Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Coming Clean

So I think anybody that knows me well, knows how passionate I am about saving the Earth. I've recently been titled an activist, which I had actually never considered, but now I couldn't agree more with that statement. I'm really proud that someone recognized me as that.  I'm in college, to learn how to save the Earth. However, lately I'll admit I was second guessing my mission.

Let me bring anyone who cares up to speed. I want to become a climate engineer in order to work with alternative/renewable energy and methods to reduce CO2 emissions. Climate engineering is such a new field, you can't just go get a degree for it. (at least not that I've found) So Environmental engineering I figured was the next best thing, except environmental engineering focuses more on disposing of hazardous waste, monitoring water pollution, etc. good stuff, but not exactly the difference I'm wanting to make. I do some research and find a college that offers a program to earn an environmental engineering degree. Score! Eh....maybe not.

I arrive at college and am extremely disappointed in my introductory engineering class to say the least. Our professor is more concerned that we know how to spell Caribbean, receive, and vacuum then know what field of engineering we want to go into. The 1hr and 50 minutes in that class once a week are literally making me hate engineering. I don't want to deal with this professor for the rest of my college education! (did I mention she is my adviser too?) Meanwhile the mathematics department has been more than welcoming, helpful, and eager to make me a mathematics major. My Calculus professor immediately recognized my skill and began begging me to talk with him about becoming a math major.  I finally gave in and decided to meet with him and break the bad news....sorry dude I'm gonna be an engineer. It was awful. I love math, I'm good at it, I get a sense of satisfaction solving a difficult math problem, I love helping others understand the material even more. In fact from 3rd grade-11th grade I wanted to be a math teacher. I guess old dreams die hard. There is no better feeling than teaching math to others....but wait, yes there is! Saving the Earth! Remember that feeling? I confess it was beginning to fade.

After tonight though, I'm back on track. I cleared my obligations for this evening in order to attend a lecture about climate/environmental issues, what is being done, and green jobs, everything that was right up my alley. The Sierra Club (which I had never heard of) was in charge of the lecture and they were having Michael Brune speak to us. (executive director of the Sierra Club) The entire 1 hr. and 30 mins. the lecture lasted, I was furiously taking notes.

One of the things the lecture focused on was what to do when in an argument/discussion with someone and they are arguing against renewable energy for various reasons, too expensive, not necessary plenty of coal and oil, climate change is fake, etc. you know the drill. (no pun intended) I now feel like I could effectively convince anyone renewable energy is the way to go, and I feel a sense of power with that. I was inspired. I was happy. This is what I want to dedicate my life to. Hopefully I can write a future note on how to take on discussions like I mentioned above using my new found knowledge.

Immediately after the lecture, being the nerd I am, I went straight to the library. Michael Brune wrote a book "Coming Clean: Breaking America's Addiction to Oil and Coal" I had to read it. I'm proud to say I found the book all by myself and I'm glad this is the first book I've checked out this semester. I haven't read it yet, but I'm already recommending it to everyone. I plan to carry it everywhere with me so when people see me reading and ask what I'm reading I can tell them. hahah they'll be sorry they asked.

As I walked out of the library on this brisk October evening, I clutched the book like it was my life. Walking across the quad back to my dorm it was dark, with only the almost full moon shinning. I was alone and I was happy. I started to laugh to myself and before I knew it I was crying, tears of joy. Saving the Earth, this is what I want to do with the rest of my life, I never want to forget that again.

This is what I want my blog to be all about.