I woke up this morning very excited because today was the last day of class and I was happy that I wouldn't have to worry about any assignments that I would need to turn in but then the sadness hit me because this would be the last time that I would see all the new friends that I made and today would be my last day in Chicago. After I was done processing all of this, I dragged myself out of bed and I got ready for my day.
I had breakfast for the last time in the dining commons today with Alexa. She was on edge for the most part of the meal because she had a 20 minute presentation to give in class today. I don't think that my energetic mood made her feel any better. I finished eating and I started my walk to my class for the last time. When I got to class, one of the students from China, Rong, was writing some of our names in Chinese on the board. She was close to getting all of our names done but class started so she had to stop.
Our final assignment was to create a blog and to post on it a few times writing about anything that we learned in class over the last three weeks. In class, we presented all of our blogs and walked everyone through it. We each then looked through the blogs and commented and shared some of the content. This particular assignment was my favorite because I really enjoyed thinking back to what we learned in the class and then we got to express that into our own words and publish it for pretty much the world to see. I decided that I wanted to blog about the definition of sustainability, The Climate Reality Project, businesses going green, and Interface.
After all of the blogs were presented we started to work on our collages. We had a bunch of magazines that we could choose from and large pieces of construction paper. The objective was to put anything that reminded us of sustainability or anything that we have learned in the class. As inartistic as I am, I enjoyed this activity very much and I got into it as I kept on going on. It got quiet when everyone was looking through the magazines to figure out which pictures they would use. I felt that everyone was digging deep and reflecting on everything that they learned and were trying to find the perfect picture to represent that. When everybody was all done, we laid the collages on the ground and we walked around them like in an art exhibit. We each took turns explaining what our collages meant for the rest of the class.
|Impromptu Art Show|
Everybody shared their collages and before we knew it, it was time to leave and go back to the dorms. Before we did this, we all stayed back to take lots and lots of pictures together and to give Aleen a thank you gift. We had all signed a thank you card for her, made from recycled paper I might add, and we also got her a seed for a forget me not that she could grow on her own. Most of the time after we were done making our collages was spent taking pictures together and saying good bye. This was the saddest part of my day for me. When you spend six to seven hours a day, five days a week for three weeks with people, you get very attached. Everybody there has made my experience in that class an amazing and unforgettable one. I'm thankful that I got to meet a wonderful and diverse group of intelligent people.
|Me and Aleen|
I made plans with my cohort to go into the city after our classes were over on Friday. I got back to my dorm room to change and then I went down to the lobby to wait for our car to come. Vicky said she had to finish some assignments for her class so she wasn't able to join us on our trip. Alexa and Dani never got a chance to go to Millennium Park so we decided to go there. We walked around before we found Alie and when we did, we walked through Chicago to get to the Navy Pier. This was our first time at the pier. I thought it was very unique because if you look from one side, you would see the open blue sea and if you looked at it from another side, you would see the skyscrapers. We had enough time to go on the ferris wheel before dinner. I'm not a big fan of heights so throughout the ride, I was paranoid that something horrible would go wrong but I think I did a good job of not letting my fear show.
We ended our night at dinner and then we took a car back to campus. When I got to my dorm room, I started to pack my things. This was when the sadness hit me again and I sort of didn't want to leave. I've learned so much in the past three weeks and I surprised myself at what I had achieved. I managed to retain concepts like sustainability, materiality, net positive, supply chains, and direct and indirect impacts. I was able to look at various sustainability reports published by some top companies and I understood what was they were talking about. I now know what to look for when assessing a company on their sustainability efforts. Looking back on my three weeks here, I don't think that I was expecting to take so much from this class and I am happy that I went above and beyond my expectations for myself.