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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...

Tags: #eb2013, 2013, Enchanted Braid, Osha Gray Davidson, discussion, eb2013, reflection, sharedread

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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

I agree with what you said about how this book just makes you want to read more. I can barely imagine the bueaty of the coral reef and it makes me really excited that I can take the rare opportunity to see it in this class. And experience the beauty of the the reefs first hand.
I love reading books with good imagery too! That's what made the chapter so enjoyable to read!
By just reading this first chapter I have realized so much about the world we live in. I have realized that as humans we really know nothing. There is so much in the world that we need to learn, but we're too worried about what everyone else is doing. We continue to destroy the coral reefs and continue to throw trash and waste in the waters, when we need to use them to learn. 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.
In the book it says " in some areas human activity has destroyed entire reefs, converting them into algae-covered rubble. Who knows what species, known and unknown alike, have already been wiped out?" For all we know we could have found a fish that had the cure to cancer in their blood, we would never know that because we wanted to build another mall of america and used the ocean as a trash can.
This book makes me feel so small.
" on a single coral reef surrounding one tiny Austrillian island, there are one thousand known species of fishes. Zoom in closer: a scientist has counted 620 species of shrimp living on corals." there is so much more we need to learn about the world.
I honestly did not want to stop reading the book. This book is somewhat similar to my zoology class, where we talked about different marine animals as well as land animals. While learning about the marine animals I learned there are thousands more types of fishes, not just gold fishes and tuna. Without reading ahead I think the book will talk about how the coral reefs changed his life, by just realizing how much more we need to learn about the world we live in.

I think this because in the preface it says "... I knew the flickering lights marked the coral reef five miles offshore, but that was the extent of my knowledge then." I think this is saying he knew nothing about the place he spent most of his time and then he learned and it changed his life. This book I think will change my life as well, I have a lot of learning to do and so does the rest of the world, this book might help the world a fraction.

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?

I think the world might be a better place to live if humans were more humble. If you didn't see trash every time you look at the side of the road. We wouldn't see coral reefs ruined because humans moved in there. I think it would take a huge percent of the population to get a process started and for people to get involved and stay involved in getting the world to a better place. I think in this class with the people we have in it we would have a very good chance of getting something public about the problems in the environment. We should help our world!!
Reading this chapter taught me a lot about the world we live in as well!! I really liked the reason you gave as to why we don't know as much as we should, that being that we are too worried about what others are doing. You're also completely right in saying that we are losing a lot of potentially life changing knowledge by destroying our coral reefs. What you said about that, the cancer curing fish, really made me realize that we truly don't know what we're missing out on when we destroy these reefs.
I agree with you when you say that there is so much in the world left for us to learn. We should never stop learning. And I believe that education is not respected and honored as much as it should be. For example, I am taking a painting class during one of my last hours at Central. I had the option to receive a free hour, or another free hour I might add, because of the marketing internship class that I am also taking. After much though and pondering, I decided to stay in my painting class because A. I love painting and if I ever want to further my education in art, basic painting skills will be nice to have and B. why would I miss out on an hour of further potential learning to simply come home and take a nap? I would be foolish to do so.

I believe that this book will too, change my life because it might possibly open up knew passions and love for me that I had not recognized or known of before. This class will also help with our gaining of knowledge greatly because it is a different experience, one that most of us have not had the opportunity to have.

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.

Wow this book is great! The Enchanted Braid, is so much like an yet not like a textbook. You still get all of the new information but with a whole new twist. The normal book can relate, because the author of this book uses vivid details to inhanse your own picture. It also has a great simily on page 8 "The reef is like a factory, with day and night shifts, separated Byatt thirty-minute "quiet period" when a few fish of either shift are seen." This showed me that fish do have similarities to a routine.

To look at this book as a textbook of sorts, the information is all there. The way it is writen is diffenet you can flip to the back of the book and look for one particular thing.

"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.








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Rylee Hanlan replied to Sean Nash's discussion The Outer Strands
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