Throughout this class I have become incredibly less plant blind compared to when I started just a couple months ago. The fact that I know what the term plant blindness means now tells me that I am less plant blind that I was before. Also, through going out and seeing trees, making connections from the classroom to the forest, and doing blogs, I know I can recognize plants better and tell others about plants. Now I also have the ability to explain to others the importance of plants and everything they do. Although people know plants are all around us, they do not understand the role that plants play for humans. They are involved in every person’s life whether they realize it or not. During a blog I discussed how plants can even affect a real estate agent because property’s prices will go up or down because of location and location can depend on the view it has. This is like my family’s house in Maine. Everyone there loves to go up there in the fall and look at how breathtaking the foliage is. Yes, I feel that I learned a lot about tree, their bark, leaf type, and many other things that I had no clue about plants before I started this class. Yes, this class was very enjoyable because we would learn inside and then experience and learn more outside. No, I would change nothing about this class. My favorite part of this class was learning inside and outside of the classroom.
For my current events, I decided to talk about chocolate, something that mostly everyone loves. I spent most of my 6th grade year learning about chocolate due to an obsession by my teacher. Although learning about chocolate in 6th grade seems like something that is insignificant, but I still remember many of the things that we learned about. Such as, the actual seed that is made from the tree is called cacao and then that is ground into cocoa. Also, the growing range for cacao trees is within 20 degrees north and south of the equator, making Hawai’i the only US state that can grow cacao. Finally, white chocolate contains 0% cacao and is really not chocolate at all. I also still am always interested in conversations and articles about chocolate. That interest in chocolate combined with my interest in last week’s discussion on global warming made me search about how global warming has affected chocolate and cacao plants. To my surprise, the rise in temperatures are not the real issue for cacao. This is because there are places that grow cacao that have warmer temperatures. The real problem that global warming has on cacao is the fact that the warm temperatures are drying out the soil and the air. The humidity is being affected and that is what is truly hurting these plants. However, farmers know this and due to technology and early action, cacao plants can be saved in several many ways, meaning we will not lose chocolate just yet.
This experience did not change my view of invasive species at all. I knew going into the activity what invasive species were and what they did to environments. However, I had never seen one in person. That was the experience that I will remember. The lady told us to look across the street at the forest and then look at their side and compare them and it was so incredible to see the differences in the look just because they had knocked out 7 out of the 9 miles worth of honeysuckle.
My view on community service has not changed. That was very grueling work and a applaud anyone who goes out and helps out those people who head up the project. I even applaud the two people that were there helping us out even more because they are there so often, looking over everything, making sure everything is going smoothly, and so many more things. And they do not many money off of this. They give up their time in order to do this as a service for others and it’s amazing. They pathway that they want to create is an incredible idea for the surrounding communities. There are many different ways people will now be able to enjoy the forests in oxford.
I did not gain any valuable learning experiences from this sadly. It was definitely very interesting to see all of the honeysuckle and how it made the forests look so different, but other than seeing that, my scientific knowledge on honeysuckle and invasive species did not increase because we were more doing manual labor that showed us the honeysuckle instead of teaching about it. I do not really have any suggestions of what to do in order to improve this activity for future classes. Personally, I did not thing the experience taught me much about honeysuckle but it was interesting to see it in person.