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March 23, 2013

Land Ho’!


Sorry, I’ve been freaking out lately. Time goes by SO fast at college. Even more so when I realize I’m a junior and only have one year left. They always say “Enjoy those years, I’d totally do it again!” but you never realize it until it’s getting too late. Why do we never listen…

This week has been relatively slow, which isn’t great because the next two weeks are going to be torture. I was walking around Jonas Clark and I saw a picture with two hands holding what looked like some mulch. I checked out the details, and I ended up going to an invited guest lecture here at Clark this week called the Black/Land Project. The researchers travel around the United States, interviewing  African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans and African immigrants about their relationship with the land and place.

The link to the site is here. It’s great because they are starting on the North East, currently starting interviews in Boston, NYC, and D.C. They talked about so much! How history influences the present and how integral history is to the stories of both the lands and the pasts, even if they weren’t necessarily involved there. After a fantastic talk, we broke out into small groups and discussed some of the questions raised by the talk.

It reminded me a lot of my Religion and International Relations class. We’re talking a lot about how peace can be solved, both with religious conflicts and through religion in some senses as well. (Seeing religion both as an instigator for violence and as a healing tool). But the point is that we talk about how religion is beyond time, that it roots us into the ground beyond our own life and the lives before us through the narratives we pass and the narratives we hope to create. Fun fact, more conflicts happen within religions than between!

I think it’s cool that we have this kind of opportunities. Not every school could you walk by a photo of some mulch and not have it be only about the garden society on campus. Here, we used the discussion of the Earth to talk about a real psychological issue – connections of both the individual, the environment, and society. Talking about that a little bit, my club, Undergraduate Psychology Committee, is getting conditional approval on starting to begin working on our next Conference! We’re looking to make it bigger and better than last year, expanding our reach to other UPC’s around Worcester and our theme at the moment is “Beyond Sustainability: Rebuilding Our Relationship with The Environment, Cultures, and Ourselves” so it’s all starting to link!

There’s not too much else to report! I’m starting my Honors thesis on rumors, so next week I’ll talk more about that!

Read more from Spring 2013

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