Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sustainability Guest Speaker

This morning, class didn’t start until 9:30 AM for me because we had a guest speaker coming in at 10 AM so I laid in bed reviewing the notes of what I read last night. I lost track of time and before I knew it, it was 9:20 AM. I feel like I’m starting off really bad with trying to take care of myself by missing breakfast but I couldn’t think about that because I was about to be late. After I gathered my stuff, I made a mad dash for my class room and made it just in time.

Our guest speaker was Ted Steck. He used to be Aleen’s teacher and now he spends his time lecturing on sustainability. The night before, we had read chapters from a book called Ecological Economics and the lecture notes for the next day. I read Ecological Economics first and I noticed that the lecture notes outlined a lot of the main ideas that the chapters in the book presented. One of the chapters in Ecological Economics gave us a crash course in economics and its basic principles and the other chapter tied in what we learned about economics into the environment. It was a lot of heavy reading for me and I understood most concepts but other ones were difficult for me to grasp. Once I was done with that reading and I looked at the notes that we were given by Ted, I saw that a lot of what he was going to talk about was what I had just read. Personally, I was glad when we were going to go over command and control on the government’s part because that made little to no sense to me.

After Lunch Assignment
I found his lecture to be very interesting and engaging. Everybody in the class got really into it and we were all asking questions about the topic at hand and we would sometimes get off track and talk about things like closed and open economic systems and other countries being sustainable but it was alright because we were only furthering our knowledge. Ted’s lecture made everything that I read in Ecological Economics clear and I’m happy to say that I now have an understanding of economics and environmental economics. Before we went on our lunch break, Aleen split us up into groups and gave us assignments to do. We were to add a new sustainability category to the list we already had or think of a sustainability performance index to add to a category and we had to think of three recommendations that we could give the government and economists as a new way to measure economic growth in addition to the GDP. We were given documents to make our decision and I learned that it wasn’t too difficult to come up with things like this; all you need is the appropriate material and minds to come together and brainstorm.

The afternoon portion of our class was filled with presentations from the three different groups, a reflection of what we learned the day before, a look at our GreenBiz assignment, and explaining what we are going to be doing tomorrow. We will be visiting three companies tomorrow called, JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), Edelman, and Baker & McKenzie. All three of the companies are different in that  JLL specializes in real estate, Edelman is a public relations firm, and Baker & McKenzie is a law firm. All of these companies in one way or another is practicing sustainability. Tomorrow, we have speakers from each company who will talk to us and then we will be open to ask questions. After researching the ways that these companies are going green, I’m excited to ask if they are planning to do more and if they, what they will do next.

Study Time
My afternoon was way more relaxed than yesterday’s. I went to Starbucks with some of the kids from my class and then I isolated myself so I could finish the pre-reading that was assigned to us in preparation for tomorrow. It was long but there were also a lot of charts and graphs and it wasn’t too dense of a read. I was able to finish it before dinner which was good because it meant that my evening wouldn’t be too tiring. After dinner I went with Alexa and Dani to get some studying done. I reviewed the notes for today and I also reviewed some of Ecological Economics and I saw that everything now made sense to me. When I was finished with that, I did my homework on all of the companies that we would be visiting tomorrow and prepared the questions that I would ask.

I feel like I did a good job with managing my time today. I accomplished everything that I planned to do and I had some extra time to socialize with those around me. The only thing that I wish I didn’t do was skip breakfast. When it got close to lunchtime in class, I was starving and I wasn’t too focused. Tomorrow morning I will definitely get breakfast and I will set an alarm if I have to. It will be really important that I eat tomorrow because I have a field trip to attend. I’m really excited because a lot of teenagers don’t get the opportunity to talk to some of the people that Aleen has planned for us to meet. She says she’s bringing out her big guns to make this trip really special and memorable for us. I already feel like it will already be special and memorable just from the way she talks about it and I am excited to see how it all plays out. 

1 comment:

  1. One of the best ways I found to make studying more exciting was to find new cozy cafes - seems like you've already tried it!