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Outdoor Exploration and Reflection

asomeshwar's picture

Ranked in order of where I felt the happiest to where I felt least happy: Morris Woods, Biology Lab, English House, Dalton staircase, Campus Center parking lot.

My comfort level was influenced by the peacefulness and tranquility of the environment I was in. I was happiest in Morris Woods because the lack of people and chaos gave me room to breathe think clearly. I wandered for more time than I had initially planned to because I got sort of lost in the peace and quiet. Walking back to campus was slightly shocking, the same way everything looks bright after closing your eyes in sunlight for a few minutes. I surprisingly found that the next place I felt most comfortable in was alone in the Biology Lab. When I actually have class there, I tend to stare at the clock, waiting for the three hours to go by, but being there alone, with no actual goal, was somehow incredibly different. English House was next because I felt slightly misplaced there since I've never taken a class there until now but at the same time, felt welcomed and warm. It must have had something to do with the architecture and design of the building and how similar it is to a suburban house, that made me feel very at home. I put the glass staircase in Dalton next because although I thoroughly appreciated the amount of light that came through the glass, I felt uncomfortable knowing that exactly as I could see everyone outside the glass, they could see me. I put the Campus Center parking lot last because I felt awkward and uninvited standing there amongst the cars. It seemed as though everything had a place there but me.

Ranked in order of where plants would feel the happiest to where they would feel the least happy: Morris Woods, Dalton staircase, English House, Campus Center parking lot, Biology Lab

I ranked the order of the plants happiness and comfort purely on where they would flourish the most. Morris Woods was first as it already exists as a home to a variety of plants and can provide them with the most sunlight and nutrients. Dalton staircase came second because I felt that although it was in a building, it could resemble a greenhouse where plants generally have great potential to grow. English House was next because just as in any home, the exact location and window has to be found where plants would grow the most. The parking lot came next because although it was in the outdoors, I felt that the lack of greenery and the excess of concrete indicated a lack of nutrients. Last was the Biology Lab because of how little natural light is found there.

Looking at both the choices for myself as well as for the plants, it seems as though light, openness and calmness are factors that play a huge role in determining happiness and comfort. Morris Woods came first for both myself and the plants because the natural light and lack of people provides for the perfect environment to think and grow. Both plants and humans seem to flourish in environments where they are given the opportunity to do as they please, without external pressure from anyone or anything.

The biggest difference, however, between where plants are most comfortable and where humans are most comfortable is that for plants, the only thing that actually matters is whether or not the environment provides them the potential to physically grow. The place I found second most comfortable (the lab) had a lot to do with the quietness (and emptiness) of it. For plants, although lack of noise and chaos is a factor, access to nutrients is a larger factor and no nutrients can be found naturally in a lab within a building.