Stuff I Have Been Up To

It’s been a while since my lovely rant about trash so I guess I should catch you up on the actual things that have happened in my life since them.

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In our design communications studio, we had to design a lantern and cut it out using the laser cutter. It was pretty awesome AND I didn’t burn the building down! Here is a picture, pre-assembly. (I don’t have one taken after it was put together because I forgot)

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We also went to the arboretum for part of studio to look at so rainwater features. After our little lecture, we were allowed to stroll around. We went into the Children’s Garden which apparently has beds of vegetables and such that you can actually pick. I got this cool, tiny carrot.

 

 

The Friday of that week (which would be not the most recently encountered Friday  but the oneIMG_8049 before: The 25th maybe?) my cool friends and I went down to the Farmer’s Market to look around and buy
plants and stuff. I bought a delicious tamale (pictured), an tiny pie and some apple cider. I hadn’t been to the Farmer’s Market before then, but it is very nice! There is so much food and I wanted to buy everything.

 

 

 

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That night, one of my friends and I went geocaching in the dark, which seems like a bad idea because looking for small Tupperware containers is already not super easy when you can see everything. But it was super fun, and we found TWO geocaches! I won’t tell you where they are, of course.

 

 

 

 

On Saturday (the 26th) I played my ukulele downtown to raise IMG_8052money for PSUkulele (the Penn State Ukulele Club). I have done this a total of three times now and I really enjoy it. People get all happy and start swaying or bobbing to the music, which is funny.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sunday night was the eclipse/blood moon. That probably would’ve been super cool if the sky wasn’t so cloudy. We sat on a wall looking at the sky, while I serenaded everyone in the vicinity with my guitar.

 

 

 

In studio, we have been working in Autocad, tracing a plan of Citygarden in St. Louis, MO which was so stressful you wanted to punch the computer and drop out of school (my friends can attest to this). Then we had to color it in. I drew a shark on mine:

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We are also in the process of designing a rain garden in this “leftover” space created by the visual arts building, the Palmer Art Museum, and Au Bon Pain cafe. Here are some pictures of rip-and-tear models and stuff that I have been working on.

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I think that’s it… except for that I participated in the observation of a nationally-loved sporting event on Saturday, which could also be referred to as “football”. (but that’s a whole other post).

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I Hate Football

So I try not to sound cynical on my little blog here but I had stadium cleanup yesterday and something about wading through soggy fries, water bottles, and half-drunk cups of soda just rubs me the wrong way. Actually, it makes me super pissed off. Look at this:

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That is disgusting. Putrid. Vile. Foul. Horrendous. You can pick whatever adjective you like. And unluckily for us, extra pom poms were handed out and people ripped the streamers off of the handle to watch them fly in the wind. But guess who has to clean that three second moment of joy up. Club teams. And if you think that picking up a trillion tiny pieces of soggy plastic up for 6 hours on a windy day is easy or even remotely rewarding, you best sit down and think a little harder because it SUCKS. Stadium clean up is an awful experience. They say misery loves company, but this is definitely an exception to that rule. It doesn’t matter how many people are cleaning up, it is the worst six to seven hours of your life. The only reason that Club Gymnastics and plenty of other clubs do stadium clean up is because of money, and a decent amount of it.

But I’m not just complaining about the manual labor. It’s the fact that after a game, Beaver Stadium is submerged in people’s unwillingness to clean up after themselves. Then we have to clean it all up, just so it can return to the same, awful state next weekend. I would love to leave a section uncleaned until next game so people can see how truly disgusting it is. Of course, that would never happen.

Don’t get me wrong. Penn State is definitely dedicated to sustainability in a number of ways. Their recycling system around campus is pretty comprehensive in terms of what you don’t have to throw away. There are also a decent number of LEED Certified buildings on campus (including Stuckeman!). A 2014 article in the Daily Collegian talks about Penn State’s plan to transition into a zero-waste football operation. That sounds like quite a step up from their current waste generation per game of about 70 tons (Garrity). But as to what is actually recycled. I’m still not really sure (but it certainly seems like everything is shipped off to a landfill of course I COULD BE WRONG).

IMG_8025If you can’t tell, this sort of thing gets me fired up. It’s one thing for the school to take measures to put out a copious amount of recycling bins and build sustainable structures but its incredibly difficult to get people to actually care. The problem is, it takes thought to reduce your waste. You have to sort out your recycling. Not order more than you’re going to eat in the dining hall (I also have a rant about food waste but I guess I’ll save it for another time). You have to eat less beef (The livestock industry is a huge consumer of so many limited resources like water, energy, and land, not to mention the methane and other greenhouse gas pollutants emitted during production of both the meat and grain. But that’s also another rant for another day). This is getting super wordy, but it is important. I may not have any authority, but I want to sound like I can persuasively tell you that tons of trash generated by those 107,282 football enthusiasts every week is not ok. It sucks for the environment and it sucks for the people who have to clean it up. So the next time you attend your sporting event, please, please, PLEASE pick up your half eaten fries, open containers of ranch, ketchup packets, cups of soda, t-shirts, chicken fingers, pompoms, plastic bags, glass bottles, face stickers, already chewed gum, and make some sort of effort to recycle. Thanks.

This post has been brought to you be cynicism: it probably won’t work.

The one source that I cited, even though I thought I would never ever write something by my own volition that needed cited:

Garrity, Meghan. “For Beaver Stadium, a zero-waste future in the works.” Daily Collegian. 18 November 2014. Web. 21 September 2015.

*Disclaimer: This is my opinion and should be taken with an entire container of Morton’s. But what else would you expect from a post entitled “I Hate Football”.

Park(ing) Day!!!!!

Happy Parking Day!!!! What’s Park(ing) Day you ask? Well, it’s a day when we turn a parking space (and a half) into a small park. This cool thing that us Landscape Architects do across the nation helps us to show how cities are for PEOPLE, not just cars.

So, to begin this fantastic project, we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning. Yes, AM.

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Our parking spot was in downtown State College in front of Pickle’s (locals know where it is). We had plants donated from a local company. We used pavers, bricks and sod for the ground plane and palettes for elevation.

The whole setup thing took until maybe 6 or 7:30 but the time flew by!

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I couldn’t get a good picture of the entire park but you get the idea.

And here, we are tearing down the park. The stacks of bricks look like abstract, deeply symbolic sculptures.

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Sweaty LARCHies in DC

On Wednesday, we (the second year landscape architects) took a nice little day trip to Washington DC to look at some cool memorials. We left campus around 6:30 and started driving. I, unlike almost everyone else, did not sleep because I hate sleeping on the bus. I also got to watch the sun rise, which was nice. I gotta say that it’s pretty hard to restrain myself from taking pictures of people sleeping because some people sleep in such funny positions. Also, the clouds looked cool in the morning.009Anyway…

We arrived four hours later, and upon stepping off the bus, felt the most uncomfortable, humid, and incredibly sweltering hot day we were about to endure. Seriously, it was awful.

First, we visited the FDR Memorial. We had divided into groups before hand that were each assigned a memorial to research and then tell the rest of the class about when we got to their memorial. I had the FDR memorial, and after stumbling over our notes, we walked through.

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Then, we visited the MLK Memorial.

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Then we had lunch. By this point, we were a pretty sweaty bunch and had already complained an awful lot about how miserable it was outside. The only available food stand was a kiosk selling overpriced hotdogs and hamburgers. (I mean, what would you expect at a tourist destination). My friends and I found a nice spot in the shade to eat.

Then we went to some more memorials…

Good ol’ Abe Lincoln Memorial

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The Korean War Memorial

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The Vietnam War Memorial

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The World War II Memorial

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And, of course…

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The Washington Monument! (Featuring me and some weird pigeons)

So we did have a good time and saw lots of things despite being drenched in sweat 🙂 And would you look at that sky!

The Long Weekend

What an exciting weekend it’s been! Sunday was especially eventful! Some of my cool friends and I decided to go on a little adventure, and after much discussion, decided on Bald Eagle State Park. We set off for the day, first stopping at Sheetz for breakfast and observing a woman who walked in to fill up a concerningly large beverage mug.
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It was already warm as we started off on our hike. The bugs were plentiful and nosy. The trail we took, coincidentally, led past the Nature Inn which went in and walked around. I gave them a little tour, since I’d been the the inn on multiple occasions. It was also relief from the now sweltering day.

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Our hike ended where it began, at the beach area. The lake was quite refreshing! It’s super weird being off campus, even for part of a day.
That evening, my roommates and I decided to spontaneously make a blanket fort and watch Steven Universe and Jimmy Neutron. So that’s what we did. And, I must say that this is a pretty fantastic fort.

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The Work Starts Comin’ and It Don’t Stop Comin’

I was so bored during last week that I actually painted a picture of the word “bored”. But syllabus week is over which means school is starting for real. At least it’s stuff that I like to do (mostly). In studio right now, we are studying “spatial design components.” So we have to look at spaces on campus and pinpoint different design elements that were used to creat the space and the accompanying experience. We did something similar last year. We had to go take photos of our spaces around campus and analyze them and then create a presentation poster about said analysis. And taking photos last time felt rather uncomfortable for both the photographer (me) and the people trying to be alone in the space. Well I was hoping it would be somehow less awkward this time but I was wrong. It is just as awkward taking pictures of things that any normal person passing by would question the subject matter and myself feeling like and intruder on some people’s alone time.
What else…
Oh I found a freaking TICK on my arm yesterday. That’s just super yucky.
Today, I had digital communication, or something like that, for 3 hours. Then, 2 hours of ecology. I couldn’t handle it. We watched a fascinating, but extremely depressing, video about issues of population pressure and the decline of population in certain countries and the not-so-wonderful effects that said population problems have. I think I paid attention for the whole thing.
Ok bye