM

mbackus's picture

On the morning of November 18, Susan, Elizabeth, Max, Sarah and I set out boldly to teach each other a little bit about the botany and geology of the campus...

Well... Maybe it was more of a saunter... 

Either way, it was a very enjoyable, as well as informative walk. We started out in front of Erdman, began walking towards Taylor, but decided to detour back to Max's site sit outside of Erdman instead. There we talked about the invasive English ivy, and other invase plants. We defined weeds as something that doesn't belong and won't leave. We then spent some time comparing our two classes. We talked a little bit about the writing expectations and the reading we had been doing. Since we were all in the ecofeminism unit at the time we discussed how feelings played into class discussions, and how nice it was to have feelings validated as positive contributions to the discussion, rather than brushed aside as inconsequential. 

After that we (Susan, Elizabeth, and myself) led Sarah and Max to Taylor to identify the one of the two main types of rocks that the majority of Bryn Mawr's buildings are made out of. We used the handouts provided by Maria Louisa Crawford to identify the types of rock Bryn Mawr was situated upon. We discussed what happened to the old quarries after the rock had been removed; some turn into lakes, some turn into dumps. 

Max and Sarah took us into Morris Woods. We learned how to identify the spice bush and its clever imposter. We also identified the perimiter of the ivy's growth. We talked about the history of the woods, its transormation due to landscaping, and its potential future. Our walk in the woods led us to the small cemetary where family from Harrington House and their slaves were burried. It was quite the experience to see forgotten tomb stones in a small, simple cemetary, overrun with weeds, and full of plastic pots oddly enough. Bryn Mawr did not fail to leave its mark at this site however, at the enterance to the cemetary I found a dining hall mug and the remnants of a joint. 

We "hiked" out of the woods and to our final destination at Mill creek. We discussed why the ground father away from the creek was softer, and the ground nearer was more firm; when the creek floods the heavier sediment doesn't go as far as the lighter sediment.

Not only did this give me the opportunity to meet with students from the other class compare our experience, but it was also fun and informative.