Thursday, January 31, 2013


In Henry David Thoreau passage of walking he defines walking as something different than I initially think of.  If I was normally to think about walking, first walking as  a form of exercise comes into mind.  Then walking as a means of transportation, a means  of getting somewhere, such as to school, or to your car.  Thoreau, however, was discussing a different type of walking.  A type in which not many people can accomplish and in which he believes is an art that one must be born with.  He compared it to sauntering, saying it was a walk of a journey or adventure.    The setting in which the walking occurs is also important.  One can experience a better walk if surrounded by nature.  This passage has me excited for spring so I can go out on walks through the woods. While I will most likely use paths, which can be seen as a manipulated of nature, I don't want to get lost.  I believe this class will help me to experience walks in a different manner and I will be able to gain more from them.    

Historical Foundations

            I found this introduction to the section to be very interesting and insightful.  It said the common theme among the writers is a passionate love and concern for the well-being of nature.  From what we have read so far of this section, I believe this has truly been a common theme.  I found the next section discusses the changing attitudes to be interesting as it related to biology, which is my major.  I believe that today, biology consists of science involving the natural history and physical science.  We analyze things base on primary properties that are measureable and other secondary qualities that cannot be measured such as taste, smell and sound.  I find the fact that both scientists and nature  poets both wrote about aesthetic and scientific comments in their writings show how similar the two fields are.  While their general purposes are different, they both can also lead to an appreciation and conservation efforts.  

Blog 1 (finally)

Finally I am able to participate with blogs even though apparently I have been signed up the whole time.  My name is Sadie and I am a senior Biology major and my minor is gerontology.  With this I plan on going into physical therapy.  I am graduating this spring and in order to fulfill my philosophy credit requirements, I decided to take this class.  Out of all the options, I thought that nature aesthetics sounded the most interesting because I have always found nature to be beautiful.  

Blog #4 Grizzly man

This movie has really impacted me. Yeah we all laugh in class because of the things he said in his videos but this is a really tragic thing that happened to him. It just shows how routine something might seem in your life and then one thing could end it. Granted he did put himself in that position but he was okay with the possibility of being killed. It finally brought to attention what he was doing and did bring a lot of controversy. He wouldn't have done it any other way it seems. This movie really makes me reflect on things going on within your society even more than usual. I think about society a lot and honestly this is something that not many people would do, what makes you happy that is. He did what he wanted to in life which is something a lot of people don't do. He really brings to life what nature is about.

Grizzly Man

Sleepy Hollow Bloggers,
I found a recent news article about the maker of the film, "Grizzly Man", and it even mentions Timothy Treadwill in the article. I thought you guys might find it interesting! A new documentary by Werner Herzog, filmed in 2010 in the Siberian village of Bakhta, is making its theatrical debut. Maybe this is something we could watch in class sometime. Anyway, here is the article:
"Happy People: A Year in the Taiga"
Werner Herzog often seems a man out of time—the cinematic answer to the great explorers of the 19th century, jaunting to the ends of the Earth to capture extremes of human experience before the Internet homogenizes even the remotest of cultures.
The filmmaker's voyage to the Siberian village of Bakhta wasn't quite so rugged, even though the terrain is accessible only from air or river. He discovered the source material for this 2010 documentary (only now making its theatrical debut) on a visit to a Los Angeles neighbor, who was fascinated by hours of footage shot by the Russian documentarian Dmitry Vasyukov. Mr. Herzog became likewise awestruck by what he saw: an immersive journey into the Siberian forest (or taiga), where weathered trappers prove ever-resourceful in their combat with the elements, forging their own symbiotic relationship with even the harshest aspects of nature.
Rather than cash in his frequent-flier miles, Mr. Herzog collaborated with Mr. Vasyukov, recutting four hours of existing film into a concise 94 minutes, adding subtitles and his own inimitable narration—much as he did for "Grizzly Man," a documentary built around video footage left behind by activist outdoorsman Timothy Treadwell after he was killed by one of the bears he tracked each summer in the Alaskan wilds. No such sensational narrative drives "Happy People." Instead, what compels is Mr. Vasyukov's filmmaking-in-the-raw, which abides with its subjects over the course of a year.
That ethnographic rigor is enhanced by Mr. Herzog's voice, which can turn such basic enterprises as building a cabin out of mud, straw and timber or fending off the maelstrom of mosquitoes that plague the hunters into existential reveries—the kind of thing, at once dryly whimsical and coldly fatalistic, that long ago made Mr. Herzog's reputation.

Blog 4: Grizzly Man

So I made the mistake last class of giving into my curiosity and googling exactly what happened to Timothy Treadwell. I advise anybody reading this blog entry not to do that. And especially stay away from Google images. He and his girlfriend died quite painfully and the images are gruesome, to say the least. His story raises conflicting opinions for me.

On the one hand, I believe the idea of conservation is wonderful and necessary. Grizzly bears – like all animals – are beautiful creatures and they should be protected. But, they should also be respected and I do not think Mr. Treadwell respected them as he should have. The Alaskans in the video even made reference to it. Treadwell treated the Grizzlies as if they were pets or friends. He didn't respect that they were wild animals that were dangerous and could kill him. He often said they could kill a man, but he still chose to treat them as if they wouldn't harm him. Obviously, he was wrong. In failing to respect the Grizzlies, he caused four deaths: his own, his girlfriend, and the two bears. He acknowledged before he died that he felt his welcome had been overstayed in the park. His girlfriend wrote in her diary how scared and unwelcome she felt. The bear that killed them tried to attack Treadwell on film in the days prior to his death.

If he truly respected nature, Treadwell would still be alive. He would have taken the hints being shoved in his face and packed up his trip when he had originally planned, instead of extending it into a time of the year when he knew the bears were most dangerous.


Right now we are watching Grizzly Man. This is my first time seeing this movie but I remember hearing about Tim's story. I admire what Tim did and what he stood for. He just wanted what was best for the grizzly bears (and the foxes). He spent a lot of his time trying to defend them from getting hunted. It is not right for people to kill these animals for their fur.

One part in the movie, a guy said that Tim got what he deserved. I believe he said that he thinks Tim was retarted. That statement got me angry. This guys who said he got what he deserved is ignorant. Tim was definitely different than most people but to say he deserved it is stupid. Tim died doing what he loved. I respect him for that.

After hearing the Alaskan (I believe he was Alaskan but I'm not sure) I think he is right. He said that we should respect the bears and they should respect us. We should keep our space. He said that Tim may have done more harm to the bears than good. After all, one bear did die because of him. But on the other hand, I think it is also fair to say that he helped defend them against hunters. I guess I could see either argument. However, I just think that it is impossible for a human to live with bears in their environment. But the bottom line is that Tim wanted what is best for the bears. I admire him for what he did and some of the film that he got. Those bears are truly beautiful animals. I love seeing wildlife like that!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blog #2

After finishing the movie Koyaanisqatsi and even discussing the first couple chapters of the text book I  can honestly say that this semester aesthetics will be very interesting. I can say that this course has already increased my aesthetic appreciation of nature greatly even though I already have a great appreciation for it as an avid outdoorsman. Below is a picture of what I think is a beautiful and sublime setting.

Blog 4: Grizzly Man

I have seen this movie before, and I have come to one conclusion about the grizzly man Tim, he is a little off.  As a man who loves nature I can appreciate one wanted to become one with nature as Tim did, but there is a line.  Respecting the space and habitat of wild animals is very important, and Tim did not do that.

Though his intentions were good, I feel Time was misguided.  There were many ways to help protect the bears, the way Tim choose to help them was a very dangerous one.  Also Tim’s method was very indirect.  I feel that if he wanted to help the bears so much he should have done something more direct like fund raising, protest, political groups ect..  Instead Tim choose a very indirect, time consuming, and dangerous method.  Looking at all his options, one has to question his own personal reasons for doing what he did.

Blog 3

I am finally apart of our blog!! Start with a brief introduction, my name is Cameron Clemons and I am a junior studying graphic design. I'm from Louisville and love the great city that it is. I love photography and getting out and about with my son to capture what nature & the busy city have to offer.
I find just about everything aesthetically pleasing, I could go and find an old run down house and enjoy seeing how nature takes it toll over the house, and then again I can also enjoy beautiful sunsets by lakes and hiking. I'm ready to see what this blog is all about. So far people have great places they have been and great photos to show of these places.
First photo posted is from Doe Run park in independence where I find it very peaceful to sit at this bench and watch an listen to nature.
Second photo posted is of the Cincinnati skyline from Davou park. If you haven't been there I highly suggest to check it out. The view is amazing and so sublime.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

At last, I join in the reflection!

Now that I have at last gotten a minor e-mail snafu sorted out, I can begin to post. I'm pretty excited about this; I've never been on a blog before, which is surprising how wordy I have been known to be. The natural world is something I feel strongly about, so hopefully I'll have a lot to say and meaningful discussion to contribute.

A brief introduction to me: I'm a senior psychology major here at Thomas More, on my last semester of classes.  I have plans to go on to grad school at University of Louisville back in my hometown, even though that regretfully means moving back in with my parents. I'm hoping to study Forensic Psychology or Criminology, so I can learn to hunt the human monsters that haunt our cities. Like Batman, but less illegal.

So that's me, a typical struggling college student with aspirations, taking an Aesthetics class to fill my final psychology requirement. It was nice to discover this particular course, being as much of a nature lover as I am, so that I'm taking a class that relates to my interests.

In the first part of this class, we've been watching a film called "Koyaanisqatsi", which explores the impact of human life and technologyon the Earth. Personally, I feel the film took a bit of an alarmist perspective, seeming to imply that there is no hope for a re-unification of humans and their technology to the natural world, and that life should be dashed out and started afresh. The movie's creator Godfrey Reggio did say that there was no intended message for the film, however, and that what a person takes away as an experience gives meaning to the plot. Maybe it is my disdain for crazy environmentalists who are quicker to bemoan humanity and technology than to come up with a definite plan to harmonize technology, humans, and the environment to the benefit of all that is coloring my experience with the film.

The part of Koyaanisqatsi that resonated most strongly to me is the aesthetic of the film, and I am not saying that because I am in an Aesthetics class. I have traveled a lot out west, and when the film lead in with some images of the prairie, steppes, and natural stone monuments from the American West I was immediately connected to the film emotionally. I will never forget taking the sunset shift driving through South Dakota. The environment was so alien, so different, and so much bigger than the wooded areas and gentle rolling knobs of Kentucky. There were mountains, plains, unfamiliar colors to the rocks and the Earth, and I had the eerie skin-crawling sensation of being in another world. Though that was the Northwest and the images from Koyaanisqatsi was from the Southwest, the same kind of emotions were triggered for me.

Something else that resonated with me was the presentation of the cityscapes as aesthetic too.  As much as I love escaping into nature, I love the energy and aesthetic of the city streets as well.  The comparison of the views from above to the intricate beauty of computer microchips resonated deeply with me.  I found it quite beautiful, and appreciated it as much as the beauty of the natural world.

To close, I'd like to share a picture I took of of the skyline of Chicago. It really strikes home for me the beauty that can be found in the city, as well as the natural world.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blog #3

I'm hoping to go to law school at Cornell in Ithaca, New York. Aside from being a very good law school (to put it simply,) the beauty of Ithaca is astounding. This picture is of Taughannock Falls in Ithaca.

This one is Buttermilk Creek, also in Ithaca. There's definitely something to be said for being able to get away from the "hustle and bustle" of everyday life and go somewhere so quiet and serene, a kind of "sleepy hollow."

Admittedly I haven't got to travel much, but the most awe-inspiring place I've been (thus far) is probably the Red River Gorge right here in Kenutcky. This picture is of the Natural Bridge. In a way, the forestation in Ithaca reminds me of a lot of the scenery we have right here in Kentucky (although we certainly don't get as much snow as upstate New York.)

On another note, I found Emerson's assertion in the text that the universe is composed of "Nature and the Soul" to be intriguing. Emerson states that "all that is separate from us, (the "NOT ME") is then NATURE." Emerson goes on to say that, although a man can own a parcel of land, he cannot lay claim to the landscape itself. "This is the best part of these men's farms, yet to this their warranty-deeds give no title." The idea that simple "land" can be owned but that aesthetic beauty is a more public good I find interesting.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blog #3

The other day in class we decided to discuss  Thoreau and Muir. I personally liked the reading section for Muir better. It said how he took artist to the mountains so that they could see beautiful things to draw. Muir loved that he could see the excitement and the beauty of nature on his companion's faces. Yet, as they continued, he felt as though they became bored. After awhile he separated from the group to do his own mountaineering. My favorite part was when he was alone of the first day and stated that this part of nature was never touched and that is why the birds could flock curiously about him, because they had not experienced the wrath and destruction of man. That evening he also stated how beautiful the sky was and how great it was to see physical manifestations of God.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thoreau (Blog #3)

I enjoyed all of the viewpoints in the chapters we have been reading, but I particularly felt a connection to Thoreau.  I tend to saunter a lot and in that way relate with what he is saying because I have often pondered life and nature while walking, although I disagree that you necessarily have to think about things while you are "walking".  I am a person who likes to explore the world, and reading the text made me miss my explorations with nature.  Many friends can tell you that normally if I'm outside, I am prone to walk off and go wherever nature is drawing me, and they think I'm nuts.  I relate to his idea of being one with "wild" but only to an extent--I couldn't walk into the woods without knowing relatively where I could get out of them because I wouldn't want to get lost, and I wouldn't exactly walk into a swamp.

Blog #3

There were several things that I found interesting during both the reading and class discussion of Emerson and Thoreau. First of all, one of my favorite quotes of all time is Emerson's "transparent eyeball" quote. My high school english teacher always made use of it whenever she could and it is forever engrained in my mind. The other main thing that I found interesting with Emerson came when "Positive Aesthetics" was mentioned in our class discussion. I found this interesting because after I pondered my life and how I have been taught to view nature, I found that this is the way that almost everyone who has tried to teach me about nature as suggested I view it. Everything that has been presented to me about nature is always in a positive light, as if there is nothing about nature that is not beautiful. With "Walking" from Thoreau I found it was interesting to simply ponder what if meant to "walk" for Thoreau. Simply standing and moving our legs is not the kind of walking that is being talked about here. Walking for Thoreau is a pilgrimage (as we said in our class discussion). Thinking about that made me think about my entire life being a "walk" and having a holy purpose, which is what I believe God has given my life. Overall, going through Emerson and Thoreau was not new material for me, but it was interesting to refresh on the material and I thought more on what was being said this time through than I ever have in previous exposure to these texts. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Blog #3

When reading Emerson and Thoreau it really did make me think about things. I never thought of never really being in nature. There are few times in my life so far that I have really experienced nature. I always thought nature was all around us but now I feel as if there are few places that are really about nature. As for walking, I never thought about walking in that kind of way. In that way walking isn't something everyone does. Walking is for those that can really appreciate life and the beauty of nature. For those that really stop to think about life and the beauty of it. This whole class is starting to really make me rethink how I am living, in a good positive way.  

My Place Growing Up

The place that I was reminded of while reading Emerson's, and especially Thoreau's, essays was a church camp that I went to for several years as a kid. It is in a rural area in Kentucky and as you can see from the pictures, out in the middle of the woods. Maybe it was a little creepy, but I took pictures off the website so you all could see a little bit of the area. I did not have any saved on my computer! 

Anyway, this is the place where I always felt like I could contemplate things and just sit outside in nature and take everything in. We even had a designated time every day where we had to go outside and pick a spot to just pray and think (of course, we were not allowed to go too far). My experience is not as extensive as Thoreau's idea of sauntering; however, I felt like I could relate a little bit. I was still in society and not completely lost in the woods, but I got a little taste of the beauty of nature for four summers and I am grateful for the time that I had.


I think Emerson and Thoreau are interesting. I particularly liked Emerson. I agree that nature is the part of the world that is not shaped by us humans. It is better for a person to be in a natural environment rather than an artificial one. I used to go on nature walks with my family all of the time. We would go on trails at local parks that went deep into the woods. I always enjoyed being in the woods looking at nature. Seeing deer run by while the birds were chirping always gave me a sense of tranquility. I can see beauty in any natural environment. Similar to how Thoreau can see beauty in something like a dismal swamp. I have not been on any of those walks in quite some time and I feel like I have lost touch with nature. I am often around buildings and cars (most people are). All of these things were created by us humans. This is the artificial environment that Emerson is talking about. I feel that we keep building things that we are invading on the natural environment. I think it is a shame that the natural environment is shrinking daily. Also, I thought it was interesting reading about positive aesthetics. I liked the idea but it was kind of weird when he talked about death. I guess I could see where he was going though.

Environment Aesthetics #3 — Walking

I grew up in the 6th largest town in America. We should have been a city, but the council resisted. In southern Arizona, one does not often have the opportunity to walk around in nature because of the heat. It is considered too dangerous the majority of the days of the year. But, I was lucky to have a family who enjoyed camping up north. Every summer, we would travel up to Sedona, Big Lake or the White Mountains. Those trips would provide the perfect location for some contemplative nature walking.

There is a certain peace that comes over you as you walk through the woods or by a creek. It is something you miss when being confined to the city. A sense of being connected to something bigger, almost infinite. You know those trees have been around for centuries before you were even a thought. And odds are, they will remain around long after you are gone. There is something comforting in that. Nature is a constant. Nature is spiritual.

I disagree with Thoreau's assessment of the word "saunter". To me, saunter implies aimlessness. As does the word "wander". Aimless and lost. But walking in nature isn't about being lost or found. It is just about being.

Muir's Poems Carved on Tablets of Stone

"And while we thus contemplate Nature's methods of landscape creation, and, reading the records she has carved on the rocks, reconstruct, however imperfectly, the landscapes of the past, we also learn that as these we now behold have succeeded those of the preglacial age, so they in turn are withering and vanishing to be succeeded by others yet unborn."

John Muir

John Muir's vocation: "saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism" (Muir biographer Donald Worster).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Blog 3: Flame's Peak

This picture was taken in Glacier Nation Park, Montana.  In the morning when the sun rises, this mountain is lit up in a beautiful orange and red.

This picture seems like it us from a fantasy movie like Lord of the Rings, but it is a naturally occurring event that can be seen all the time in the Glacier Nation Park.  Nature has a way of showing us up over and over again.  Light shows and Christmas lights are beautiful and inspiring.  In comparison to this mountain, our Christmas lights look like a child’s crayon drawing in comparison to the Mona Lisa.

Blog 2: When a Rainbow and a Mountain Have a Baby

This photo is of a mountain valley in southeast china.  This valley was formed by shifted tectonics over millions of years.  Over time, sand stone and other sentiments covered the mountain valley and created this beautiful landscape.

Many people would think this image was photo shopped by that is not the case.  There are many things that nature is capable of producing that many people could only imagine in fiction.  The vastness and time span of nature goes far beyond the human mind.  Nature is master crafter, and it has the power to produce grand art on a scale far beyond human capabilities.

Blog 1: Starry Night In Real life

This Photo is from New Zealand, the clouds you see are a natural formation.  These clouds are created from the mountains and wind streams.  When the clouds come into contact with the mountains and high winds they are sliced up and end up looking like this.

This picture is an example of how nature can produce something magical and beautiful all on its own.  One can see were Van Gogh's inspiration for starry night could have come from.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Blog #2

I think reading the introduction to Historical Foundations of American Environmental Attitudes definitely helped me understand the reading. It gave a good overview of major philosophers such as Emerson and Thoreau. Emerson said that everything was natural, including art, except for the soul- that was the only thing he thought was nonnatural. Emerson also used nature to describe essences unchanged by man. With keeping this in mind and the other backgrounds for the other philosophers, it was a little easier to see the big picture in the first chapter. I am not sure if I understood everything correctly when I was reading it on my own but after the class discussion I had a much better concept of the big picture. After the class discussion the four main  things that were touched upon is what I re-read. This was the beatiful, the picturesque, the sublime, and the interesting. I thought it was interesting how over time that nothing was considered ugly anymore and simply placed into one of these categories.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Environmental Aesthetics Blog #2

Personally I found the assigned reading in the Nature book to be hard to get through and it left questions in my mind. That being said, I feel like there were definitely some good points in the text. I found it particularly interesting how the Hargrove describes the evolution of the appreciation of nature. Hargrove says that formal landscape gardens used to be "regarded as indifferent blobs of matter to be shaped into whatever forms the gardeners chose." However, as society entered the nineteenth century "the concept of beauty gradually expanded to the point that nothing was considered ugly." I found these concepts intriguing as it demonstrates society moving from one end of the spectrum all the way to the other; not really establishing a middle ground.

I also found aspects of the Koyaanisqatsi interview interesting as well. I really liked the metaphor about humans being the fish and technology being the water. It really hits home when you realize that literally everything you do, from waking up in the morning (by an alarm clock that most of set on our smartphones) to doing our homework (on computers) to getting to and from work and school (in cars) is fueled by technology. In a way, our dependence on technology is truly a scary thing.

Blog #1

My name is Lydia Duvall and I am a senior biology major and a Spanish minor. I will be graduating this May (woo hoo!) and to fulfill my core requirements this semester I had to take two philosophy courses. I chose this course because it was the one that best fit my schedule. I've never been that interested in art and aesthetics but I am excited to learn about something that I haven't really had much exposure to. As for the film shown in class, I can honestly say that it did not really strike me in a significant way. As the director said in his interview, to some people this film will be an amazing piece of art and some people just will not be able to relate.

Blog #2

I'm not quite sure if I understand everything in the first chapter as well so I might have to re-read a bit, but I did like some points the article made.  To think that there was a time when nature was deemed "an unworthy object of aesthetic appreciation" is so fascinating to me as a nature-lover.  I can't imagine looking at beautiful plants and not having any response toward it or thinking of it as a "weed", as Dr. Langguth exemplified.  Since I am more of an artistic person, I didn't even think about the connection between art and science and forgot about how art was used to represent science.  Now I think about how new discoveries have pictures glorifying the subjects and natural environments.  I also agree with what Langguth was saying about things being "subjective", because I personally accept the mentality of "different strokes for different folks" and that various people might have diverse ideas about what is "beautiful."

Blog Entry #2: The Historical Foundations of American Environmental Aesthetics

First of all let me say that after finishing Koyaanisqatsi my appreciation for the film was furthered. I thought it was interesting how in the interview with the director he said that the film was different things to different people as this was a thought that I had myself during the second day of viewing the film. To me the film was a survey of various landscapes on the planet, from rural to cityscapes, and a in some respects a commentary on the human condition. I enjoyed it and I plan to get my own copy so I can view it again in the future.

Now to the article that we had to read for Wednesday's class discussion. For starters, I feel that the article was somewhat dense and is almost certainly worthy of re-reading in order to more accurately grasp what the author is trying to say. That being said I am honestly not sure if I got a general sense of what it was saying or if I was completely off target, so I think Wednesday's class discussion will be an interesting one as I try to gage my own comprehension of the text so far. Regardless of whether or not I correctly comprehended everything the author (which I am sure I did not) there were a few things that I found interesting in the article. The first thing that I found interesting was on page 33 of the text when it is talking about how poetry and art influenced travel accounts of the nineteenth century. Here it mentions the journals of Lewis and Clark. I have only looked at the journey of Lewis and Clark as it pertains to historical importance, not in any environmental or aesthetic terms. The new light that was shed on this was quite interesting to me. Also interesting to me was the section on "Transcendental Philosophy" on pages 42-43. In high school I did extensive study on transcendentalism and this brief section allowed me to revisit thoughts that I had and ideas that I had developed previously and forgotten about. Overall I didn't mind the article, even thought it was dense.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Blog 2

After watching the rest of the film and the interview I now understand what the film was about. I have read the first chapter of the book and realized how much landscape painting and poetry really do influence societies take on the environment. I was quite confused about what all the article was saying so I can't wait to see what this is about in our class.

The Historical Foundations of American Environmental Attitudes (Blog #2)

After finishing Koyaanisqatsi and watching the interview, I am starting to understand more of what this class will be about. I just finished reading the first chapter of our textbook, and it was definitely not what I expected. Actually, I am not really sure what I expected in the first place. It was interesting and eye opening. However, because I am not very familiar with a lot of the concepts discussed in Hargrove's paper, I found it a little confusing and I am looking forward to discussing it in class in the morning. I really liked how Hargrove went through the history of American attitudes toward nature and how it relates to so many different disciplines. I never realized that our attitude toward nature was shaped by not only botany, biology, and geology, but also poetry and landscape painting. That explains why Koyaanisqatsi used so many scenes that were similar to landscape paintings. It showed us almost a 19th century picture of what Americans thought about nature: "picturesque, sublime, and beautiful."


Now we have finished the first film. At first, I viewed the film as us humans destroying our land gradually. I still view us as society doing so. But after watching the interview after the movie I have another opinion.
I found the analogy of us as fish and water as  technology interesting. I think it is very true. It seems like 99% of what we do as a society involves technology. Most of what I do consists of technology. If it wasn't for  technology, then I wouldn't be able to do things like check my email, play video games, or text my friends. This movie really made aware of how much I depend on technology.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Environmental Aesthetics #1

Hello everyone! My name is Roxanne Romero. I go by Roxie for short. This is my final semester at Thomas More College and I am studying theatre and English: creative writing. Theatre pretty much takes up my entire life because it involves so much work outside class. I am intending to study theatrical makeup after I graduate, hopefully at UNCSA. I missed the first day of the movie and I really didn't know what to expect when I came in on Friday. Needless to say, I was surprised. I agree that it needs to be viewed in its entirety otherwise the message doesn't really come across.

Blog 1/ Koy Film

Hello anyone who reads this!

My name is Sara Edmondson and I am a English Major Junior at TMC.   I agree with some of you that the film Koyaanisquatsi is an eye-opener in my opinion. The techniques the director used really makes you stop and see the outside of the world we live in from a different perspective.  As I am more of a Wind/Water lover than an Earth/Fire lover, I really enjoyed those parts better such as the wind carrying sand in the Sahara or the moving waves in the ocean.  I usually don't have an emotional response to rocks (sorry, geologists!) very often, so I was a little bored in the beginning.  Also, I have a duality to my thought about nature.  I love natural environments but I also love city life and architecture, which is why one of my favorite scenes was the overlook of nightlife in the city and the sped up moving of headlights on the cars (I also thought the music composition fit in well with what was being displayed there).  Because of my duality, I am nervous about this class but looking forward to learning more about the subject in general.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hi everyone, I'm Kelsey Mullikin and this is my second semester at Thomas More College. So far I have really enjoyed my experience here. I like the small atmosphere and everyone is really nice. I've made a lot of new friends and I love how all the professors care about how you're doing in class and take the time to make sure you are doing well. I am honestly really excited for this class. I have always loved being outside, admiring nature, and looking at and even creating my own landscape paintings. Art is something that I often use to relax and landscapes are absolutely beautiful scenery in my opinion, so painting them is something really fun for me. The movie we are currently watching is very eye opening to me. It started out with gorgeous landscapes of all different types and now towards the end it’s slowly turning into the city scene that we as Americans are used to today. I think it symbolizes how many people are blind to these beautiful scenes because we sort of conform to a lifestyle that can’t see anything beyond high industry.

Week 1

I am Jordan Fortner. I have enjoyed the first week of this Philosophy class. I have always liked being around the outdoors and this class appears like we will learn about things in the environment. I like putting meaning to certain images in nature and this class will help me do so. I have always had a lot of pets growing up and I enjoy taking care of them. I also enjoy seeing wildlife. I think I got a passion for animals from my dad.
The movie that we are watching is very interesting. I think it shows how us humans have taken away some of the land from many of God's creatures. The movie showed a lot of land and mountains which was very beautiful. But then it showed things like powerlines and tractors invading in the land. I understand that we need area to build thing like houses but I believe we are excessive with our construction. It seems like all our society does is build. When will it stop?
I think this will be a good class to discuss things like this along with other major topics.

Human evolution

Hi my name is Kellie Kimberly. I am blogging about my philosophy class. Right now we are watching a movie that puts together a series of images along with music. Im not completely sure the significance of this movie but it makes me think of our evolution as human beings. It makes me think of how far we have come and how much we have accomplished. The world started out as a clean slate and over a period of many many years we have revolutionized and grew into a working society. Yet, the movie also makes me think of how bad our evolutionizing is bad for our enviroment. How many forests and beautiful land scapes have been ruined for us to become more revelutionized. It shows the destruction we cause for the growth and developement of the human race. With our industrial developement we continue to poison the land. Dumping and wasting destoying what once was pure beauty. So, we may show significance in our evolution as human beings but if we do not slow down our pace we will lose alot of the worlds natual beauty. So the question that stands in my mind is : Is evolution worth destruction ?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Koyaanisqatsi and a bit about me

Hi my name is Ashley Lewis. I am a sophomore Sociology major and minoring in Criminal Justice. I have not taken a philosophy class yet and really hoping to like this one. So far I have found this class to be quite interesting. At the start of Koyaanisqatsi I wasn't sure I was going to like it. After a while I began to find the images to be quite peaceful until they turn to a more urban environment. I think the director of this film is trying to convey the message that there is beauty in everything, the only problem is sometimes its hard to see where. The images of the trash in the street and the buildings being blown up I think are trying to symbolize that things aren't always so pretty looking but there are things that come out of those not so good looking images that are more appealing to the eye.

Environmental Aesthetics Blog #1

I'm Ashlee Dorning and I'm in my final semester at Thomas More. I'm a double major in Business Administration (concentration in Finance) and Economics with a minor in Spanish. I've taken one other philosophy class, Human Behavior with Father Twaddell. I enjoyed it a lot and I find deep thinking about the central questions of life really intriguing.

So far I'm enjoying the Aesthetics class. At first I found it hard to get into Koyaanisqatsi but after about 15-20 minutes have found myself enjoying the film. I find the message about industrialization to be really powerful and the scenes that show big business (such as Hostess or Oscar Meyer) and destruction (such as the building being imploded/collapsing) to be somewhat depressing although they still leave me awe-struck (in the sense that humanity has certainly accomplished a lot.) I think all of the scenes are able to be appreciated in their own sense, whether it's aesthetic beauty or the simple appreciation of human accomplishment (with the acknowledgement of what it has cost to get us here, namely environmental destruction among other things.)

I'm excited for the rest of the semester and feel like I'm going to enjoy the class and learn a lot!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Koyaanisqatsi & A Little About Me

I'm Megan Sparks! I am a sophomore sociology major and a RA in the residence halls here at Thomas More. I have only taken one other philosophy class, which was Death and Dying with Dr. Cate last semester. I really enjoyed that class and I feel like a learned a lot about human nature as well as death and dying. Hopefully, this class will be just as interesting and enjoyable! So far, I have been interested in watching Koyaanisqatsi but a little confused. As the film has progressed, I have been able to see that there is definitely an environmental theme going on. I am leaning toward the idea that the filmmaker is trying to show us that there can be beauty in any environment, rural or urban. However, there have been a few scenes in the urban setting that have been not so beautiful, such as the buildings collapsing and pictures of poverty and trash on the streets. I am interested to see other people's opinions on what the theme of this film is and what all the symbols mean.

Aesthetics Week One

This week of Environmental Aesthetics have proven to be very interesting. Thus far, we have discussed goals of the class, as well as the movies that we will be watching and discussing--all of which seem to be intriguing. I look forward to seeing all that this class has to offer in the coming months!

First Post of the Semester: Me and Koyannisqatsi

Hi, my name is Michael Kalfas and this (Spring 2013) is my first semester at Thomas More College. I have spent the first year and a half of my college career at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. While I loved Georgetown I felt I needed to make a change and I believe that God guided my here to Thomas More. I love basketball and baseball and I wouldn't trade my family for anything else in the world. So that's just a little about me.
 So far in Environmental Aesthetics I have been intrigued by Koyaanisqatsi and the different style that it brings to the table. When we first started watching the film on Wednesday of this week I remember being slightly confused because it is unlike any other film I have ever watched. I initially possessed the fear that I would find myself fighting off the urge to sleep as the film has only the musical score for sound. However, what I found as the time passed on Wednesday, as well as during today's class, was that when I stopped and just took the film for what it is I actually thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoy watching the progression of scenes from places where not many people go to the cities where many, many people can be found. While some scenes did not possess the kind of beauty that evoked a typical "awe" moment for me, I found that they each possessed a beauty all their own. While it may be hard to see, I believe there was beauty in the way Reggio stood back and just watched our planet, whether there was the traditional, picturesque beauty that we usually think of or not.
 Thanks for reading; I hope I didn't put anyone to sleep!