2012 Student Environmental Retreat

We all have ideas. Ideas that spin and jump and dart in and out of the conscious confines of our minds. For me, most of these ideas have the lifespan of a fish bubble. They are tiny pockets of gas that ascend rapidly, gaining size and speed until they reach the surface with a triumphant pop…before disappearing back into the aquarium of lukewarm water. How many  new year’s resolutions would be kept, charities created, and dream careers acquired if we held on to our little bubble ideas? I wonder what would happen if we didn’t shake our heads quite as much, acknowledging our newest inspiration as “just plain crazy”? Well this is my bubble idea turned reality.

I got thinking about all the interesting and dedicated students who have a passion for the environment. Environmental Studies as a major has grown astronomically in popularity and I don’t see that going away any time soon. Our generation is already dealing with climate change, threatening weather patterns, increasing population, and decreasing food supply. We are the future leaders with the responsibility to look toward the future and turn international conversations into realistic action plans.

I came back to school in the fall with a thought. Why wait for leaders of the world to come to an agreement on the energy crisis, CO2 reductions and policies on sustainable development? Change can just as easily start with the youth in America as anywhere in the world. And so, with the tremendous help from Cathy Myers, the executive director of the Bucknell University’s Environmental Center, and Carol High, the program support coordinator, the 2012 Student Environmental Retreat was born.

What: The 2012 Student Environmental Retreat

Who: Participants from eight liberal arts colleges and universities from Pennsylvania: Gettysburg, Lycoming, Susquehanna, Franklin and Marshall, Villanova, Dickinson, West Chester, and Bucknell

What: The retreat is a two-day event where students have the opportunity to present and exchange a variety of environmental programs currently working on their college campuses. Students and faculty advisors share ideas and create individual campus-specific action plans  to implement at their home universities based on the projects discussed at the retreat.

Where/When: Bucknell University’s Conference Center on February 11th and 12th.

I uploaded the Invitation Letter and Proposed Agenda for easy reading. The application can be found here and the deadline is January 20th 2012. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding the content or deadline.

I highly encourage any undergraduate student who attends one of the aforementioned schools to consider attending. If nothing else, the retreat is a great way to meet people who are similarly dedicated to your own goals and aspirations. Want to change the world? The time is now.

Well the time is actually February 11th and 12th but you know what I mean.

Click for 11 BEST ENVIRONMENTAL MESSAGES
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Senior in College

It’s raining today in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. A slow and steady rain that knocks against the leaves outside my bedroom window. The weather is still warm and muggy and I’m reminded of the Philippines weather during rainy season. My summer experience feels so far away.

Being back at college for my final year is wonderful. My five girlfriends and I have moved into our new house, nicknamed Blue Crumbles, and are slowly learning to cook dinner, take out the trash and wait in line for the single shower. My room is the biggest room I’ve ever had and I feel like I’m coming home every time I climb the stairs and open the first door on the left. There is a sense of freedom gained from living off campus, a sense that life is slowing down and waiting for you to catch your breath. And that’s the catch. Life isn’t waiting, isn’t looking behind with an outstretched hand. Life is sprinting full speed ahead and you close your eyes hoping you’re moving in the right direction.

I could write about my first desperate attempt to cook dinner which resulted in the blandest eggplant dish known to mankind. I could detail the hours of sorority practice and conversations for recruitment in order to snag the best pledge (we did). Or the last Dance Company auditions I would watch, multiple attempts to begin my thesis and grabbing lunch with friends I haven’t seen since sophomore year. My last two weeks have been great but the words end and last continue to creep into my brain, a shadow of self-doubt about the future that lies ahead.

I took my senior pictures last week and got through most of the fake half-smiles before realizing the reason for the pictures. Wearing a cap and gown and posing with the tasselled hat against my chest I felt strange and confused. Later in the week I sat in my first 3-hour LSAT prep class and thought about the step after the preparation, after taking the test. Law school. Do I want to be an attorney? I can’t even decide what I want to make for dinner let alone the next three years. And considering I signed up 3 days after the deadline and have to drive 40 minutes to the test site I would say I have long-term planning issues.

So my blog is not going to turn into senior year quibbles but I needed a chance to say my future is fuzzy. And how that can be daunting at times, the way the night sky looks when the blackness extends outward into space. But I can only live one day at a time and today was a pretty good day.