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Showing posts from October, 2010

Herbology 101

Lower Campus this morning

Earlier this quarter, I was looking through the Recreation guide for interesting classes or workshops to register for and I came across an Herbology class through the Holistic Health Program. I am fascinated by ethnobotany--how different cultures use or have used plants, both medicinally and in general--so this class appealed to me immensely. My family and I have been utilizing holistic medicine (homeopathy, accupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine) since I was a child, so the class appealed to me as something I'm familiar with. I signed up for the three-day class and looked forward to learning about herbology in a more detailed and formal way than I had ever before.

Thursday was the first day of the class, and I took about 15 pages of notes in my small green notebook from 6-9 PM about a bunch of different plants and their uses, the history of herbology, what the difference between food, herbs and pharmaceuticals is, and what questions to ask when identifying …

Rain!

It's been quite rainy here in Santa Cruz this past week, and tonight's rain has been quite talkative...whispering drip-drops and pitter-patters all over the ground for hours. In a world devoid of concrete, the noises rain makes would be quite different. Living in a small dwelling like an Ohlone tule hut would bring you right into the middle of the rain. We live in houses with hard, thick surfaces that create drumming noises and separate us from the world of rain. A tule home would muffle the falling drops' noises, and the damp earth all around would cushion the rain's landing. The smells would be so pungent. Imagine falling asleep in warm deerskin and furs, hearing and smelling the rain as it falls right outside the thin walls of your tule home. Many years ago, before students dwelled on this forested hill, people lived like this, closer to the rain and in some ways, more in tune with that cycle of rain, nourishment and growth. Many people see the rain for its wetness,…

Right Now

I am on a high right now for two reasons, from the coffee I had two hours ago, as well as (and more importantly) from the amazing evening I've been enjoying with my friend Tanya. We have History: The World to 1500 together and she lives two floors above me, so I've gotten to know her through early morning breakfast and time spent in the House. Every time we talk, we get into something REAL, and I gain insight into her perspective. Talking with her this evening, I realized how much I need to be involved in something with Native American cultural studies. It is my driving force; I am called to study the California Native culture, and I know I need to do something with that passion so I can benefit others. I went to a film screening of The Canary Effect last night, a film about the genocidal policies the United States government has had toward the indigenous people of this land. It hit home for me that Native American culture is not only the culture that developed before contact …

Sustainable UCSC, PTAGS & Gilgamesh

Knowing me and my crazy involvement in clubs last year, it's no surprise that I joined the sustainbility club through Stevenson College, PTAGS (Path To A Greener Stevenson). Tonight was our second meeting of the year, and I have realized that I come back from the meetings with lots of great energy to be sustainable and spread my passion for nature to all the world!

I have homework I should be doing, so if this blog seems poorly-written, it's because I'm rushing! I felt a great need to write a post since I am bursting with so many awesome experiences.

I want to share with you some of the things UCSC does to be sustainable--it's truly a way of life for many students at this campus, which is an inspiring change from the peer group I had in high school. Here's a list of some things that I learned from a handout from the Sustainbility Office...and I added some of my own from my observations:

- All new and remodeled buildings on campus meet LEED criteria
- There's a zip…