Use Value

I have spent a very good chunk of my semester with my tree whether it is for this blog or I just needed a place to hangout. Its been harder to spend a lot of time with my tree over the past couple weeks because of the cold weather, even though my tree does not seem to mind. It sounds odd but because of the time I have spent with my tree I feel at peace when ever I am with my tree or at least walking by him.

Use-Value is defined by Gould in The Marxist Glossary as “anything that satisfies a human want”. For me as an individual my tree has provided more use value than I could of imagined a tree could. For me, my tree has gave me a sense of comfort, whenever school and life felt too hectic I would retreat to my tree to slow everything down. When I am with my tree I can slow my thoughts down and think about one thing at a time rather than my brain racing trying to figure everything out at once.

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My tree has most certainly served it’s use value on campus. Whether my trees full with leaves or naked with non he still adds a great sense of beauty to campus. One of nicest places on campus in my opinion is Morgan Field and my tree makes Morgan Field a very nice place to among his other tree friends. Students that live in Adams Hall or near Allison Hall see my tree everyone morning afternoon and night and they might not even notice but he adds a sense of calmness and relaxation to the area. All the times I have visited my tree animals such as squirrels and birds would spend a lot of time in my tree or underneath. These animals even found a use value for my tree by using it for shelter.

Globally my tree is used for its bright colors and beautiful look. If a female Chinese Pistache is planted nearby a male they can grow red berries, which animals can use as a food source. Globally people also cut down trees and use them for paper, houses, art …etc.

HEP vs NEP

The two paradigms within Catton & Dunlap’s discussion are very interesting and something I have not thought about too much. Catton & Dunlap’s discussion touches upon the difference between HEP and NEP. Through out his discussion he talks about both HEP and NEP and defines both of them in interesting ways. The New Ecological Paradigm states that humans are dependent on other species and the environment and continue to exploit it to survive. Basically that we over use the environment. In article he talks about Human Exemptionalism Paradigm and how humans believe that they greater than the environment and that the environment is almost irrelevant in a sense because it should revolve around us.

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During my time this semester with my tree I have been very observant of my own thoughts and being aware of how others around school treat and feel about the environment. I thought about both HEP and NEP while hanging out with my tree and I really believe that we take side on NEP paradigm rather than HEP paradigm. I think that we take a lot of from the environment and don’t really think twice about it. A lot of things we use on a daily basis are from the environment, even taking notes by my tree I use a pencil an paper all from the environment. Most of the buildings by my tree are made of limestone which I transported from the quarry that were once part of are environment. When we use these resources I don’t think we even appreciate them nearly as much as we should. The trees that we are doing blogs about are not even supposed be growing in Carlisle, sometimes even the country. My tree the Chinese Pistache has no business growing in Carlisle, but we use it because it makes our campus look beautiful therefore attracting more students to come to Dickinson. Overall we take advantage of the environment and have not thought about it so deeply until now.

Save the Chinese Pistache

I have spent many many hours with my tree over the semester and its natural when you become friends with someone or even something that you would take their side over anyone else’s. I could not imagine losing my tree and I am sure others would be sad to lose their tree as well. To he honest my tree is all around more valuable in general and to the Dickinson community.

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I have not seen anyone else’s tree on campus that can produce jaw dropping colors when fall arrives, I am sure my tree alone has a lot to do with how beautiful our campus is, especially Morgan Field. My tree is not too tall where it can block a nice view, but not short either. The Chinese pistache provides great shade in the spring and summer time that most trees can ot provide.

Not many other trees on campus can provide what my tree provides to the surrounding animals if given the opportunity. If a female Chinese pistache

Were planted near by, they together could can produce berries that squirrels and birds can feast on instead of your trash outside your house. Many people enjoy bird watching as I do myself, the Chinese pistache Is perfect for bird watching due the berries they produce. The Chinese pistache Is very easy to maintain, it can withstand high heats and does not need much water to survive. I don’t see how my tree could be cut down; it serves so much purpose to so many people. Most trees on this campus do not even deserve to be in the same discussion as the Chinese pistache, because the joy it brings animals, bird watchers and most importantly the town of Carlisle. I would be outraged if my tree were to be cut down, its presence alone is huge and it would be a great loss to everyone.

Field Notes

This is my final chance to record field notes for my blog, I have really enjoyed the last two posts and have looked forward this one as well. Unlike my last two visits with my tree it has gotten very cold in Carlisle. It only feels like a couple weeks ago where I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt sitting beneath my tree.

I chose a different spot to take my field than I had the past. I usually sit beneath my tree on a blanket or chair but I decided to change it up. I sat on the steps of Allison hall, which faces my tree. I brought a hot coffee and put on many layers to stay warm during my time with my tree. It was a windy day with limited sun available to keep my self and my tree warm. In the past when I have taken field notes, Morgan field was filled with life from students enjoying the warm weather to birds and squirrels running around. Today was not like that, I saw very few students and animals out and about around my tree. I did see two squirrels spending time in my tree; it was easy to spot them considering there is only a couple leaves left on my tree.

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The tops of my tree are swaying back and forth in the wind almost giving the squirrels trouble to stay on the branches. The wind was blowing toward Allison Hall directly in my face, lucky for me I was wearing warm enough clothing. It was hard to hear anything else but the wind in my face, but I did hear jazz music playing from one of the dorms nearby Allison Hall. It was actually very relaxing listening to jazz music while spending time with my tree, it seemed like the music was miles away because of the intensity of the wind.

The only leaves left on my tree were located in a cluster near the bottom of my tree. They looked as if they were ready to fall off my tree by the color and the way the wind was whipping the leaves back and forth. My tree is completely transparent at this point, only a month ago it was littered with trees. I really enjoyed spending time with my tree even with the cold weather; I think my tree enjoyed the company.

Field Notes

This is my second chance to take field notes with my tree, I enjoyed it last time and I am excited to do it again. It has been before fall pause since I have had the chance to do so. I have been attending Dickinson for four years now and to this date I don’t remember it being so warm in November. Also there are many more animals around campus as well as I can remember this time as year, I think because of the lack of cold days.

I did not take the time change into consideration, but just like last time I am running out of sunlight on Morgan field. The weather is so nice that I have the pleasure to wear shorts in November, which is something new for me because I am from Boston. I have brought collapsible chair out to my tree and sat down near my tree, but changed spots slightly to have a different view as I did with my first field notes session. I was facing towards Morgan dorms to capture that last bit of sun that I could, Allison hall was on my right while Drayer was behind me and to my right was the library in a distance. I said this in my last set of field notes that I wanted to go a more quite time, but again that was not the case. The first thing I noticed upon sitting down was the beeping of horns on high street. It almost seemed like two drivers were playing a game together, beeping back and forth. It was nice to know even though my tree is so naked that squirrels and birds still enjoy it. I heard than saw two birds in my tree chirping back and forth at one another. Although there were squirrels to be seen, there was not as much as 3 weeks ago.IMG_3106

There were many students walking up and down Morgan field, most of them talking about Halloween weekend. I heard many students ask the other what did you dress up as or what you think was the best costume. Some other students were talking about just what I was thinking, the warmth of the weather. I than heard what and saw what I love to see, two students juggling a soccer ball.

My tree was just a lifeless as it was before I left for fall pause. I assumed it would have less leaves because of the time of year, but I believe it is confused due to the warm weather. The sun was shining nice and bright on my tree and he seemed very content.

 

Field notes with my Tree

First off, I have taken field notes only a couple times in a prior environmental science class, but have not gone into such thick description before. I really enjoyed the experience of being as attentive as possible; it made it easer to take notes down first than to write my blog right after.

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It is about 6:30, I have only about 30 minutes left of sunlight left on a Tuesday night, and it is one of first chilly nights on campus. I am bundled up and sitting beside my tree on Morgan field with a coffee and my pen and paper. All of the trees leaves are slowly changing colors as they always due during fall. To my back is Allison hall and the law school along with a large parking lot, which is very noisy at this time for some reason. I hear a car alarm go off for at least 5 minutes, which is beginning to give me a headache. To my right is Adams and Drayer hall; they are both very busy at this time. Students are walking in and out of their dorms going to and from dinner at the cafeteria. I even heard a girl say to her friend “the caf sucks tonight”. After hearing that I did not attend the cafeteria. Morgan hall does not seem nearly as busy as Drayer and Adams; I can count on two hands the amount of people coming in and out. In front of me is Morgan Field; it is beautiful at this time at night with only a little bit of sun left shining on the leaves.

My tree is looking dull at this time of year; the colors have not changed on the leaves at all except to the color brown due to the dead branches. My tree has lost so many leaves at this point I can see all the way through it while looking straight up from the trunk. This was not the case weeks ago when my tree was full of life and branches. For the first time, I cam not see any squirrels or birds in or around my tree, I can only assume that this is the case because it is nearing nighttime.

I am hearing many students and their conversations as they walk to Adams hall. I am not eaves dropping by any means, but I can hear them clear as day. Many students are talking about how much work they have this week and how they wont be able to get it done. Others are talking about how excited they are for fall pause and even a group of girls are discussing what they want to wear out tonight. I kept hearing students long boarding down Morgan field, I could hear the wheels on the pavement and can even determine how fast they are going depending on the sound. It is a great night for sitting outside by my tree and just observing.

Thinking with my Tree

It was the ideal conditions on a Sunday afternoon; I was very tired from my soccer game the night before, it felt nice to just sit and relax under my tree. There was not much of a breeze, but the sun was shining bright and the birds were chirping. I don’t like complete silence; I find it very soothing to hear animals making noises whether it is squirrels or birds. I picked a great time to do some thinking; Morgan field was vacant during my time there. The grass was a bit itchy on this day, I decided to put a red lawn chair under my tree and used the tree trunk as my footrest. Leaves kept falling off my tree and landing in my lap or on the top of my head. I could see the shadows of the leaves falling on the ground before they were even in my vision. It was relaxing in a way seeing leaves falling all around me. I could see leaves falling off trees in the distance. It reminded me of big snowflakes slowly falling to the ground back home in Boston.

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I remember trying to count the amount of leaves falling down from the all the trees around me. It only lasted about 45 seconds, because I could not keep track and my neck began to hurt from twisting and turning. Per usual squirrels were running around my tree chasing one another at great pace, reminding me of myself and my brother when we were younger.

It was one of those days in Carlisle where it had that stale musty smell in the air. That was the only distraction I had for my ideal conditions for thinking. There was no wind on this day, so the smell just lingered for the entire time I was hanging out with my tree. The smell reminded me of a fresh layer of mulch, but it was much stronger and potent.

I sat with my tree for about an hour or more, and can say that it was a great day for thinking. The weather was really what made the experience great, I enjoy nice weather more than anything, especially when I know that the cold weather is coming right around the corner.

Sounds of Nature and the Modern World

This is not the first time I have recorded sounds from both the natural environment and modern world. A couple years ago I took a science lab dedicated to noise pollution, in which we sat in areas around Pennsylvania and recorded what we heard depending on our location. I was very excited I could partake in something very similar again, especially on our campus.

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It was slightly windy and sunny on this day of observing, which made it that much more enjoyable. I picked a time where there limited amount of students were walking up and down Morgan field, so I could focus more on the nature aspect, rather than the modern world. The first sound that caught my attention first was the wind blowing through my tree moving each and every leaf and branch. It was a subtle noise to say the least, but when you are focusing on just noise rather than sight it really it seems much louder. I would compare the sound of leaves rustling in the wind to student’s feet scarping the pavement from a distance. Both sounds were very consistent in there own way. I could hear acorns dropping from the tops of trees and than followed by the sound of a squirrel jumping from branch to branch. I never noticed the sounds that these small animals can make but they are very distinct. I was lucky enough to have a bird on the top of my tree for the most part of the observation. I believe it was male Cardinal, he was not chirping, but I could hear the rustling of his wings every now and than.

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I could even hear students using their Dickinson ID’s to swipe into the dorms near me. Although my tree is located near Allison hall, which is located deep in Morgan field I could still hear every car passing on high street. I could hear the squeaking of breaks by the crosswalk towards Briton Plaza, as well as music playing from cars and sometimes could even feel the bass of the music.

The sounds of nature were so much more elegant and peaceful for me rather than the loud unpleasant sound of the human related sounds. If would have been a different experience if were to hear only the nature sounds rather than cars and trucks passing by. It really makes me think about how much the modern world and humans have taken over some areas in which the sounds we produce as humans are much louder than nature. I would like to do an activity like this again in a secluded area, where human related sounds were not as overwhelming as they were.

History of Him

 

About 10 years ago, a beautiful thing occurred. It was sunny day in Carlisle PA, during the month of August; the leaves on all the trees were nice and bright. Dickinson College Campus looked very gorgeous at the time especially Morgan field, but it was about to get a lot more beautiful. He was about 5 feet tall when planted, merely a child at the time with no friends or family. He began to make new friends when the new class of 2005 arrived on Dickinson campus, not only with the students but with the animals as well. He often spent time with some friends that happened to be squirrels; he was too small at the time for the animals to use him as shelter. He enjoyed the company of whoever wanted to spend time with him and grew fairly quickly as a tree, friend and shelter. He was happy to be located where he was because he found the students who lived in Adams hall and Drayer were nicer than the kids who lived in the lower quads.

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I am only 10 years older than him, but he his very mature, he has seen a lot over the past 10 years. From new freshmen each year to people just enjoying the sun on the red Adirondack chairs he has always had some company. Thankfully he was not alive during the horrible day known as 9/11, even if he was he would of not understood because of his young age. It would of been tough for such a young tree to cope with something as drastic as that. One day that he will always remember is hurricane sandy back in 2012, we can actually relate because I was a freshmen at the time. He was very scared at the time of the storm, he saw things that no other tree should have to see. Fellow trees of his had arms and limbs being broken off due to the high winds and rain. He was only 7 years old at the time, that’s a lot to handle at that age, but it seems it’s only made him stronger throughout the years and more mature.

 

The day I met him was a great day in my life, I actually had to win a RPS (rocks, paper, scissors) to claim him as my tree for the semester. As soon as I saw his elegant long leaves I knew we would be great friends, he stood with poise and beauty in the most relaxing place on campus where I like to spend most of my time.

My tree and I

First off, the tour from Mark Scott was great, it really mad me appreciate the beauty of our campus in a different way. It’s amazing that these trees are taken such good care of around campus and it’s nice to know the name of each tree as I walk by it. Even knowing the name of a tree as I pass by in my opinion makes my self-have a deeper connection with the environment around campus. Not only was it great to learn more about my tree, the Chinese Pistache, but also learning about everyone else’s tree as well. It was a beautiful day when our class went on out tree tour around campus, the weather made it that much more enjoyable. There was some interesting information that Mark told us about each tree that we visited. Mark informed me that if there were a female version of the Chinese Pistache than there would be a chance that pistachios could actually grow, but unfortunately we don’t have access the female version. Although Mark said if they ever have a chance to purchase a female they would indeed do so.

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I am glad I got the Chinese Pistache as my tree; the leaves of the tree are actually what really caught my attention at first. The long skinny leaves are really elegant looking, they move all together when the wind blows. The leaves are no more than 2 inches wide and 6 inches or so long. Something about them really touches me maybe it’s the way they change color later in the season. I would have to estimate my tree being about 25 feet tall and very wide due to the amount of leaves. The Chinese Pistache can almost get as wide as it is tall in some cases. The trunk of the tree is 7-8 inches in diameter and has a very rough bark. The bark on the tree almost looks like a design if you look at it long enough and has a tint of green as well.

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The way that the first set of branches parts ways on my tree is really interesting to me. It first branches out of the main trunk at around 4 feet and than it almost looks like a maze of branches as I look up. I happened to see a squirrel in my tree jumping from branch to branch chasing another squirrel leaping across the Chinese Pistache at great speed. There was also a bird that was perched up top of my tree just sitting there for a while and it almost seemed to leave as I left the tree as well.