Emerson

January 28th, 2008

Emerson had a similar views and thought of nature as that of Thoreau.  The difference is in the way they present these ideas.  Emerson draws on history to describe nature more than Thoreau.  Emerson utilizes metaphors with direct references.  To me, Emerson had somewhat of a bigger vocabulary, which made it hard to follow and a little boring.  Thoreau was more accessible in the way he used his words.  It was more interesting to read than Emerson.  His views were more on the thoughtful side.  Emerson’s view on solitude is that even if you are alone and in private, there is still nature around you (in the forests, in the sky, etc.), so you can never be completely in solitude.

Walden

January 22nd, 2008

Thoreau’s description of the non-human world fits into Cronon’s discussion of wilderness well.  They both tell of the feelings they get when they are alone in nature.  They both describe wilderness in a way that tells of them getting away from society and describe its beauty.  However, Cronon made it seem like Thoreau was growing terribly lonely in the wilderness, and after reading through “Walden”, I would have to disagree.  Yes, he was alone, but I do not think he was going mad or had cabin fever, at least to an extreme. I think he finds wilderness in his mind.  He is not far away from civilization (there is a train that goes by his cabin to remind him of that), but he still has a sense of wilderness and being in nature in his time at Walden Pond.  When he sleeps at night, he hears nature and feels the untampered air around him.  He uses all that he can from nature (grows food to eat, cuts trees, etc) and succeeds in being self-sufficient.  The main perspective of life that Thoreau gains from all this, in my opinion, would be that you do not need everything that people usually depend on to live a happy life.  Although this was just an experiment for him, he was content with his simple years out on Walden Pond with what nature gave him.

At first, I was confused on which side Cronon was on.  He told how the wilderness was historically supposed to be a wasteland and deserted.  After saying that, he told of how the wilderness was thought of an ethereal place, where one can find God or just feel in awe to it.  He then wrote how wilderness was being misused in present days, and I agree with that.  We as a whole aren’t doing a whole lot to save the environment.  My friend posted a website on her facebook a couple days ago.  This website tells of the resources we have and use today; how they are taken from the environment, how they are manufactured, how they are distributed about the world,  and how they are consumed and disposed of.  From what I have seen on this site, it is awful at what is happening to wilderness in our world.  I have not had many “wilderness” experiences in my life, because I had little to no true wilderness around me when I was growing up.  My family has only recently gone on vacation to national parks in the United States.  We visited Yellowstone National Park, and it was what I pictured wilderness to be, despite the other humans and roads going throughout the park.  When we visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the vast craters and small patches of trees and grass throughout the lava-torn landscape made me feel so insignificant in this world.  

Bio

January 16th, 2008

Hello, my name is Michael Drayer, Mike for short.  I was born in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, but basically grew up in Woodbridge, VA.  I am currently trying to double major in Computer Science and Music.  I have become interested in psychology and english, however, so my major might change in the future.   My interests include music (I play guitar), photography, and playing games with my friends.  To be quite honest, I signed up for this seminar because I had the pleasure of registering for classes on the last day and this was one of the few that were not full up already.  This seminar seemed like the best one out of the ones that were available.  I was intrigued on the first day of class though, because my mom is from Nicaragua and came to the United States when she was 21 (1976).  It will be interesting to read the literature that came from there.  As for my first semester of school, I have learned a lot from the experience and have challenged myself to do better academically this semester.