You can’t have an environmental story without wanting to, or leaving your comfort zone, which is why my creative representation fits nicely with the start of the semester; coming out of our bubble of comfortable things (family, friends, school, our home) and engaging in the environment. The experience of going into the environment and out of your comfort zone is a story in itself.
I engaged with the environment in the summer of 2016; I went kayaking with a friend on Wascana Lake. This is something that put me out of my comfort zone, because I would never have done it by myself without my friend’s influence. I felt connected to the environment during this experience because I could feel the water with my paddle; I knew what movements to make with my paddle that would disturb the water (splashing it, pushing to move the canoe backwards,) or keep it calm (pushing the water normally to move the canoe forward).
I used a quote from David Orr’s article, “Homo sapiens… are launched into the biosphere” (p. 3) in my creative journal page. I thought this quote was the best for my drawing because the environment is something that you have to experience and not just learn about, in my opinion. Similar to when I went kayaking, I was not taught how to paddle or what to expect to see on the water, I learnt more as I experienced it and went back multiple times throughout the summer.
This brings me to environmental education. To me, EE is education through the lens of the earth and learning about what surrounds humans every day. EE allows learners to experience what they’re learning about, they can apply their knowledge to their surroundings and learners can strive to learn more about the environment with experience, without/minimizing formal teaching. In addition, EE can allow students to educate themselves about what interests them, and discover new experiences outdoors that further their knowledge and curiosity.
This experience has taught me that the environment is what is outside of your comfort zone and literally, outside, as my creative journal piece shows.