Friday, May 4, 2012

Final Blog

Overall I have enjoyed this class. Nature has always been a big part of my life whether it be camping, hiking, or whatever. This class gave me new views to judge and appreciate nature so that it's beauty can be fully absorbed. There was only one negative for me. I just wish we could have done a little more hands on kind of stuff like go outside more and actually engage with nature. Other than that the class has taught me well and I will pass on my new environmental knowledge to others.

Overall thoughts.

This is the first environmental aesthetics class I have taken, also the first philosophy labeled class as well. I can honestly say this class was not what I expected it to be upon signing up. However, I ended up enjoying the class.
I think that the class discussions opened our eyes to how not only to things we may have missed in the reading, but Also to the varying interpretations of the same thing by our peers.
I also think that the movies added a nice touch to the class.

In the end, I Thoreau-ly enjoyed this class and look forward to taking philosophy classes in the future.

(You see what I did there?)

Hope everyone has a aesthetically pleasing break!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In favor of the Anthology

In our last class, most offered praise of Bugbee's work becuase it had a more personal feel and thus they found it more enjoyable to read. However, I have to disagree. When rading Bugbee, I felt that an important question was left unanswered in any given day's entry: what does this have to do with class. While some days were easier than others, in general I ended the section feeling confusion whether it was caused by an unknown reference or seemingly randomness of some entries. Of course, I say this with the most respect for Henry Bugbee. I understand that his is a totally different style and structure of writing.

But my preference in writing goes to the anthology. I felt that the articles in the anthology were easier to read as each (usually) had an introduction, a well developed philosophy, and a conclusion. The structure of these articles helped me to identify the thesis of their philosophy and relate it to the class. Secondly, the anathology is essentially self-contained. Most references with in the anathology were references back to previous articles so confusion sometimes found in Bugbee was not found in the anathology.

This, of course, is simply an argument of personal preference. I enjoyed the structured and organized works of the anthology while otheres prefer the personal thoughtfullness of Henry Bugbee. The two books compliment each other in offering a comprehensive look at two different styles of philosophy. I recommend the continued use of this anathology or one of similar structure in future classes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I'm not sure what I expected when this class first began, but I don't think I could have been happier with any other result. I learned to look at many things in different ways, and think about the world a little differently. I really enjoyed the films we watched, I think it taught a lot about aesthetics. The only difference that could have made the class better, to me would of been finishing some of the films we only watched part of or skipped around in. The trips we took outside made it much easier for me to write about everything, it helped clear my mind.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Blog #12- Environmental Aesthetic Experience

I have to admit when I was sitting in the first class of the semester I was curious how we were going to talk about the aesthetics of nature for 16 weeks.  I had not a clue how much thought could be put into such a seemingly straightforward topic.  After attending class for 16 weeks and reading the excerpts from the two books and several articles my appreciation of nature has grown.  When I first sat down in class I thought that nature was nature and there was only one way to view it, but now I am educated on the many different view points one can have about the wilderness around us.
This class was very well put together for being the first go around.  I was impressed by the amount of class participation we had and how educated on nature's aesthetics everyone seems to have become.

Thanks for a great semester and a job well done Professor Langguth!

Nature and Human Nature

Alright, last blog and a serious one. Environmental aesthetics has many concepts to it but overall is it more about the nature of the human nature towards nature? Let me explain, when i say nature in the first context i mean the the aspects of the environmental scene. Take this picture for instance.

Now to discuss the various aspects of nature in this picture would be to discuss the sharp contrast between the two elements in the picture: land and sea. There is an expansive plain dotted with some vegetation. But then, the plain suddenly,violently drops off in a huge, almost unnatural looking cliff. The cliff is met by the sea crashing against it. Besides the waves, the flatness of the ocean is comparable to that of the plain. This picture is taken from a helicopter that you can see in the top right corner. And one can almost make out the curvature of the earth.

There was discussion of specific scenes toward the beginning of the semester. But that quickly gave way to the discussion of human reaction of nature. What is the proper way to appreciate this scene? Should we appreciate this? And if so how much? Can we value it over other scenes? Instead of looking at the scene itself we think about how we think about it. This meta-thinking dominates environmental aesthetics as it does in all fields of philosophy.

Some meta thoughts about this scene could include how sublime it is because the landscape overwhelms us with utter vastness. Another aspect of vastness in this photo is the sheer drop-off in to the sea. It's crazy how the cliff is almost mathematically perpendicular to the two planes of land and sea. The curvature of the earth in this landscape could strike us as odd because we rarely notice it creating an otherworldly experience, or some could see it as a point for just how high the helicopter is. The Natural Environmental Model says to appreciate it, we need an understanding of erosion and landscape formation. Bugbee might note that the proper way to experience it would be to be there and smell ocean, feel the wind, smell the sea water, drive a few hundred feet along the cliff side and note how the land reminds you of an infinity pool in that you don't sense there is an edge or that your even near the ocean.

Musings of the scene could be argued as both an aspect of nature and an aspect of Human Nature. Is the sublimity an inherient aspect of the landscape just like its cliffs? Or is it a reaction to the landscape instead? There is a large, fuzzy grey line between the two concepts. But is one more important than the other? Which one is more prevalent in the field of Environmental Aesthetics?

A note to Langguth

Good job Prof. Langguth! It's not easy getting a class together on the first go. But overall I say the course did pretty well for itself. I was surprised about the amount of class participation involved and how well disscussion went over. This is probablly the first time i have seen a class start discussion by itself. The subject matter is dense to say the least, but it was possible to pull nuggets of information from the philosophers text. Besides interpreting the philosophers labyrinthian lexicon was the subject of half the discussion. While it the course is fine as it is, here is a few suggestions that might help improve it from a unprofessional student's perspective.

1) I mentioned this in class, but when an assigned readings reference an obscure but key ideology make a quick reference to the subject and the themes the author refers to in class. This allows a much easier read on the student's part

2) Random weekly awards for the blogs would greatly increase blog activity. And certianitly make posts more regular rather than pushing them towards the end. How to set up the award would be up to you. You could make the best blogs worth class credit or an arbitrary mention in class or in the comment section. The nature of the award could be anything from a simple: best blog, to more detailed ones like: most profound, most hilarious,  best picture, or best female lead.

3) A random hike would be cool. We could compare the sites and how different philosophers would view them  like Carlson would note the symbiotic nature between this mushroom and the surrounding plants, while Muir would insight positive aesthetics and call the mushroom intrinsically pleasing despite it's role in nature, etc.


Need a sublime picture that Langguth will love and will only take minutes to find? Try..

Don't worry it doesn't actually have any porn. It just features some very beautiful scenery. Those familuar with reddit may have heard of it. Here are some of the top pictures.

A rare stone "Stone Forest" in Madigascar. They are formed in a simular way to staligmites but now one knows  how this forest became such a complex matrix of awesome.

 An Ice cave in Iceland. Iceland is known for its main export: ice and ice accessories

The "Tunnel of Love" in the Ukraine is composed entirely out of trees

Why I envy my dog.

Discussing Sartre in class reminded me of a deep psychological issue I experience every time I enter my house. Particularly how much I wish i was a house pet. Let me explain. My dog, Macy, senses my presence while pull into the neighborhood, is at the window by the time I pull into the driveway. And appears at door by the time I open it. Usually in a supine position with belly exposed. But always with a smug look on it's face. Macy thinks that she is so freaking great with her laze-fare attitude, her lack of responsibilities.

She does nothing all day except sleep and look pretty and society praises her for it!

But the only position i can get whose job description is sit there and look pretty is a mental patient and super model. Im not pretty enough to be a supermodel, and apparently the loony bin does not take applications! Even if I was lucky enough to become a mental patient there is certainty the social stigma to be concerned about.

Sartre had something when we said that we are condemned to be free. While I have to consider what i'm going to do with my life and have the extra responsibly of constantly re-evaluating my choices to make sure i'm doing whats best for my well-being, society, loved ones, my financial situation, my moral values, my physical health, my social status, my future family and or children and thousands of variables that all humans have to consider. Just choosing between a ham sandwich or PB and J has an effect on all of these but I have to make an uninformed decision.

At least I have thumbs Macy! What do you think about that!?! (Macy wags her tail, she doesn't know what i'm saying, she is just happy i'm talking to her.)

Aesthetic Experience

When I first signed up for this class to be honest I had no idea what I was getting into.  After the first couple of weeks I started to realize I really liked this class.  It was a good class and I really enjoyed it.  I really like all the things that we touched on in class.  I like how we talked about art, music, and nature all in one and showing the true beauty beneath them.  Overall I was really pleased with all of the stuff we learned about in class.  I think that everything discussed in this class had an important message and was easily retrieved.  From this class I take a greater appreciation for stuff that I wouldnt of taken before.  This was my first philosophy class and I'm looking forward to taken more in the future. 


At this time of the semester, many of us stop appreciating the work and start appreciating the time invested. We look back and think not of what we've learned, but of what we've done and the amount of studying, the time we put into papers, homework, and also making time for a social life and work. It isn't always fun and is more often than not the most time consuming part of the year when the semester is coming to an end. We slowly grow to appreciate the professors, our friends and family, and most importantly ourselves. This goes along with Saito and Carlson's view of education. The more we become educated, the more we can stand back and look at the world and what it has to offer. During summer, we're giving the time to not need to focus on classes but focus more on having social lives, working, and growing as an individual. We have the time and energy to sit back and relax and watch the world revolve around us because things seem to slow down in the summer surprisingly with the lack of things that need to get done. We can sit and listen to the "silence" or stop and smell the world around us and simply take a breather until the world comes to find us again in the fall.


Saito states in her conclusion on p.163 that the appropriate aesthetic appreciation must have a moral capacity for recognizing and respecting nature as having its own reality apart from ours and with its own story to tell. I do believe that appreciation grows from education as does she. If you don't understand the power or even talent needed to create a piece of art you are unable to appreciate it. It almost makes me think that it's somewhat like the saying "you don't know until you try." Some can't understand the amount of thought that goes into a piece or the amount of stress it can create if it isn't turning out like planned. The aesthetics of nature seems to fall in the same category. If we have no education on the subject, we fail to understand the complexity. Often times it damages the appreciation of nature because we don't take the time to understand what it means to us and the environment as a whole.
When Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" was brought up in class, I started to think about that era in history that Joni was singing in. I took Professor Langguth's FYS class on Thinking About Listening and we discussed Joni Mitchell quite frequently and I even used this song in my final presentation. This song is a perfect example on our society today, we take "paradise" away and replace it with industry or parking lots. The only things we've preserved are the areas we advertise in brochures like the Grand Canyon, or the Everglades. That's sad in my opinion. It shouldnt be an accomplishment that we have preserved things.

The David

Upon my arrival to Florence, Italy in the summer of 2009, I was unaware of the many cultural boundaries that existed. Walking through the markets of Florence was one of the most exciting part of my trip, second to seeing one of the world's greatest and most well-known sculptures. The markets are are simply these streets and alleys filled with vendors selling everything from clothing, foods, art pieces, and jewelry. The vendors are tricky, they're out to get whatever you have. Some of the vendors are gypsies. Gypsies were the absolute worst part of my trip. They come up to you begging for food, money, anything you have to give, and when you don't give it to them they become angry and even violent. They send their kids up to surround you, pick pocketing you at every angle and trained vigorously by their parents specifically for this skill. They'll come up and say "hold my baby" and steal whatever they can from you. One of the girls on the trip got her backpack sliced so all the items could fall out and be picked up by the children. Another girl was spit on for refusing to give money to a "street performing" gypsy. While standing in line to enter the art museum, you're a non-moving target, so we often propped ourselves against the walls or back to back so the gypsies wouldn't take things from our packs. When entering the museum you're met with the many attempts of The David first as you walk down a corridor, at the end of the corridor all I remember seeing was feet. I had no idea about the actual size of it even though I had been warned by others. Standing next to the sculpture and just looking up makes your neck hurt, it's that big. The amazing amount of detail in the piece makes it so real, you think you're looking at a real man. I was more amazed by the fact that how this thing must have been created by Michelangelo and the time it must have needed. To the day the size of this thing still rattles my brain. Pictures are not allowed to be taken inside the real museum, but they do have a replica in the main town square that doesn't do any justice, so I found some illegal pictures that were snapped around the same time I was there to give you an estimate of the size. This sculpture sets the level for all sculptures in my mind because the amount of detail and the importance of the piece of art towards development of the field still amazes me.


I think it's pretty amazing what power a rainbow holds. It appears after something bad (storms) but it is so beautiful and symbolic it's almost as if we forget about the storm that just occurred and are only focused on it's beautiful outcome. It's almost magical . Once a storm is over, and a rainbow appears, I can guarantee that there will be probably 7 photos of the rainbow all over my Facebook newsfeeds. A rainbow can change a mood, only if you think about what went on for that rainbow to occur.


While we were watching the movie on the Russian film maker, I heard the portion about the camera angles and I thought it was really interesting. After Professor Langguth said something about it in class, I thought about it more in depth and the narrator was right. I think in western movies, we are concerned more with coming off as strong and "big". We're also concerned with maybe action as well and industry and buildings. We aren't concerned with nature because we simply have gotten rid of it to build things like cities and skyscrapers and etc. European cinema is filled with nature and flowers because they have preserved it and are concerned with making sure they preserve it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Environmental Aesthetics Experience

I had never taken an aesthetics class before nor had I ever thought much of the philosophy behind it - much less of the environment.  No doubt, I thought, aesthetics has it's value, but I did not consider myself much of an aesthete, someone interested in natural beauty.  I didn't know what to expect.  To be quite honest, in ignorant prejudice I always thought I gravitated towards "hard" philosophy.  My first thought upon seeing the class listed as "Environmental Aesthetics" was absolute perplexity - not knowing what that was or how one could possibly develop a whole philosophy around aesthetics - which is something I took as just a matter of tastes.  After taking this class, I hope to become more aware of natural beauty and the value of aesthetics in everyday life.  I think sometimes I may get caught up in "big" ideas or abstractions and miss out on the natural world right in front of me.  John Cage and John Luther Adams, Bugbee and Scruton have taught me the art of "disinterest" which I hope will allow me to appreciate and value the everyday world even more.  As a side note, I think it has taught me to be a little more appreciative of postmodernism as a thinking tool as opposed to a unilateral disdain of it.

Dr. Langguth, I really enjoyed the class.  Thanks for creating it. 

Opryland and The Krohn

One of my favorite childhood memories is staying at Opryland hotel. Essentially the hotel brings the outside in through the use of atriums. The atriums are then filled with numerous exotic plants, large waterfalls, canals, walking paths, and restaurants scattered throughout. There is something unique and enchanting about this place that could leave you walking around for hours. Even once in your room you are constantly tempted to be back in jungle-like environment by sitting on the balcony listening to the waterfall. The nature in the atrium is under preservation yet it has without a doubt become dependent on humans. The question then becomes is this environment still considered wilderness or a part of the natural world? I now wonder if philosophers such as Carlson, Scruton, and others would agree that a proper aesthetic experience could be had in this manmade environment.

A place similar to this is the Krohn Conservatory, in Cincinnati, which is filled with numerous types of plants from various climates and locations. Both the Krohn and Opryland may be questionable as to what type of aesthetic experience can be had when viewing these manmade environments. Although both would not be defined as wilderness in the traditional sense, I believe they succeed in evoking a positive aesthetic experience for all who visit.


Cascade room

Krohn waterfall

Krohn Garden room

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grasses or Flowers?

The other day the question was brought up pertaining to what types of plant life should grow in Madonna Meadows. Colorful, attractive flowering species or dull, yet scientifically interesting grasses? It would seem that the average person would respond positively to flowers, however, to those with some scientific knowledge the grasses may prove to be more interesting. Although both options would be beneficial and could easily work with the space, I would propose that the chosen plants be more interactive and inviting for both us and the nearby animals.

Central Park in Union, Ky has a great example of an interactive area. In the park is a garden which has plants that appeal to all of the senses. There is Mimosa Pudica (which is also known as the sensitive plant because its leaves fold up when you touch it), Lambs Ear (whose leaves are incredibly soft), Pineapple Sage (which leaves the scent of pineapple on your fingertips if you touch it), certain vines (which form intricate patterns up sculptures), and many other unique species of plants. Also in another area of the park there is a butterfly garden filled with flowers which attract all types of butterflies.

Lambs Ear 
Mimosa Pudica 

Although admittedly I’m not entirely certain about the needs of these plants and if the space offers the correct conditions in terms of sunlight, soil, and water, I believe it would be beneficial to investigate the possibility. As students, faculty, and visitors are walking through the area it may enhance their aesthetic experience if they are involved in the surrounding natural environment.

Sleeping in the City

The view of Nashville at night from our hotel room
In contrast to popular opinion, I find that my favorite place to fall asleep is in a city hotel. Although most prefer silence when sleeping, I find that the hustle and bustle of city nightlife is the perfect melody to fall sleep. As silly as it sounds there is something comforting about knowing that there are plenty of other people still awake and the world has not stopped moving as I sleep. One of the most recent trips I’ve taken was to the city of Nashville, Tennessee. There the bright neon lights, the hum of country music in the bars, and the constant movement of people proved to be rather peaceful at night. After spending the night walking around on the streets of Broadway and seeing all the Nashville had to offer I couldn’t have been happier to know that when we returned to the hotel I could still faintly hear the sounds of the city. I would assume that John Cage would approve of this view of city sounds. Every car horn, person loudly laughing, raindrop falling, couple whispering, or car door slamming can be thought of as music. It is these everyday sounds of the city that I enjoy most and that which provides me with a good night’s sleep. 


For years, my younger sister would complain because we would always spend her birthday camping at Red River Gorge. Her fall birthday was the optimal camping time because the leaves were changing offering a beautiful backdrop to the campsite but the weather was still had hints of summer.

As a child, I think we all had a hard time spending a weekend away from the conveniences of our house, but my sister took it especially hard. She didn't like giving up her birthday week which she tohought should be filled with balloons and cake for a campsite without running water.

But as we grew up, I think we appreciated that weekend more. Spending time in the woods offered sights, sounds, and smells that a city like Edgewood could never provided. It changed the routine of our technologically driven lifestyles. It is a weekend where the constant buzzing of our cellphones and the programs on tv don't distract from spending time with my family. Plus, Red River Gorge is beautiful in the fall.

The reason the environment is so important to me is because almost all of my memories of the environment are combined with memories of my family. Whenever I think about my sister's birthday, I think about Red River Gorge. My parents have my an appreciation of the environment central to our lifestyle and I feel like as a result my sisters and I are all environmentally aware.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Building Bridges to the Future

Bridges take people from point A to point B, whether it's literal, like going from Kentucky to Ohio, or figural, like going from the present to the future.  As a senior graduating from TMC, there have been multiple experiences, classes, and professors that have laid a board down to lead me to the future, piece by piece, and now I get to cross it.  The Environmental Aesthetics definitely contributed to that so-called bridge.  I have learned that we cannot go through life oblivious to nature, whether it's the sight of two doves together, the noise of a babbling creek, or the scent of Lily of the Valleys in the spring.  Our culture is so absorbed in technology and rushing around that we can't just stop to take a breath of fresh air after it rains or to find the Big Dipper in the night sky.  This class has strengthened my appreciation for the little things, like finding a rainbow, and at times, I have been able to apply the class's philosophies to further my understanding of the meaning of my life and my place in the world, as well as my responsibly to others.  Even if the 'others' is a flower, a honey bee, or a squirrel.  Everything we have learned has built little bridges in our minds that can lead to endless opportunities.  For myself, I have worked on research for a year and a half involving native and invasive plants, specifically the Bradford Pear tree.  The knowledge that I have obtained from many of my classes (EA included) has furthered my understanding for the importance of a balanced ecosystem.  Who knows where my next bridge will lead me?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

#12 Relaxation noises

The sounds of nature could put me to sleep instantly! I could be wide awake and then the next minute be passed out. Sounds from nature are very soothing and relaxing, and i find it aesthetically pleasing. What is hard to do these days is being able to walk outside your house and just be able to listen to nature without hearing urbanization. I would suggest to try it out and go to a camping park or go deep into the woods somewhere and experience the sounds of nature in reality, instead of on the internet.

#11 Landfills

This is a devastating sight to see, especially to an environmentalist or a philosopher studying the environment. Pollution is a big problem that we come across often, and if we don't try to fight it now it will destroy nature that we find aesthetically pleasing in the future.


Do you think a lumber jack or ax man has more of an aesthetic appreciation towards nature or not?

#9 Volcanoes

Volcanoes are the most fascinating natural occurrences to me. A volcanoes power is ridiculously powerful and can cause catastrophic damage. The colors as such above to could make it seem picturesque, besides that volcanoes are sublime and I would like to see one from a safe distance away but not close up because i wouldn't want to die.

Blog #8 Farming

Farming is a necessity! But i have to say that i think it hurts the view and  aesthetics of nature. Farming is not natural it is made manually and is quite a boring view. I find farming to be very dull and ugly. If you don't take care of the land right than farming can also hurt the landscape by destroying the soil and making it to lose. This will end land being useless and destroys the environment.

Blog #12-the end to a new beginning!

As my last blog, I want to reflect on how this class has helped me better understand enviornmental aesthetics.  All the philosophers have contributed something that is of importance to the class and the topic.  Most recently we have discussed Henry Bugbee and his Inward Morning.  More specifically, how we are to oblivious to what nature is and has to offer us.  We tend to be materialistic and not pay attention to what is important.  All the technologies that override the true nature of our existence and what is currently existing with us.  I tend to have my Ipod in or on my phone, but I have zero skill to walk and text at the same unless it is a quick message.  I find that technology does get in the way, but we have to take an initiative to better incorporate oursleves into nature without all that technology. 
More over, this class has really helped me appreciate nature and what it has to offer.  It was a cool class with lots of interesting things to talk about.  I love nature and I love being surrounded by it.  Nature is a beautiful and mysterious thing, and as a world we need to appreciate it and take better care of it rather than just focusing on ourselves and what's important to us. 

Tybee Island (Blog 12)

When I was in 7th grade we went to Tybee Island in Georgia. This was the first time that I saw the beach. One specific thing I remember before going to the beach is going to a light house right across the street from the beach. It is known as the Tybee Island Light Station. The light house has roughly 200 steps to the top. I ran up and down the light house a few different times, once to the top and then back down to get someone's camera for them and then back up to give it to them and then back down. When I was at the top of the light house I remember the beach and how pretty it was. The view from the light house was amazing. It was one of those moments where everything just seems to be peaceful and calm. The beach has always been a favorite place of mine because it is very relaxing and serene, especially if you are lucky to find a part of the beach or go when there are not a ton of around. Hopefully this summer I will make it to the beach!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blog #11

Today we discussed Bugbee's article about the wilderness and our "obliviousness" of it.  I found this article, although difficult to follow, very interesting.  He talked about how society as a whole generally is oblivious to the wilderness around us and is more focused on other things.  He stated that the source of this obliviousness is caused by technology.  This was even more interesting to me because it is 100% true.   Society today is wholly focused on our technologies, such as laptops, cell phones, iPods, iPads, tv, video games etc.  We no longer take time to appreciate the natural world around us and honestly have very little knowledge about our natural world.  It is very sad how the times have changed from when our parents were young and didn't have to be forced to play outside, they willingly played outside from sun up to sun down when the street lights came on.  It is amazing to me how much things have changed in such a short amount of time.  I talk to my 90 year old Grandma and she is amazed at how times have changed.  She never imagined being able to carry a small telephone around in your pocket and being able to call someone across the world, or send an instantaneous text message and receive an answer in less than a minute.
When I think about how my grandma and my parents grew up I am jealous in a way.  I am jealous in the fact that they had so much time to be kids and play outside in the dirt and fall and get hurt.  Kids these days don't know what it means to play outside or be told no you can't sit inside all day.  Bugbee was right...we are completely oblivious to the wilderness around us and there is not much we can do to change it.  


During my senior trip to Greece, Italy, and Spain I had never really seen a piece of art besides local museums around Cincinnati. I've always taken a liking towards the subject and have always been an artist. I began drawing at a very young age. It started with practicing from other drawing out of picture books or cartoons. As I aged, my skills came together and I had a stronger focus of what was desired for my pieces. I always loved drawing with charcoal, chalk, regular lead pencils, but most of all I enjoyed painting. I've painted numerous peices mostly of flowers and zoomed pieces of landscapes. I love to focus in on the shading, carefully defining edges, and most importantly I love to play witht the colors. Sometimes I like to experiment and just throw something together. I even like to leave pieces unfinished because I enjoy letting the mind wander and think about what could happen in that space. I enoy playing games with the observer's eyes and to ask them to point out something that they like or a favorite part of each piece. I've often sold my paintings to friends, family, and even random buyers. I paid for my very expensive senior trip by selling many paintings and I still paint for my own pleasure with no limitations or expectations. The nice thing about artwork is that when you're the creator, you have no boundaries. Art can be whatever you want it to be.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Haunted Hospital)

Quite a few months back, a group of people and myself went to Louisville, Kentucky to visit the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. This was once a hospital in very early 1900's to tuberculosis patients. It is now regarded as one of the most haunted hospital in the United States. We drove down to Louisville and hung around in our hotel room until about 11:00pm and then headed to the site. The tour started very late and it was pitch dark outside...and inside. We were only allowed to use our flash lights when we were going up and down the stairs, everything else was just light by the moon, which almost added to the creepieness. The hospital was huge and the picture below does not fully capture the entire hispital and I wish there was someone standing next to the building in the photo so you could just see the massive size of this place. The tour was crazy as well as creepy. They told a bunch of crazy stories of people dying and experiences that people have had with ghosts. One of the pictures below is the "body schute" this is where they started taking out dead bodies once so many people started to die, they went this way because it was harder for patients to see them leaving this way and they did not want to discourage them. I also recall at one point that we went into the mortuary and they asked if anyone wanted to get in one of the body thanks, haha. It was a very interesting experience and I would definitely like to do it again. This tour only lasted a few hours and was with a group of like 15 people, they offer tours where you can stay all night and just have a group of close friends and explore and do what you want to see if you can take part in any paranormal activity. Also, I know that they are working on making part of the hospital "hotel like" so that people can also come and stay the night there. Also, quite a few people like ghost hunter and TAPS have been there to explore.


Henry Bugbee often discusses the use of technology in today's society. In this excerpt regarding his beliefs, he discusses that there is a preoccupation with technology and an obliviousness to the wilderness. I find this extremely true. Generations during this time era are extremely focused on production, industry, and expenses. Now that iPads, tablets, cell phones, and computers have grown dramatically in the past decade many children have focused in on them and are losing the ability to understand the elements of what this Earth really is. You see many schools now providing laptops in classes, iPads for activities, and requiring children to learn how to use a computer because now without computer skills a person will have almost no communication skills in the work field. We rely on technology for so many things nowadays, that we can't even try to understand parts of the wilderness. We pass by state parks, bike trails, lakes, and wildlife on a daily basis but most aspects go unnoticed because we don't care about paying attention any long. We're too focused with our lives to want to see what's really going on so we bury our noses in our iPads and cell phones instead of soaking in the environment surrounding us.

Film Reflection

The film about the Russian filmmaker and director Andrei Tarkovsky points out his views and beliefs of his aesthetic focused films. In Stalker, Tarkovsky slows pieces of the film where the people become one with the environment. They lay in the ground covering themselves in weeds and grass. He focuses in on the art involved in film making. The art of using nature as his setting is the most drastic part that influences me. He often combines fire with water. You can clearly see the color changes from the leaves of trees, the dark bark, dark-lit homes, and the beautiful sunlight. It almost seems to me that the more the setting takes place inside a home or building the darker it became, yet when outside the more influential the lighting became to the scene. The sun shines on the leaves and trees creating a more expressive picture. The painting he shows in his films allows the viewer to see all the colors and often times has a reflection into a window so you can see the painting compared to outdoor scenary.


Sitting outside alone on a day like today can allow the mind to wander. Hearing the soft breeze of the wind blow against branches of the trees, the chirps of birds and whispers fill the air. You can hear the subtle noises of the cars and trucks going down the freeway. I can hear the tapping of my feet and clicks of my pen as I struggled to find thoughts to write down on my papers. As a stranger passes I hear the soft brushing grass under his feet and the jingle of his keys in his hands and swiping noises of his jeans. In the distance I can hear the little league baseball team practicing. The noises of the ball and the bat meeting together echo through the picnic areas. I get lost in the noises and begin to just sit and stare. The chirping of my phone brings me back to reality as I rush back to my car for classes. The simple act of just listening to the "silence" brings many more noises to life, it's soothing to understand how simple this can be.

Let It Be

Friday, August 21
“By ‘leaving things be’ I do not mean inaction; I mean respecting things, being still in the presence of things, letting them speak. Existing is absolute. Things are of infinite importance in existing. But as Kant says, existing is not a character of things; it is their givenness. And since the givenness of things is what I take to be the foundation of respect for them, I cannot see that the emphasis on things of a certain character as opposed to things lacking this character, affords an ultimate purchase for interpreting the possibility of respect.”
p. 154 the Inward Morning
I thoroughly enjoy reading, often I read several books a month outside of school. My favorite things to read are memoirs or stories of personal struggle or triumph. One of my favorite books that I’ve read was about a man in rehab for drugs and alcohol and his experiences there. On his first day in rehab he was given three books: the twelve steps manual, a small bible, and an even smaller book on Buddhism. The man never read the bible, or the twelve steps manual, but he often reflected on his life when reading this tiny book of Buddhist proverbs. I found which book the author was reading, and bought a copy myself.
I wouldn’t say that I’m thoroughly educated in Buddhist practices, but I have read this tiny book and studied the religion vaguely, and I’ve found some of these proverbs incredibly insightful and provoking of personal reflection. After reading Bugbee’s thoughts on ‘leaving things be’ one of the passages in the Buddhist book came to mind.
“According to Buddhist teachers like Pema Chödrön and others, one of the first real steps on the Buddhist path is a state called “ye tang che”. “Ye” means “totally” or “completely”, “tang che” means “exhausted”. So “ye tang che” describes a state of total exhaustion. In the Buddhist context, this primarily means exhaustion of hope, the hope of ego to gain profit from the spiritual teachings, to gain security. Terms like “Exhaustion of hope” or “Giving up hope” may sound strange, funny and totally depressing when we use them without context, but they make sense nevertheless when we look at the deeper meaning in reference to Buddhist practice.
When the Buddhist teachings — or spiritual teachings of any kind — are first perceived, there is quite a big chance that we approach the teachings as a method to gain something, to develop into a better version of ourselves, to improve, to repair ourselves and so on. We could also say that we use the teachings to find security and comfort, the security and comfort that everything is alright, that we’re on the right track and that in our glorious future to come we’ll enter a state of total fearlessness and great peace of mind. Things sound promising to us, so we have great expectations
After we have for a certain timespan hoped as much as we could to reach some certain stage of development or state of mind that seemed desirable to us, maybe through meditation or another practice, after we tried to get wiser, better, sharper, it seems that there is no way at all that we will get any of that. We might have created some sort of pseudo-experience of the things we hoped to attain, but after a while it went away or we had a feeling from the beginning on that something was not complete.”
That excerpt is not directly from the tiny book I was originally talking about, but it hits the point. Ye tang che: totally and completely exhausted. This idea is that we do not have a personal agenda. We do not try and gain something; we do not try and change the world to better ourselves or our understanding of the world. To understand is not to care. To care about something, you must have an opinion. I will use smoking as an example. You can care about the topic of cigarette smoking. You have your own position on the subject, the harmful effects it has on a person’s health, the price a pack of cigarettes cost, the money you waste. On the other hand you can care about smoking for the relief of stress it brings, the social conversations that happen in the smokers section. However this is not understanding smoking. To understand the habit of smoking cigarettes you are not required to have a position. You don’t have to care; it is simply laying out the facts and observing them as they are.
To understand things we often have to relate them to ourselves. Thinking about things in a different way to make sense of them, however Bugbee states that this is not understanding.  If we alter a concept to make better sense of it for ourselves, it is not the original concept that was attempting to be made sense of. By forcing our analogies on things, and attempting to gain something from them, we are polluting our understanding with bias. Ye tang che explains to us how to not impress ourselves on things in attempt to understand. The only way we truly understand things is to examine them from all sides and accept those sides, to ‘leave things be’.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Natural Beauty vs. Man Made Beauty

In class we were discussing natural beauty versus man made beauty. As I have mentioned before, I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Now, we may not look at a normal, cookie-cutter building, and think that it is some beautiful, amazing, pieces of work. But there are many buildings and structures out there that people work very hard to make beautiful and pleasing to look at. We might not, think that it is the most beautiful thing that we have ever seen before, but on the other end of the spectrum, it probably won't be the ugliest thing that you have ever seen. So I think it just depends on the person viewing the structure and how they look at it, others may enjoy it while others not so much. Also, another thing that I think that is interesting about this topic is that often times you will see postcards, paintings, pictures, etc. of skylines or a city that is light up at night. So we find a city with lights on at night beautiful, but not a single building standing alone the same way?


So I was assigned a piano paper for my class and while doing research on one of my favorite composers I just began thinking that though this music is wonderful, it's really making me more anxious and pumped up versus helping me to relax.  I turned the TV on to, yes, don't judge me, Twilight; it was what my mom was watching the other night and I was too lazy to change it.  Through doing this though, I came to the point where Claude Debussy's piece, Clair de Lune, came on.  This piece immediately changed the topic of my piano paper, as well as my mood.  I turned the TV off and immediately began doing research on Claude Debussy.  The entire time I kept the piece Clair de Lune playing.  It is calming, quiet, melodic, and honestly overall relaxing and aesthetically pleasing tone.  I later came to realize that this is the piece that my mom used to play over and over while I was growing up and I couldn't stand it because I hated classical music, but as I aged I have come to value the relaxation air that comes with classical music.  If any of you want to relax during this stressful time of the school year, or try to focus while writing a paper, whether you like classical music or not, this piece just flows with the mood you're searching for.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Theatre #10

   The first question that people usually ask when I tell them that I am a Theatre major is: "Where is the theater?" When I tell them it's right across the way from the library they look even more confused then before. I can't say I blame them, the Thomas More College Theater is not what most people would call aesthetically pleasing. In fact, the majors themselves have often wondered how such a space could have been turned into a theater. I've come to the conclusion they looks like it used to house medical students who were viewing their first cadaver from the elevated blue cushioned seat that line the theater walls. It's really a very silly view of the theater, but it was most decent answer I could come up.
    We haven't really touched upon about how urban landscapes are appealing and unappealing and I was reflecting upon the fact that our theater is not aesthetically pleasing at all. The tile/concrete floor which all of Thomas More is covered in does not lend itself well to a theater going atmosphere. It also does not help that there is now paint which cannot be lifted off said floor. The overall atmosphere of the place sends off creepy, cold vibes which only gets worse if you happen to be in there when the lights are off or shut off completely.
     But, it is still the first place I run to (when it's clean for the most part) if I ever need time and space alone and away from people. It is the perfectly quiet place for contemplation and even for it's lack of what most would call aesthetic beauty, it's still a comfort to go there and realize that nothing has changed, nothing will changed, and no one is going to bother you.

Inspiration from Bugbee

    I realized the other day that I forgot to blog about Henry Bugbee when I looked at the assigned readings I had for him a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed working with the text and reading over the pieces that I had been assigned and even though a lot of it was a very dense read I did find that inspiration caught my eye within the first couple of pages when he talked about writing.

    Now granted he was talking about writing in the sense of finding out what your true philosophy on life and nature was, but I thought it was a great message for someone like myself who is an English major with a creative writing concentration. Finally something clicks within philosophy! A way for me to express ideas that fits within my own studies.

    I feel like Bugbee had a huge point to express within that small section. Writing down thoughts and ideas with an emphasis upon reflection should be something that people should do, in general. We go through so much during one day that taking the time to reflect upon the world and it's environment should be a way to not only clam us down, but get our brains functioning on a deeper level instead of shuffling through the normal day to day drivel we enforce ourselves to deem as 'acceptable'.

    That comes off preachy, but I think it's a valid point. How would any of the world's great philosophers have come to truly understand their own field or work without contemplation and the written word or another art form perhaps? That's something that should be passed down to people everyday. We always say that if we don't stand for something we'll fall for anything. Bringing in the element of contemplation should be a way of finding our what we stand for which should include, for this class, how we view and appreciate nature and the natural environment we live in.

Keeping animals away for their own good

Recently found the pictures that I thought applied to the grizzly man movie... I know it was awhile ago that we watched it. In the picture below is a alligator that was living in the lake behind my parents home in Florida. We found these guys removing the gator because they do not want to let them get to comfortable with humans. If they become adjusted to humans feeding them or being around them they lose their fear of humans. Not only is this dangerous because they themselves are dangerous. But, it can be harmful and unnatural in their environment for us to be a part of it. I always thought that it should be fine to have them around until I talked to the guy and watched the movie with grizzly man. With two such strong creatures as human and alligator together it could spell disaster for one of the two.
The goofy guy with the sunglasses is a family friend from holland who had never seen an alligator before... thats why he looks so excited!

Noises that belong.

I remember always saying I would never live in the city from all the noise. But, I've come to realize that each place has unique sounds that can be attractive or a turn off for individuals. I can not stand walking into a casino because of all the noise from the machines. But, I do know that those same noises attract some people. The noise in the city is fitting for the lifestyle. Just as the birds chirping in the country are as fitting. Each environment has its own soundtrack that is ever changing. Each individual also interprets those sound differently. Rome was a bustling city when I visited and becuase it had so much life it had its character.

Where at home the confort lies in the quiet birds and what I feel is natural to my environment

We were talking about contemplating the other day in class. I sat thinking where is do most of my thinking. I've found that my destressor is driving my car. I love love love to drive! I will drive it in the country where everything seems so peaceful. Right now is my favorite time to drive with my windows rolled down and look at how alive everything is becoming. With spring in full swing everything is so green. When I'm bored or upset or just need to think about things. I just drive to clear my head. The openess and no direction allows for a certain freedom from life. With finals coming up I will most likely being taking a few more drives than normal to destress and focus.


I think it's hard sometimes when we're just trying to enjoy the silence, or the sounds that are around us without trying to make any ourselves. Like driving in your car with the windows up and the radio off, if you're by yourself and you're just looking for peace and quiet it can do just the opposite. Too many sounds going on can be chaotic and lead to a migrane, but if you're stressed out and have the radio on even if it's not tuned in to your favorite song, it's easier to relax. Most of the time sounds like birds chirping or even cars  driving by, I've been accustomed to sort of block out, if I wasn't listening for a particular sound to be made then I might miss them entirely. It seems a lot of people haven't really appreciated sounds around them when their out doors because they weren't the ones making them, and we usually are so preoccupied with other things on our mind that it doesn't seem important.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I took Professor Langguth's FYS class, Thinking About Listening, first semester. At the end of the term, we had to do projects that related to the course and one student chose to do how music impacts us. He talked about different kinds of music, like quiet and loud, or soothing or invigorating. It was really interesting to learn about why certain music makes us relaxed and so on. When we discussed music and sounds in class, this was all I could think about. Than on our sound walk, sitting outside you can "hear" the wind as it blows through the trees, and the chatter of the class working on the sculpture. It was really relaxing which proves the point that music plays an essential part in appreciating nature and whats around you.

Ride to a new place

For me, driving to a new place with the anticipation and excitement of something new and undiscovered is a feeling like no other. Watching the scenery fly across your passenger side window and wondering what the new location has in store for you is something that can only be experienced when you travel. I love watching the approaching mountains get bigger and bigger as we drive through them, and seeing the different wildlife you dont usually see at home, or watching the ocean expand far beyond your eye can see. Scenery is often ignored on roadtrips because people are more focused on their destination, but when you take the time to appreciate the scenery you truly do develop a new outlook

Cumberland Falls

My dad has made it him mission to ensure that his children appreciate the beauty of nature as much as he does. From vacations to our backyard, my dad centers his recreational time on finding beauty in the outdoors. His passion for the outdoors is something I've always admired. While he loves visiting the known national beauties such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, I often find our family venturing into the heart of Kentucky to find the state's hidden wonders.

In a less busy time for our family when all of our spring breaks aligned, we used make it a point to spend Easter weekend at a cabin in the woods without cellphones or the internet. My parents didn't just want to hear about the glory of God but instead experience in weekend away from everyday hecticness. It was on one of these Easter trips that we visited Cumberland Falls.

Cumberland Falls offers a unique aspect to the Kentucky lanscape because on a clear night with a full moon a moonbow can be seen in the mist of the water falling over the bluff. The small state park in Corbin, Kentucky is one of the few in the world where this phenomenon can be seen.

For me, seeing the moonbow just nights before Easter Sunday offered far more meaning to me than hearing a similar rendition of a homily I had heard every Easter. It was a beautiful and special sight that I got to experience with my family in my favorite state.

My Car :)

As odd as it may sound, one of the places that I enjoy and make me relaxed is my car, but I know others can relate to this. I enjoy my car sometimes when I am alone and sometimes when I am with others. But being alone in my car is relaxing, I can have peace and quiet if I want, or if I want I can turn up my music and sing. I think being in a car alone can just give you that feeling of privacy even if there isn't that much keeping you from your surroundings. Another thing that I believe contributes to the enjoyment of me being in my car alone, and singing, is the fact that a lot of times I am driving back country roads, so there are no traffic lights, traffic jams, angry drivers, etc. which I think can actually make driving stressful, so I guess it would depend on the situation that someone is in as well.

Appreciation of Beauty

One of the things that we have discussed in class quite a few times is the idea that you need a knowledgeable background to fully appreciate some things beauty. I do not agree with this. I do think that knowing more about the subject may change your view on things but I do not agree that you need knowledge on the subject to appreciate its beauty. If that was the case then no one would really be able to appreciate anything beautiful, only small portions of people would be able to fully appreciate it because they are the ones who know the subject. I believe that that is one of the best things about nature and natural scenes, it doesn't take much to appreciate it and most people do appreciate it, I mean who doesn't really appreciate a nice sunset?

Blog #11-Evansville, Indiana

This past weekend, some of the Psychology students, including myself, went to Evansville, Indiana for the MAUPRC (Mid-America Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference).  We went to present research on a topic of our interest.  It was a great experience!  The location was beautiful too.  We presented at USI, the University of Southern Indiana, and the campus was beautiful.  Where we stayed and presented was more of an urban area with lots of restaurants, shopping, and lodging.  However, the drive down and back was so beautiful.  It all just looked so natural and peaceful, like there were no interruptions.  There were beautiful, natural fields of bright yellow flowers that would stick out like a sore thumb.  I would just look out the window and think, wow this world is really a beautiful place and we need to better take care of it and appreciate it.  There is so much beauty this land has to offer and it's often, I believe, that we fail to appreciate it.  This class has really helped me better accept and understand what nature is and what is important to better understand it.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Barn

One of the most relaxing places that I enjoy being at is the barn where I ride. When I am there I am only concentrating on horses and my surroundings instead of all of the other stressors in my life. I love horses and this is probably why I find this so relaxing. I hope that one day I will have a horse farm and will have this relaxation available right in my back yard. This is me and my horse Max. Don't mind the goofy face, please and thank you.


I started thinking about this when we were discussing music (or the absence of music) the other day in class, as well as when we went on our sound walk outside. One of the things that puts me in my most relaxed state of mind and relaxed place in general is music. There is some music that I could just listen to over and over, and could never get tired of. I have my iPod that I can basically take everyone with me which means that I know that anytime I need it I can listen to that to make me relaxed. I also think that music and sound is interesting in the idea that everyone can be different, what can be a pleasant sound or good music to me, can be terrible for the next person. I just think that it is interesting that everyone can have such different preferences when it comes to this topic.

MAUPRC (Evansville, IN)

As I type this, I am on my way home from Evansville Indiana. Some psychology students had to go to the MAUPRC conference to present research that we did. It took us about 4 hours to get there and about 4 hours to get back. During the car ride, I found myself looking out the window a lot, along the high way there were places that were just wooded areas. In other spots there were no woods, but instead big open fields, sometimes you could see the farms that went with those fields.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Listening to Nature

  The other day when we were sitting outside doing our little listening exercise, I came to a realization. We were supposed to be listening to the sounds of nature and anything else we could hear. As I sat there listening I realized that most of the noise I was hearing came from mostly man made objects such as the sound of the freeway and the sound of construciton. This erked me. When I think of aesthetically pleasing sounds of nature I don't think of freeways and construction sites...but should I? I began thinking and the more I thought the more disappointed I became.
  Humans are part of nature are they not? And as we've all learned nature evolves over time as did the human race. So if you think about it, aren't all man made structures part of nature? You look at a beaver for instance. Beavers make dams to live in. They make them out of materials that come from the earth and do this with their own two hands (or paws, whatever). If we were walking along a river or lake and happend to come across a beaver dam we would stop and stare in awe at how pretty and cool it was to see something so natural and what not. But we never seem to have that reaction when walking by your own house or driving down the highway. Humans are part of nature, and we built all our structures from materials that we pulled from the Earth making them structures of nature, right?
  These thoughts kind of disappointed me because in my own personal opinion, I enjoy the quiet, relaxed part of nature. The sounds of wind, trees, birds, and streams are what please me the most, not cars and bulldozers. But who am I to complain if these cars and bulldozers are just another aspect of this new evolved nature? I just hope it doesn't catch on more than it already has.

A Little Bird Told Me

I was just outside smoking on the concrete benches near where they are constructing "Madonna Meadow." Among hearing other smokers socializing and students hurrying to class, I looked out by the giant cage-like tree sculpture being built and noticed two birds. Ordinarily I don't think this would have struck a cord in me, so to speak. But knowing that I'm behind on my blogs, and all the chaos surrounding the closing of the semester, that I have Environmental Aesthetics class later,  I saw these little birds perched on one of the branches of the sculpture and for a second the stress tornado in my mind had ceased.

Nature no doubt does bring a sense of relaxation. And throughout the semester we've talked about a million reasons this could be, and a thousand theories that you can spin off of the effects of nature. A lot of what we've read about is critiquing the right way to view nature, and how humans effect the "goodness" of nature. But when I saw those little birds, just happy as can be sitting on the sculpture that we- humans- created from nature- trees, I couldn't help but think, "well they don't think its too bad do they."

We've listened to a lot of different opinions on how we humans effect nature. And I do agree that sometimes what we do to nature could be considered hostile or violating (I mean think about it, we transplant cow crap to construct our own perfect critiques of nature called "gardens", we move poop rather than let something happen naturally, how absurd!) however I don't think this is the case all the time. When I look at the cage-tree-enterance structure for Madonna Meadow, I don't feel like anything has been violated. I feel like it is paying homage to the beauty of nature. Not in a picturesque manner that you would have to frame, or in a poem that requires extensive comprehension of subject or concept, not even a critique.

A while ago there was a whole petition to get sculpture on Thomas More's campus. Some people didn't think it should be there at all, but others (a lot of the art geeks I'll admit) felt that it was vital to have sculpture, that it was aesthetically valuable to have in a college environment.

This all correlates, I promise.

After just this one piece of sculpture being constructed on our campus, I feel the decision was completely necessary. I can also gather after being in the presence of the sculpture, the beginning of what is to be a park, while in the midst of everyday social chaos that in the words of Samuel Jackson "I had what some alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity" I was experiencing nature, effected by humans, constructed in art, and I was appreciating nature, and like we've been reading in Bugbee, I didn't want to change it. I didn't want to understand the meaning of this sculpture by fitting into a previously created schema, I just sat, let it effect me, and listened. There was a moment when I was able to detach myself from my social agendas and buzzing surroundings and just rest, and appreciate those little birds.

We've discussed quite a plethora of ways to properly appreciate nature.
And damnit, I think I've just done it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chilling Environment

I wanted to take these last few blogs to take a look at some environments that we haven't discussed in class.  Whether one believes in ghosts, the paranormal, or the afterlife, it is hard to deny that some places just have a creepy feeling.  One particular place I have spent the night at (stupidly) was an old mansion called Prospect Place.  The property, located in Trinway, OH, allows the curious to spend one night ghost hunting with a private group, and my two friends and I couldn't resist.  The home belonged to an abolitionist named George Willison Adams who ran an underground railroad "station" with his brother.  The mansion and its adjoining barn are shrouded in mystery, which adds to the eerie, unsettling feeling one gets when the see the home, even when the sun is shining bright.  Once the mansion was abandoned, gangs and runaways stayed in the mansion and added to its dark environment.  The rooms smelled of mothballs and varnish, but the ballroom in the attic had a particularly musk with a hint of incense from the rituals that occurred during the mansion's darker, abandoned days.  The barn had by far the most unnerving feeling, especially since a bounty hunter was hung between the first and second floors once he was caught on the land while searching for runaway slaves (seen in the bottom photo).  A very interesting environment to be apart of, and one that we haven't delved deep into.

West Minster

I recently went on a baseball trip to New Wilmington, PA and I realized that we were in Amish country and noticed how in tune they were with the land. They were preparing their crops by using horses and not damaging the air with big tractors. Also on this trip I looked out the window and noticed in a stream in downtown New Wilmington that their was a little shack that about ten cars were parked out in front of and I saw that the people were fly fishing in the river and it made me think of how no one in our class had never been fly fishing and there it was fly fishing at its finest.
Over Christmas break my family and I went to Key West, Florida.  This was the one of the most beautiful parts of Florida that I have seen yet.  We have been all over Florida but this was by far my favorite so far.  It was really cool, we got to experience the whole island.  My family went jet skiing, boating, deep sea fishing, went to a state park there, and watched the sun set at the most south point of the United States.  It was a lot of fun and was just a real nice experience.   We got to see parts of the environment that you just don't see in Kentucky, like coconut shells, all of the different species of animals, and a whole lot of different scenery. If you ever get a chance to go to Key West I advise you to take that chance.