My Case for Enrichment

I’m not totally sure if this counts as enrichment; however I’m prepared to plead my case as to why I believe it should.

As I’ve stated so many times before, I work for the Center for Campus Involvement and we host… well it doesn’t really matter at this point. The point of the whole intro is that there was an event tonight in honor of Native American Heritage Month hosted in part by CCI and so I was working. Basically I swiped MCards and then got to hear the lecture and get paid, which is a pretty sweet set up; I know.

Winona LaDuke
Image from http://voices.cla.umn.edu

Here we go:

So reason number 1: The speaker is an author.

Winona LaDuke was the guest speaker and thus is reason number 1 as to why tonight’s event should be recognized as enrichment. To elaborate, Winona LaDuke is an author (see that, she writes… it counts) who primarily focuses her attention on sustainability and the environment as well as how these issues pertain to Native American tribes today.

Reason #2: I learned a lot about this Earth and it’s resources (it’s dwindling resources at that) that I had previously little knowledge on. Sounds a lot like enrichment to me…

She talked first about her tribe and her experiences as a Native American environmentalist. She then went on to talk about the issues surrounding sustainability and the environment today. She started with the obvious issue of climate change and how it’s affecting crops and animals and the life this Earth sustains. It was all stuff I’d heard of, but never really cared too much about. Then she went on to talk about fracking and how this country is being torn up and burnt down to piles of sand and oil and toxic waste that is ruining our land and our water. Lastly, she discussed food supply and genetic engineering. She talked about how much of the food industry is about business, not really about nutrients at all. That’s actually pretty hard to argue against nowadays.

Finally, reason #3: I learned a new way to think about sustainability and how to spread the word about it.

She concluded with an interesting take on these issues. She basically made the claim that this climate change because of the way we are living today is inevitably going to happen; however, what you do about that change is up to you. I was expecting her to say, “Save the Earth!” or something very dramatic. But I was shocked when she started to talk about how the change is coming and learning to adapt is crucial to survival. One of her examples was corn and how there are hundreds, or possibly it was thousands, of types of corn that can be grown according to what type of soil you are using. Her whole point was that eventually, the country and the world would need to adapt to generating food and energy that is local and is sustainable simply because there won’t be an option for outsourcing once the oil is gone. Which by the way is fairly soon. Like very soon. I saw the graph so just trust me.

 

There’s that. Enrichment. Lots of new knowledge from a Native American activist, environmentalist, writer, former vice presidential candidate for the Green Party, and the list goes on and on. She’s a really inspiring and down to Earth person. You should all look her up now.

Thank you.

2 thoughts to “My Case for Enrichment”

  1. I’m so happy you went to this event!! I was planning to go for a project in one of my courses for the Graham Scholars program (which focuses on sustainability leadership) but was stuck studying for two exams and had to miss it. It sounds like it was a great event and you learned a lot.

    I also think sustainability and language and writing in general have a really unique connection. In the first day of my Graham Scholars class we spent an entire hour and a half period discussing a definition of the term sustainability. Language really changes how we define and understand this complex topic.

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