Growing up I was (and still am) a huge fan of Dr. Seuss, and maybe that is because he was my dad’s high school graduation speaker. Because he was a fan, I was a fan – and because of this, my childhood was surrounded by the world of Dr. Seuss. The Lorax was always a classic, and I’d reach for it pretty often. I definitely understood the message that Dr. Seuss was trying to convey, but I am not sure it really had an effect on the way I lived my day-to-day life. As we have learned in class, these children’s books, like The Lorax, The Giving Tree, and The Man Who Planted Trees, are all written to educate our youth in a way that is relatable. I would say that for me, the message was never really embedded in my head in the way that authors like Dr. Seuss wanted them to be.
I have a special connection to The Giving Tree as well. My all-girls high school had a tradition every fall and spring when seniors would perform fun skits, and those skits would be passed down every year to rising seniors. One of those skits was a reenactment of The Giving Tree. One senior was the tree, one was the boy, and one read the book aloud to the audience. Being that I was at my high school throughout all four years, I saw this skit a total of eight times. Every time, it was the same song and dance- the boy and the tree would be cute together, and everyone would react with an “aww.” Then at the end of the book, the audience was quiet and had nothing to say. It was obvious that everyone’s reaction was the same in that it was sad when the tree was personified and sacrificed all it had for the boy.
My own interactions with trees are pretty limited. When I was little I would always go wandering in the woods with my neighbors, and we were surrounded by an endless amount of trees. Every summer I go camping for a few nights in Charlemont, Massachusetts, where I am completely surrounded by trees. Even where I live now, in Collinsville, CT, I am pretty surrounded by trees because I live on the Farmington River. I was never one to climb trees, plant trees, or interact with trees, but they have always surrounded me. Because of this, I have always been connected to trees, but I haven’t actually thought about them, keeping me slightly disconnected from them at all times. I think that Dickinson has been the push that I’ve needed to realize why it is so important to be aware of the world I am living in because a majority of my peers here are so dedicated to it and have been educating me along the way.