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Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life is AWESOME!

Ok, so it's definitely been way too long since my last post. Since August 5, my last time writing on Green Gal, I went backpacking, learned things about myself that will help me find balance during the new school year, made new friends, moved into my new home in the forest of UC Santa Cruz, learned how to become comfortable with co-ed bathrooms, and officially became a college student! No wonder I haven't posted for so long!

I just put my first load of laundry into the washing machine in my house's bathroom. Actually, it's my first load of laundry that I've ever done by myself (ok, so my roommate Monica helped me, but next time, I'll do it solo!). Since I have half an hour before it's finished, I figured I'd pass the time by updating the blogosphere on my life and happenings.

It's fairly well known that UC Santa Cruz is a pretty "green" place. Recycling and reducing and all that good stuff is really prevalent. Living in a forest helps maintain the respectful mentality, at least for most people. We have wildlife living among us--I see deer every day, raccoons most evenings, and squirrels are everywhere. We can also see Monterey Bay from many places on campus. I can walk for less than 5 minutes from my dorm room and see either the ocean or be completely surrounded by trees. Being that close to natural beauty is a good reminder of what we should aim to protect and keep wholesome. The other morning, my friend and I hiked into upper campus and explored the trails. The next day, we met at 5am on the Stevenson Knoll to watch the sunrise--the weather was awful, so we just sat in the cold for a few hours. But the ocean was right there in front of us and the forest was behind us. I live on the best campus ever!
Exploring upper campus


In late August, I went on Wilderness Orientation through UC Santa Cruz. The trip was hugely important in my realization of things about myself that will help me with college so I don't become overburdened with any one aspect of life. Balance, balance, balance. On the trip, I made some really awesome friends. It's so fun to see other kids from Wilderness Orientation around campus. We all have t-shirts from the trip and everytime I see one I'm tempted to shout "WO!"

Yesterday was OPERS Fest, the Office of Physical Education, Recreation & Sports festival. Various organizations from all over campus had booths with sign up sheets and free stuff (which is ALWAYS super wasteful, unfortunately). There was an entire tent area devoted to the environmental groups on campus. I had already signed up for many of their email lists, but picked up fliers and looked around. I hope to find one that I really enjoy, so I can become involved in the environmental effort on campus. My college, Stevenson, has its own environmental group, and it's starting a garden, which I may become involved with. Instead of dining hall food for dinner, the festival served local, sometimes organic vegetables, fruits and bread. I had some delicious tomatoes, and lots of strawberries. Yum!

Classes start tomorrow, which is terrifying and exciting. I'm looking forward to getting into a routine because this past week has consisted of a lot of little events scattered throughout the week and tons of wandering around trying to figure out something to do. Welcome Week has been fun, but it does feel like it's time for work to get done.

Yesterday my boyfriend Ari, whom I met on WO, trimmed my hair because it was getting too long and I refused to go to the barber. He did a nice job, and I didn't have to go to the salon and waste all that time and money and water. (At salons, they always wash your hair and use up shampoo and then waste energy drying it. Just find a nice boy with a pair of scissors!)

Last night, they closed the Boardwalk to the public and the whole place was filled with UCSC students. I hadn't been on rollercoasters in about a year, and it was definitely a thrill to get thrown around and up and down. Afterwards, I put my bare feet in the ocean and looked at the large moon resting in the cloud-blanketed sky. As the water pulled at my ankles and sunk me into the sand, I thought about how lucky I am to have places of solace where I can retreat when classes get stressful and I need to unwind.

Well, my laundry is probably just about finished washing. I hope to get back on track with posting to Green Gal, so I will try to make an effort to post at least once a week. Thank you for reading :)

Happy Fall!
Green Gal

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for capturing these moments and sharing them with us. You're off to a wonderful start in college. Good luck tomorrow with the first day of classes!

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  2. Thanks for catching us up, Green Gal! Best wishes, have fun, and maintain balance!

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  3. Sounds amazing! It looks beautiful. I have only been to the Los Angeles/San Diego area and I live in Texas.

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