SaintJoe H2O

In the space below, describe your first reactions to "The Enchanted Braid: Coming to Terms with Nature on the Coral Reef by Osha Gray Davidson." 

What sort of feeling does the first chapter leave you with?  From your reading of the first chapter, how is this book both similar to and different from a typical text you might read in a science course? Be text-based in your responses and provide ample detail to back up your claim.

Tags: Davidson, Osha, bookstudy, braid, coralreefs, enchantedbraid, reading, reflection, response

Views: 308

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Love seeing the "text/world" schema terminology there. I agree with what you're saying about that here as well. Tell me this: do you remember where you first learn to characterize literary "connections" along those terms?
I was amazed after reading just the tiniest bit of The Enchanted Braid. The book was written in such an intricate and beautiful way that at times, I found it hard to put down.

When the writing took a text book route, it was super informational. It stated facts about: color, name, and class of different animals; statistics for the ocean, as well as quotes from other books and scientists. For example, "...620 species of shrimp livin of corals." Along with, "If engineers could build a structure as tall as the Grand Canyon is deep, six of these monoliths could be dropped into the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench, one on top of the other- and the pile would sti8ll be nearly a mile from the water's surface." Also, "Rachel Carson wrote many true and important things... 'Who has known the ocean? Neither you nor I...'" However, with this book you seem to get the best of both worlds.

Osha Gray Davidson, the author, made my read flow easily and effortlessly. Unlike a typical textbook, there were tons of vivid expressions that had my brain busy matching colors, shapes, and textures to what he was describing. I even found myself laughing out loud at most of his metaphors and wanting to share them with my mother as she was driving me to practice. Softball is my favorite sport so it would only make sense that my favorite metaphor so far is, "...however, he tore back into the safety of the tentacles, like a base runner tagging up." Also, the way the book is written so creatively through Mr.Davidson's personal experiences makes it seem less like a text book and much more a story.

In conclusion I would just like to say I absoluely love the book!
Ahhhhh yes... the base runner simile. How can anyone who has ever negotiated a base path not instantly "get it" in that little slice of the story? I have seen that exact behavior on the reef and I can tell you that this was not a clumsily-constructed gimmick of a comparison. Just wait until you see the same. You'll smile so big the first time your mask will leak water in and around your nose. ;)
When I first started reading this book I thought, "Oh, Nash was right, it isn't boring!" So I continuded on with the chapter and I really enjoyed it. I thought that the use of quotes at the beginning of the chapters was a great idea- helped to set the scene for the chapter. It was obvious from the beginning of the book that this was going to be interesting and not just full of difficult words, complicated sentences, and information that couldn't really be used in real life. This book gives real life scenarios, which for me helps for understanding of the content.
An example of the difference between this "easy to read book" and "typical science course text" is the way things are described. For example in the book,"The Enchanted Braid," Osha Davidson describes coral reefs as,"...literally overflowing with life; wherever you look on the reef, you will find life in astonishing variety and abundance." (pg. 5) In contrast, the definition of coral reefs on wikipedia is,"...underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Corals are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters containing few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, and are formed by polyps that live together in groups. The polyps secrete a hard carbonate exoskeleton which provides support and protection for the body of each polyp. Reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated waters." ( I don't know about you but I would much rather have Davidson's definition rather than a complicated definition. This book is also informational for those who haven't learned about the ocean before. For me, reading the Wikipedia definition makes sense to me, but to those who don't understand about "polyps," "corals," and underwater life, would have to do more research.
Glad you're enjoying it. There is so much more to come. I like how you pulled a comparison between the two types of text. That certainly is a pretty striking juxtapositon there. Very telling indeed. For me what's best of all is how one telling of the story enhances the meaning of the other. If allowed to hold hands... those two approaches to understanding the world can together create a more dynamic understanding. Thanks for adding that. This post made me think...

I checked out that site and that definition is way to confusing. Davidson really makes it possible for the average jo to understand!
The Enchanted Braid is very different then other books and textbooks in many different ways. The author is a writer not a scientist. When he wrote this book he put a poetic feel to the book. Like at the beginning of each chapter he starts them with a quote. When I read this book its like it gives me facts but as well as details. Like I am seeing it through his eyes. But he is still giving you facts, but he is not just listing them. Another way is the author uses footnotes. He uses a lot in the first chapter. A textbook only uses a little in each chapter. This book uses SO much details, thats what makes it so fun to read. I read this and was like wow he isn't a scientist but he makes me feel like he knows what he is talking about. This book was good and fun I can't wait to read more.

Good Job on this book:)
I love the sense of humor the author has! This book is definately not a dry, boring text book. While reading, I felt like the author was ismply talking to me; teaching to me. Davidson continously drew me in, making me want to read more. I also loved his little quotes! Especially the very first one- "In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught." It all comes down to learning. The more you know, the more you can do! By reading this book, we learn more about the ocean and then we can take that information to possibly save the world. Cheesy, but it can happen!








so slowly



Sean Nash created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Sean Nash's 5 discussions were featured
Feb 6, 2014
Rylee Hanlan posted a blog post

Island Time

Living on Island TimeThe first couple of days were spent waiting on this and on that and it truly felt like a year had gone by.  The first day was spent waking up early and driving to KCI airport where after about an hour or so of waiting we finally got on the plane that took us to Florida.  I sat in the very back of the plane with Zach and McCabe and I learned a valuable lesson from Zach when you get your free drinks on the airplane "always ask for the can".  The next morning we split into…See More
Oct 23, 2013
McCabe Davis posted a blog post

A New Experience

I woke up early and went to meet everyone at the library. Once we got our passports and tickets we all headed to the airport. We took a flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  Once there we all we out to eat and I had a Mahi-Mahi sandwich and tried some oyster, steamed clam, and calamari.  I think out of those 3 I will only have the calamari again.  Then we got our rooms and got the information for the plane trip to Andros.  We had the rest of the night to ourselves and I went swimming and hung out in some…See More
May 21, 2013
Bobbi thompson posted a blog post

Loving the Bahamas!

I have known that I wanted to this program for a long time now. My brother did it back in 2003. I saw how much fun he was having learning the fish and then going out on the sail boats and seeing them in person. I saw what he brought back from the trip and it all sounded like so much fun i just had to try and go. So here I am! I took the class and went on the trip.Day 1 I couldn't sleep, I had to be up at 4:30 in the morning so we could meet at the library and and be at the air port around 6:20…See More
May 10, 2013
Lindsay Doolan posted a blog post

Time of my life!

Plane ride to Andros     My group got here 2nd and right once we got to Forefar we ate lunch and then got in the water.  I was ready to get right in and I saw so many fish.  Shelby Mills and I went snorkeling together.  The first fish we saw was a Beaugregory Juvenile.   Then we saw a sea slug.  It had orange and blue stripes going down its back.  Then we also saw an adult Beaugregory.  The next fish was a cocoa Damselfish.  This fish has a blue color on top ends and a dark spot on the upper…See More
May 6, 2013
MacKinzie Lillian Conard posted a blog post

Aye, Mon! (a.k.a. My Bahamian Experience/Greatest Week of 2013)

Where do I even begin? Or better rephrased, how do I start telling the tale of the most intriguing adventure I've ever gone on in my short 17 years of life? The most obvious answer would be to start with Day 1, which is only logical, but once you've started reading my account, I think you'll understand why I didn't know where to begin. Day 1- Friday, March 21st, Saint Joseph to Ft. Lauderdale Boy, I definitely wished I was a morning person that day. We met at a parking lot at East Hill's mall…See More
May 6, 2013
Shelby Glenn posted a blog post

The Bahamian Experience

Everything about the Bahamas was pretty much perfect. The weather, the people, the lifestyle, the water, the air, the night sky, and the people. Did I say people twice? Heck yes I did because the people truly were some of the coolest people ever.They were some of the most down to earth and friendly people I have ever met. There was even a statue of a pair of hands shaking to really reinforce the fact that they were very friendly people.The first day that we spent on the island I played some…See More
Apr 30, 2013
Shelby Mills shared their discussion on Facebook
Apr 15, 2013
Shelby Mills posted a discussion

Under the Sun-2013

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013Yesterday we arrived at Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to begin our adventure miles from home. Around 12:30 PM, 7 of us loaded a small plane with a pilot named Eddie (I got to be co-pilot!) and we set flight over the ocean. The ocean is simply breathtaking and magnificent. Looking the 5,000 feet down to the shades of blue wasn't full of much to look at but I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I was looking for something to strike my eye, to jump out of the water...SOMETHING!…See More
Apr 15, 2013
Rylee Hanlan replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"Although this chapter wasn't my favorite that I've read so far, I did learn some new and interesting things.. Like what Christmas tree worms are! And just how important sea grass is to the ocean. The reflection strategy that I used for…"
Mar 18, 2013
Jaycen LeeAnn Wilson replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"I made my key note about how everything is part of one. It's kind of like the lion king to me. Everything has to do with something. Or it's some disney movie like that. I loved this chapter, I think it was my favorite so far. I love how he…"
Mar 18, 2013
MacKinzie Lillian Conard replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"This book never fails to amaze me! I have always thought of a coral reef as being its own "island" because it is so diverse and strong by itself. However, Davidson very quickly points out that coral reefs are a small strand in a large…"
Mar 18, 2013
Rylee Hanlan replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"I thought the same thing when I was reading, and came across the term " Christmas tree worms" I google imaged it and thought they were pretty neat as well!"
Mar 18, 2013
Shelby Mills replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"Yet again, the seas continue to amaze me in their ability to support each other even when they get no appreciation. One thing in particular that I thought was simply spectacular about this chapter were the Thalassia and their development of mature…"
Mar 18, 2013
Lindsay Doolan replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"Everything you write about in these discussion's are so creative and I really enjoy reading them. They are usually the first thing I read because it opens my mind about what I want to base mine off of. Great job! Also your Sci-poe last time was…"
Mar 17, 2013
Lindsay Doolan replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"Okay, mine might seem boring because it is only talking about one thing. The Thalassia Testudinum a sea grass, but i found this story or part of this chapter really interesting. I thought it was beautiful how the 'parent' "bathes the…"
Mar 17, 2013
McCabe Davis replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Rise of Corals & The Heart of Lightness
"I think Shelby did a great job on his sypo. It explains how important the tropics are and how much the sun affects the life of diversity there."
Mar 17, 2013
McCabe Davis replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
"Mangroves, sea grass, and coral reefs. I never would have thought that these things would be interconnected so deeply. A braid within a braid. This chapter talks about how these three components are all connected and what roles they play. The only…"
Mar 17, 2013
Madison Steilen replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
Mar 17, 2013
Megan Makena Zimbelman commented on Kelly Drinnen's photo

Coral Patchwork

"I truly enjoy the intricacy of this shot.   I love how when one looks closely many colors can be found within this single image.  One of my all time favorite quotes is "Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint you…"
Mar 17, 2013


  • Add Photos
  • View All

Recent visitors:

from ScienceDaily:

© 2017   Created by Sean Nash.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service