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The Urban Creature Surrounded By Flora And Fauna

Sara Lazarovska's picture

Hey! My name is Sara Lazarovska and I'm a freshwoman. I'm from Skopje, Macedonia (a tiny 2-million country in southeast Europe), and I plan on majoring in Growth and Structure of Cities with a minor in Environmental Studies. I also work at UnCommon Grounds, so if you ever see me there, say 'hi'. A fun fact about me is that my original accent is British - I took British English for 11 years - but I generally take in the accent of those around me, so here I have an American accent.

I will do my best to rank the places that I visited according to where I felt happiest, so here it goes:

1. The Dalton glass staircase

2. Campus Center parking lot

3. Park Science lab

4. English House

5. Morris Woods

I think that my comfort level was generally influenced by my urban preference; what I mean by that is that I like to be surrounded by buildings, roads, and lots of people, and too much nature and silence makes me feel uneasy. I ranked the Dalton staircase the highest because it is very close to the forensic anthropology lab, and there I feel excited and alive, ready to take on challenges and puzzles and learn as much as possible about a subject I am very interested in. I actually quite enjoy going to the Campus Center, and the parking lot is where I do some of my work when I'm on my shift at UnCommon. Therefore, I feel quite at home on the Campus Center parking lot. I like the Park Science lab, but it's the general maze-like quality of the building that made me rank this place third - I don't like getting lost every time I go to Park Science. I find the English House beautiful, but it's location is a bit off my usual campus walking trail, which I don't like. In addition, it is a bit secluded (thus creepy - at least to me). I do not like woods much, especially not at night - I think I might have seen way too many crime TV shows where a body is found in the woods. Still, there is this eeriness that envelops me when I go to any woods that just disturbs me.

As for the plants' happiness, I ranked the places in this order:

1. Morris Woods

2. English House

3. The glass staircase in Dalton

4. Park Science lab

5. Campus Center parking lot

I assume that plants are the happiest in Morris Woods, where nature is omnipresent. I ranked English House next because it's close to the woods, and relatively secluded, where plants can find peace and happiness (or so I think). I ranked the staircase third because I think plants would be indifferent there - not really happy but not sad either. The lab I did not rank high because it seems to be cold, not really sunny, and even toxic at times (depending what chemicals are being used). The whole clinical atmosphere in the lab just gave me the impression that plants would not find it a joyful place. As for the parking lot, I ranked it lowest just because all the pollution from the vehicles would be detrimental to the plants, thus not contributing to any sort of happiness.

For the next questions, I shall give my answer according to how I personally feel. This, of course, does not mean it applies to everyone and I will therefore try not to generalize my claims. I don't think that where I feel happy is where plants feel happy too. I enjoy nature, but I prefer manmade surroundings. I feel the case is the opposite with plants. Plants would feel too closed off and unnatural (no pun intended) in manmade surroundings, with a lot of noise and movement. I, however, thrive on noise and movement, and lots and lots of people. Nonetheless, I do believe that there is a setting where both me and plants would be happy, and that is a tall building in a bustling city with a rooftop garden. While the conditions might not be perfect for the plants, they would still be isolated and nurtured, and I could be in the heart of a metropolis when I come to the rooftop garden to seek some peace and quiet.