While brainstorming a topic to cover this week, I continuously found myself thinking about everything I still needed to complete for graduation in three weeks. If graduation has also snuck up on you and you’re freaking out because you’re not … Continue reading
The weather’s finally decided to turn cold, Starbucks is selling their peppermint mochas, and Walmart has had the decorations out since mid-October, so it’s nearly impossible to forget that Christmas is only a month and a half away. It’s common … Continue reading
In college, it’s inevitable that you’ll get sick at least once in a semester. That’s just what happens when you come in contact with almost everyone on campus on a daily basis. Yes, the school has hand sanitizer stations all over campus, and yes, people use them often, but somehow those super sneaky germs still manage to get to us and spread like crazy. Below are a few tips on how to avoid getting sick and what you should do if you don’t feel well and end up having to miss class.
As you all know, I have started my final semester here at LMU, and while I’ve already let some senioritis creep in, there’s roughly a million different papers and projects I still need to do before I can graduate, including my senior seminar paper and presentation. I had definitely been dreading this paper all summer because I had absolutely no idea what I even wanted to write about. I went back and forth on a few topics, but none of them really stuck. It wasn’t until we watched a documentary about Temple Grandin in my large animal management class that I figured out what my paper topic would be.
This semester, in order to fulfill the rest of my 300-level credit requirements, I decided to take a class called Environmental Geography. When we first got started, I thought that the only things we would learn about were the major environmental issues the world is faced with today (pollution, global warming, etc.), but I was pleasantly surprised when we began with learning about the different ways in which people view nature and how they go about utilizing everything it can offer. The lesson began with us labeling different things as having intrinsic value, instrumental value, or no value at all, based on our own opinions.
If something has intrinsic value, it means that it has value in itself; its unique characteristics are what make it valuable. Most people would assign intrinsic value to animals and humans because they’re living things and their life is valuable. Instrumental value would be assigned to things that do something for you or enhance your quality of life. This would normally be assigned to technology, automobiles, etc., but some people, like hunters, for example, might assign instrumental value to the game they hunt because those animals provide them with food. The point of the exercise was to get us to realize that even organisms such as mosquitoes and snakes have intrinsic value because their extinction would cause a significant domino effect in the food chain, forcing certain species to die of hunger.
The next portion of the lesson centered around environmental ethics and which of the three, anthropocentric, biocentric, and ecocentric, we personally felt we subscribed to. You’re anthropocentric if you assign intrinsic value to only humans and you believe that nearly everything else has instrumental value. If you think that all living things have equal intrinsic value, then you’re biocentric, and if you assign intrinsic value to communities and ecosystems, then you’re ecocentric. There is no real right or wrong one to be subscribed to either; everyone has their own opinions, and I could see why each group thought the way they did. Personally, I’m a little bit of all three at times, especially when it comes to resources.
Every time I leave this class I always feel the need to spend more time just being in nature and enjoying its beauty and everything it has to offer, and after this lecture especially, I resolved to do just that.