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.
Start with the big picture. What sort of feelings does the first chapter leave you with? From your reading of the first bit, how is this book both similar to and different from a typical text you might read in a science course? Without looking ahead... what do you anticipate of the text to come? Why? How do you think this read might compliment the use of more traditional textbooks, etc? Be text-based in your responses where possible and provide ample detail to back up your claims. Use the general guidelines of the attached rubrics to keep yourself on track...
I'm curious, did you know what "Cloisonne" jewelry was? perhaps I'm showing my lack of a clue in this area, but I certainly had to look it up. For those of you who also had no clue... allow me to support your laziness:
And, if you're interested, an extended definition of such a word is helpful as well. I get it now.
I also agree that using the term "love" is rather out of step for the typical "life science" text, but then again, we've all begun to establish what is different about this particular genre. I agree that word works quite nicely here. Boy, that is a tough word to use. It is so overused that it often carries less impact than we'd hope. I'd even go so far as to say that's a risky word to use in this case. I like bold writing.
I'm curious. What about the first page had you so sleepy?
*Image courtesy of Beadinggem on Flickr via Creative Commons
This response certainly stepped out in another direction. I like your passion here. I think there is much to agree with. While, at my age, I might go with "humans tend to be rather short-sighted," you came out of the box swinging with: "Humans are selfish and don't care about anything else, We will do anything to get what we want. Even destroy the world we live in." I like it. While you always have to be careful in writing with such passion... if you do it well, and carefully argue your conclusions with facts, then it will be something exciting and provocative to read.
I also appreciate your feelings of "small-ness." Wait until you fly out over the reef. Wait until you are surrounded by it. Small is a good thing. We are small, we should feel small. It's just that we so often live so within ourselves that sooner or later we begin to be a bit blinded by our relative power... and the sometimes petty events of our daily social lives. Standing at the foot of a mountain is humbling. Swimming on a coral reef is humbling. I think humans could stand to be a bit more humble in general.
How do you think the world might be different if we really were more humble? What do you think it might take to get us there? Do you think any of that should be within the goals or objectives of this class?
Yes, you should always continue to learn. Being in college has taught me a lot about how you do more learning outside the classroom than in. I'm a studying Wildlife Conservation and Management with a minor in Speech Communications. I have been involved on campus and I can honestly say I've learned more being involved than in the classroom. For my major we are "highly recommended" to volenteer at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Reserve with anything that they need help with, that could be spending a day spraying mustard grass to helping teach a program. I have also be given the opportunity to get certifications through my major like GPS and Safe Capture:Chemical Immobilization.
"Coral reefs are literally overflowing with life; wherever you look on the reef, you will find life in astonishing variety and abundance." (Davidson 5).
Osha Gray Davidson has a wonderful way of etching an image in your mind with just his words! The vastness and extreme chaos of coral reefs were expressed wonderfully through this book, making it extremely easy to imagine everything he was trying to describe. It was enthralling to read about his experiences swimming on the Great Barrier Reef. Like many have commented before, this is no ordinary science textbook! That's what I love about it, that it's from a writer's point of view. I feel like I learned more from this chapter than reading the first chapter of a text book, or at least more of what really goes on in the coral reef than just the number of species of fish or plants.
I agree with Shelby G. about how my image of a coral reef changed when Davidson compared it to a rain forest! I've always thought rain forests to be this huge abundance of wildlife and bugs and plants and all things you could imagine. Just looking at the cover of the Enchanted Braid you can see tons of different types of organisms, but the comparison to the rain forest makes it seem like so much more. There are hundreds of little organisms where we can't even see!
I anticipate that there will be more in-depth descriptions and explanations of coral reefs and more about how they made the author feel when he was swimming through them. I love the way Davidson is dedicated to the coral reef and even calls the water his obsession. I hope he continues to express his love for coral reefs and the ocean itself and be as descriptive and colorful as he has been!
This response was well written. I know what you mean when you say it was enthralling to read about his experiences!They really grab and take hold of your imagination.