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The Everglades National Park
FIU IDH 4007


on a Bicycle has Made Me a More Complete Person


  Jeanette Piotrowski
IDH 4007
Journal Entry #3
Spring Semester 2001

    Last spring when we were handed our fourth year course options this everglades program appealed to me for more than one uneducated reason. First I thought cool, school every other Friday that will get me out of work for at least two semesters. Then I thought there could be some advantages to this program, I could finally see this enormous swampland with man-eating alligators and ferocious Florida Panthers. But what I ended up finding was something completely different.

   Although at times I do admit to moaning and groaning over journals and books, I have found a world I did not think existed. A peaceful and serene ecosystem that is as fragile as the human body, only miles away from the growing metropolis I call home. This has changed my perspective on many issues and has ultimately made me a more complete student. And sure I don't mind riding a bike all day as opposed to working behind a large desk with dim lighting.

    It is sad to say that before this course I was not very interested in any environmental issues. Sure I liked nature enough to want to keep it around and I did and do contribute to the humane society, but to be supporter of any particular cause I was not. If you asked me when is earth day or what is wrong with our environment I would logically spew words that personified the problem: pollution, the green house effect, over population, trash. Now these same words mean different things to me, they are not only the problem but also are a part of the solution.

   A large contributor to my new mindset is this course. I never thought signing up for field trips to the everglades would change my life in such a way. Actually it is a rarity to walk away from a course with such ambiance, not since my high school English AP class have two professors touched my life on such a personal level. Truthfully riding a bike or canoeing or sloughs slogging have all contributed to this invaluable experience, because I would in no way feel this way without those hands on adventures. As to tell you that many of my fondest college memories have been formed these last two semesters. But in all honestly this could never have happened without the two people who loved the everglades enough to want to share their Fridays teaching a group of rowdy and at times unenthusiastic students. So what started out as a reflection on how this course has ultimately made me a more complete member of our community has turned into a thank you for all your time and patience. You both have added priceless ideals and countless memories to my life.

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Everglades Information Network & Digital Library
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