Engaged Citizenship Journey

Throughout ESST 317 I found myself in many peaks and valleys in my engaged citizenship journey. I posted a video that gives more information on my overall journey.


Things are starting to work out!

This last week has gone a little bit better then the last now that I am getting used to having nearly no meat. I want to first point out that I volunteered out at Caring Hearts Camp so I treated myself to the selection of meat that they offered at every meal. However, what I noticed is that meat is starting to taste gross to me. It’s as if there is this taste that I can’t get out of my mouth once I have it (I also have a weird body sensation similar to a food coma almost whenever I do decide to cheat and have some meat). I am unaware of why this is, whether it is my mind playing tricks on me or if it is an actual reaction to the meat. One thing I want to dedicate myself to is researching why meat is giving me this weird feeling. On a plus note I did decide to look into how much someone should be eating in a day, and I figured out how to receive a majority of my calories so that I don’t starve myself. Beans and rice are kind of the golden ticket in a vegetarians life so they kind of saved me from feeling like crap (supposedly from calorie deficit or stress). Overall I am still enjoying my journey becoming a less impactful human being.

First week into being an official Vegetarian.

Considering this is just a check in blog on how my active citizenship pledge is going I am going to make it pretty basic; I have been following my pact for the most part (broke only one day of my streak), but I am finding it difficult. To be completely honest I kind of forgot being a vegan is more hardcore than a vegetarian and I was honestly being a vegan for a little bit (yay?). That being said I was having trouble feeling full without fulfilling my protein barrier. Considering I was avoiding anything that came from an animal I was avoiding milk, cheese you name it. However now realizing that I was being extra hardcore makes the future a little easier. My next step in my pact is to educate myself on how much/what foods I should be eating considering I don’t have meat to provide me with Iron and certain vitamins/minerals. I believe in the last little bit I have been eating way less food that I am used to and considering there is no meat involved that means I’m probably not getting enough calories (which is definitely not a good thing). A deficit in calories means my body will start eating itself before it goes for my fat storage. This being said I am going to devote at least a half hour a day to find out about how much food/vegetables I should be eating and what vegetables are higher in certain nutrients.

Needless to say my fridge has like 10 cucumbers in it.

Living a life with a carbon deficit.

Over the years it is quite clear that humans have made a major contribution towards the current global warming crisis. I believe one of the many troubles our society is facing is the fact that we appear to be living in a global warming crisis and there is no clear evidence of action or change. In ESST we are being given the opportunity to create a commitment that will not only make us more active community members but will be beneficial for the growth of society. I believe it is my duty as a future educator to educate the next generation on how to properly use resources that limit their carbon usage (ex. electric vehicles, minimalism, growing their own food).

In order to cut down on our carbon usage as a society, we must find methods to combat carbon usage; I believe becoming vegetarian will undoubtedly reduce the amount of carbon I produce. I believe vegetarianism will be the first step in my activism to limit my carbon usage due to current day agriculture playing a considerable role in greenhouse emissions (5.1% linked directly to livestock). I want to begin the active citizenship journey by becoming a vegetarian which will not only cut down on my carbon usage, but also expose me to more resources that will aid my carbon deficit journey.

My connection to the curriculum can be expressed through the social studies outcomes:
– Analyze the social and environmental consequences of living in the Canadian mixed market economy based on consumerism.
– Critique the approaches of Canada and Canadians to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
These outcomes give a clear understanding of the Canadian Identity and how our current way of living is effecting the land. In the future I won’t necessarily be pushing vegetarianism, but I will be pushing the idea of how we impact the land as Treaty 4 partners.

** I got my statistics from this study**

So now its the end :(

Attached to this blog post is my youtube video that compliments this final blog post for ESCI 302.. (big sad face btw)

Throughout my Journey of Environmental Education 302 I have found myself shift a little. Prior to the class I had a little amount of knowledge regarding climate change, and my own personal connection with the environment. I simply was a person in that space in time that had very little connection with his surroundings. However as the course took over my life I became invested in the idea of my impact. I watched documentaries such as Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, and No Impact Man, these documentaries not only brought better understanding to my life, but made me want to change.

As the semester progressed I found myself donating a majority of my clothes, and focus on having as little and buy minimal amounts of clothing. This not only supported my mental health considering I have OCD, but it helped the environment in the sense that I did not consume a piece of clothing. I became more aware of what things are made of after we spoke with Brenda; I became more conscious of what was on the ingredients list. I understand what I am doing to the environment and I am on the consistent climb to change my actions in order to help support the fight for the planets survival.

Through the embodiment project, and inquiry project I found a better sense of my personal impact, and how I can impact students. I am grateful to be exposed to inquiry education (something that I did not know was a thing before this class), and projects such as the embodiment project. Due to these aspects I am slowly growing into the teacher I hope I am going to be; an understanding teacher with supportive project-based learning.

Overall I have a better sense of understanding in the space around me as I explained in my video. I didn’t give any audio in the video to put emphasis on the space in which I was walking. I was able to walk within nature, and the city and understand that there once used to be “open land”. Where there is concrete there used to be field, where there are trees there used to be many. Like I said in the video we can’t all snap our fingers and jump into a mode of climate change disruption; However, we can slowly move towards that point. The first step towards disrupting climate change is acknowledge your own personal impact. With that knowledge you can change yourself, and considering we are all going to be presenting our knowledge to the future generations, we can transfer our understanding into our students.

There was a word I was I looking for: Poststructuralism

IMG_5163.jpgIt is quite clear through taking ESCI 302 that I have a high inclination to use inquiry based learning when I become an educator myself. M.J Barrett says it perfectly in the Making (Some) Sense of Feminist Poststructuralism in Environmental Education Research and Practice reading. When I first starting reading this paper (despite it being when I first woke up) I didn’t really understand what poststructuralism meant. I don’t know if it was again because I just woke up or I was just skimming through the first little bit but it wasn’t until her “Discourse” area where it finally popped out to me; poststructuralism is the whole idea of disrupting the current way of learning. “ones that led me to see myself as an instructor who works to develop a ‘sense of wonder’ in my students within poststructuralism” pretty much speaks for how I have envisioned my classroom since day one. I have never been the strongest suited for school, and that was all of my life; I actually didn’t start getting “decent” marks until first year of University which makes no sense. However, with this never having good marks mentality I never enjoyed school for many reasons, but one of the main reasons (besides marks) was that it was boring! You sit in a desk all day in a fluorescent flavoured room with motivation posters on top of a bland white canvas. You sit there all day long as the teacher drills things (they were things to me) into your head; was the vision of school except for grade 7 and 8 where it became more lenient. Once I got the university I then realized why school was like this and it was the whole idea of westernized learning/assembly line learning.

Conformity is drilled into our heads into our lives in this day and age; you have to have specific characteristics in order to be considered attractive, you have to score high on a test because if this happens we know you are smart, you have to sit in rows so that you cannot form relationships with classmates. However I have always had this vision of an open concept classroom, one where the educator is merely the conductor of the train, but the students are the ones adding fuel to the fire. When looking at the portions of my life that I seem most successful in are moments where I had learned the trait on my own. I have such a strong imagination because my parents were never home because they worked 12 hour days everyday, so I improvised; I am decent at guitar because I taught myself in a way; I feel as if I have good people skills because parents were never there to help me solve my problems.

Overall I enjoy this idea of allowing students to go through school understanding that without them school is nothing, thus it should be student centric, not teacher and board. In my opinion (which could be wrong, IDK yet considered I’m not a teacher yet) school should be around the idea of the Journey, not the end result. Not every student learns at the same rate (I never understood the concept of your, and you’re until grade 10), and some will learn different aspects during different points of their life. School should be based around their current journey, and guiding them on that journey apposed to fitting a norm.

Our world kind of sucks

I wanted to take the time before I start my reflection of The Paris Agreement to mention the picture I have posted above. With the rise of the weather comes the rise of the litter and garbage that has assembled over the winter within my area. This is the second summer I have spent at the house we currently call home, and when the dam near by starts flowing generally the only revolting thing it pushes out is the disgusting “lake” water found behind our house but these year another factor has made its way in the damn, garbage. Normally the smell of the rushing water in the dam is enough to keep people away from it but now it just become more disgusting due to the pollution in the water where you can see plastic, and styrofoam cups everywhere.
This is where I refer to The Paris Agreement because I am downright disgusted knowing that the government is somewhat making an effort to help with pollution and climate change but that still does not stop people from littering. The sad thing about our current society is such as the first nations way of living (preparing for the future 7 generations) our generation only cares about the now, and ourselves. Rather then taking the time to find a garbage can to throw away a Tims cup, some people just throw them out of the window because that’s quicker and painless for them. I can’t speak as if I have never done such things before but I am becoming more aware of my impact on the environment and this is what pushes me towards changing my habits.

I want to refer to when we were ice fishing this season and I had a friend who would burn his styrofoam plates when he was done eating. I said to him “You idiot that’s bad for the environment” and he simply said “So?”. This is the problem the current generations have is that they do not know how their actions are impacting the environment. I have another friend who drives his truck around as a daily driver because he wants to show off, when simply having a smaller car would get the same job done with less impact. I think my duty as a teacher is to educate the next generations on their impacts on the environment. We live in a society where no matter what we do we will have an impact on the environment; even if we all drove electric cars, we still need to make roads to drive the cars on. What I want to focus on as an educator is minimizing the amount of impact one can have on the environment. It is unrealistic at this point to have a no-impact life because that is just the world we live in. However, we can work our way towards limiting our impact to make room for a more sustainable life.

In the middle of things!

My embodiment Journey through Environmental Education has been full of surprises considering the short amount of time that has been covered. Despite not fully committing to the whole “save the planet” party, I am becoming more and more aware of my impact and that has allowed me to diminish some of my selfish ways. Through my Journey with the Embodiment group that I have been placed in I am noticing great things that are happening in my life; one of which is having a more connectedness with my food! I am finding common themes in my blog posts such as my whiner traits coming out more than ever; I am finding common themes and slowly developing my environmental philosophy that I not only will incorporate as an educator, but mend into my every day life. I am also starting to form an understanding on why we need to change rather then how we can change. Overall I am slowly starting to turn into the cliche hippy (trying to be funny but secretly serious).
First off when looking at my embodiment journey, what better way to look at my connections to the course other than the blog posts? One of the many things I am noticing when it comes to my blogging is that I am very quick to jump the gun but never really explain myself. In my second commonplace blog I stated “Sure there ended up being ‘a’ form of vegetation on Earth in WALL-E when it is clear that the whole planet is seemingly dead but is there any way of truly knowing if we have completely killed our planet?” and this is a perfect example of me jumping the gun but not giving an answer to why I did that. As one can tell Brayden asked a question that he did not have an answer for or did not know what to do with. I found a couple more scenarios that this in my blogging but what I realized that I need to start doing is making sense, and answering my questioning/whining. Through my years in education I have been faced with many hardships and social issues that are kind of important (actually pretty important) such as feminism, equality and racism; however, whining and complaining that something is wrong can only go so far before one says, “Okay, now do something about it”. The problem with me is that I want to be able to have an answer to the statement “Do something about it” but I don’t at this point in my life. This is why in the future I want to focus more on leaving my whining out of my blogging unless I have a “plan” or an answer to how I am going to change to help the cause.
I also found that my very first post was centred around the connection I had with the earth physically (eating food, and breathing could be considered physical but this post was my physical body) and I have yet to explore that portion since and I’m curious to as why I haven’t. I think my first post had an intimate theme to it because snowboarding is something I love; I truly want to be in the mountains every second of my life but realizing that my grandchildren and future generations might not be able to experience the outdoors as I have is what scares me. I connected my physical body to the Earth in the sense that I am one of the contributions to the problem.
Overall, I have a sense that I am becoming more accepting, and willingly person when it comes to changing regarding climate change. I want to eat foods that not only cause as little harm to animals as possible, but have as little impact on the environment as possible. I want to understand the chemicals that I may be ingesting because that is simply how we preserve. I want to do all of these things because of my connection to the land, and the fact that this is my home and I am not going anywhere anytime soon. I want future generations to have the luxury of snowboarding, I want there to be a cheap way to travel the world without burning fossil fuels and destroying the world we live in. There are so many things I want to do to change, but also so many things in general that I want to do that have an effect on the environment. I don’t think the goal of Embodiment is understanding, I believe the end goal of this word is actually doing something to help.

Where the “Wild” things are


When I think about the word “Wilderness” I still envision human’s amongst the beauty because we are still are a part of nature, and wilderness. Regardless of religious or scientific belief, there is no doubting that humans have been on this earth for a very long time. I believe that humans are still a part of nature, and the wilderness because we live in it, it’s just as civilization as increased so has our ability to manipulate our surroundings to fit our needs (first starting with survival and eventually consumerism). Human life tens of thousands of years ago would be much different as what we know as life today but the point I am making is the fact that we did not come here, we are from here. So it’s near impossible (for me) to imagine a place that has been “untouched” by humans because we have always been here, and this is our home.

However that being said, our society has had such a change of pace in regards to consumerism, and industrialization given the rise of oil, and other non-renewable resources. Sure, humans are a part of nature but the way we are re-configuring the Earth is not. Regardless of belief, I don’t believe oil was meant to come out of the ground, or anything for that matter. Even when looking at the First Nations philosophy involving the ground; must give in order to take. We were not meant to bring stuff out of the ground, burn it for energy and have the bi-products of that reaction have an effect on our surrounding.