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Wandering Through Bryn Mawr

Smacholdt's picture

Hi everyone! I’m Sarah Macholdt, a junior English major at Bryn Mawr. The locations that I felt the most comfortable in on my walk through Bryn Mawr’s campus are as follows:

A)1. Morris Woods

2. The glass staircase in Dalton

3. English House I

4. Park Science 20

5. The Campus Center Parking Lot

B)I felt the most comfortable in Morris Woods, probably because I am generally happy whenever I am able to be outside. The outdoors always gives me a sense of calm and separateness from the cluttered, stressful, indoor world that I live in. I put the staircase in Dalton second on my list because it had a lot of natural lighting, and this always makes me feel more at ease. (This has something to do with the brain chemic serotonin, I think?) English House I was the next down my list because, as an English major, anywhere in English House holds a sense of comfort and sentimental value for me. Corny, I know, but I feel more comfortable in English House than say, the Park Science building which was next on my list. I felt the least comfortable in the Campus Center parking lot because it always seems to be hot, loud, and dangerous (I always think that I’m going to be taken down by a speeding car as I walk through that lot.)

C)The order in which I thought the plants were happiest:

1. Morris Woods

2. The Campus Center Parking Lot

3. The glass staircase in Dalton

4. Park Science 20

5. English House I

D)The comfort level of plants is influenced by the amount of light, the amount of heat, and the purity of the air. I ranked the outside locations first because I thought that they would have the correct amount of light/heat/water to sustain plant life. Then I ranked the indoor locations by light availability.

E) Similarities between what plants and humans find comfortable are the amount of light/heat and water. I know that I, as a person, am especially sensitive to the amount of light and heat in a location. I like a lot of light, but too much heat makes me miserable.

F) Differences between what plants and humans find comfortable might be temperature (humans might like climate warmer than some plants.) Animals would probably prefer a climate more similar to humans than to plants, although if animals eat native plants then in order for both of them to survive, they would both have to be comfortable in the same temperature range.

Also… as I was walking through Morris Woods I inadvertently walked though a large spider web blocking the path and ended up with the web all over me. At first I was annoyed (“oh yuck!”), but the experience made me think. In order to appreciate “nature” do you have to appreciate every part of it, spider webs and all? Or is it possible to pick and choose the parts that we want to appreciate…?