Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Haley Reading Group - reflections


[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]

Haley scholar online readers, we've arrived at the end of our activities for the semester. Thanks for participating.

Over the last few months, we read and commented on Rebecca Boyle’s “The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness," Elizabeth Kolbert’s "The Big Kill," Amy Maxmen’s "Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard," Kim Todd’s "Curious," Sarah Schweitzer’s "Chasing Bayla," and Barry Yeoman’s "From Billions to None."

What article most challenged your thinking? That is, which article, among those we read, prompted you to re-think preconceived ideas or make new and unusual connections? How so?

45 comments:

Gabriel Bressendorff said...

What article most challenged your thinking? That is, which article, among those we read, prompted you to re-think preconceived ideas or make new and unusual connections? How so?

Chasing Bayla challenged my thinking the most. It brought some of the worlds problems into the light. Whaling and whales getting caught in fishing nets are horrid examples of these problems. When reading this article, it made me think of the trash island just floating in the sea, and the problems that come from such trash in the ocean/sea. Marine wildlife is definitely suffering because of our pollution and laziness. It makes me want to do more.

Mackenzie Cohoon said...

Rebecca Boyle’s “The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness" challenged my thinking the most because I never really thought about the consequences that even something as little as how much light I use could have. The reading made me more conscious about when and how much light I use. For example, I have been trying to limit my phone before I go to bed at night. I've also been more aware of the effects that artificial light has in everyday life; when I look up at the sky at night I become aware of how few the amount of stars there are compared to the country, or a rural town where there is not as much light.

Anonymous said...

I would say that the article that challenged my thinking the most was "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard". This one was definitely most memorable because it included interesting facts and information on something I had no prior knowledge on. The other readings I would say I had some sort of background knowledge or preconceived opinions on, but this was something new and interesting. Evolution is not something that I have studied specifically in the past so it was neat to get some insight on how these ideas were developed.

Brianna Pickens said...

Amy Maxmen’s "Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard" is definitely the article that challenged me the most this semester. I spoke about my struggle between evolution and religious beliefs that I face every day due to my major in chemistry. I have always had to learn about evolution, it wasn't a choice. Some people want to teach religion in a classroom too, but its illegal and it is seen as absurd. It is believed that science and religion are to not be mixed, because one would eventually get in the way of the other. It was something that challenged me a lot and I believe that it brought the problem to my attention. I had always ignored the controversy.
-Brianna Pickens

Youssef Hassan said...

The article that challenged my thinking the most was "Digging Through the World's Oldest Graveyard". I previously knew a little bit about the topic before reading, but the descriptions of the dangers of digging up fossils back then and now. But learning more about evolution helped me appreciate the period of time we have survived as a species.

Joke Adanri said...

I think the article that challenged my thinking the most was Barry Yeoman’s "From Billions to None." The thought of an entire population of animals becoming extinct after being over hunted is a serious issue to consider. While reading this article I had to consider how so many animals are at risk of being hunted into extinction. I think we have to do a better job at protecting our wildlife, and especially our endangered species.

Christine Sheriff said...

I feel that Barry Yeoman’s "From Billions to None" challenged my thinking the most. While bringing back an animal that went extinct from the past sounds like an exciting idea, it made me really sit and think of the pros and cons. I came to the conclusion that this idea would actually be extremely detrimental to our ecosystem and could disrupt everything. One article that made me think once again was Sarah Schweitzer’s "Chasing Bayla." While I have heard of whaling, I did not know of the extremes that go on in this so called "sport." It definitely makes the reader feel a call to action about our wildlife and oceans in particular.

Alliyah M. said...

After reflecting on all of the articles we have read, I believe Rebecca Boyle's "The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness" was the article that challenged my opinions the most. Before reading the article, if someone would have told me light can cause major health problems, I probably wouldn't have believed them since light has always seemed like a harmless aspect of our everyday lives. However, after reading the article, it really changed my opinion of this topic. I now take the health issues caused by light more seriously, especially since it can be the cause of sleep deprivation.

Devin Ellis-Martin said...

I believe that the biggest impacting reading from this semester was, "Health Effects of a World Without Darkness." This reading made me question whether I should be using my phone as often as I do. It is dangerous and can cause major health effects to myself. My eyesight could be damaged and this could also alter my sleep schedule.

-Devin Ellis-Martin

Ivyanne B. said...

The article that I think challenged my thinking the most was the Chasing Bayla. This article kind of change my view on the world and showed me how humans truly are. They treat animals poorly which makes me think they will probably treat other people or races or genders like that. It shows that humans are greedy and only care about themselves. Before reading this I didn't really think about how we treated other living things around us but after reading this article it opened up my eyes.
-Ivyanne B.

Lena Searcy said...

The most challenging article to me was "Curious" because I found the article funny, interesting and introspective. The article explores our own minds and what attracts us to answer questions. This article showed me how curiosity can be inspiring. It can lead people to defy expectations, such as the case with Sibylla Merian. Curiosity had always been something people warned against and said to be cautious of but this article points out how a desire to know something is important.

Anonymous said...

The article that challenge me the most was "The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness." The article made me rethink how much blue light I expose myself to at night. It caused me to change some of my habits, I now use night mode on my phone and avoid using the TV at night. I never would've known that this exposure to light could damage my health if I did not read this article.

-Jada Baker

Kailey Main said...

The article that challenged my thinking the most was the article title, "The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness." I found this article to be the most interesting because it brought up something I have never heard before. The fact that something like light which we are surrounded with on a daily basis has some bad health effects on us amazes me.The article also left me wondering about what other things we see or use daily have bad or even good health effects on us.

Shaina Falkner said...

Barry Yoeman's "From Billions to None" challenged my thinking the most. There is much to consider when trying to recreate an extinct species of animals. You have to think of the positive effects, and the negative affects this could have on the creature itself, and its surroundings. It's difficult to think of the negatives because you're excitement about bringing back an extinct animal can cloud over the negative effects and make your thinking biased.

Kamela Cross said...

The article that challenged me to the most was Elizabeth Kolbert’s "The Big Kill,". I showed me the true thoughts of humans and how unfeeling we are to those who we feel are beneath us. I still think about the things that happened in this article and of more recent occurrences. This article has also got me thinking about ways to help the animals that become prey to the humans that hunt them. I know that even if humans think they are superior we are not at the top of every food chain. Nature was here first as were the animals and I believe they deserve their land long before we try to move in.

Kendall Clark said...

After reading multiple articles, the one that challenged me the most was "Chasing Bayla." I think I took the most interest in this article because I have a huge love for whales. Taking a strong interest in the article definitely made me dive deeper into my thinking. We as humans often don't consider the well-being of anything but ourselves. If it does not affect us negatively, why should we care? What we often don't realize is the possibility of our actions coming around full-circle by affecting one species. Whaling and other cruel versions of big-game hunting affect our oceans and other environments negatively. Articles such as "Chasing Bayla" shed light on our poor treatment of other species, and will hopefully one day change our views and open our eyes.

Chidera Onyeizeh said...

Rebecca Boyle’s “The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness" challenged my thinking the most because it talked about the consequences of using artificial lights, which block out star filled nights, and which effect the sleeping patterns of humans and nocturnal animals especially. I also made me see that the natural lights of the world, stars, that could be seen during the night in the past were very important to our ancestors. This made me realize that I’ve never seen a night sky filled with stars.

Chidera Onyeizeh

Kameron Lindsey said...

Barry Yeoman’s "From Billions to None" challenged my thinking the most. The idea of bringing an extinct species back, challenged my way of thinking because I have never thought of the concept before. While bringing a species back after we have caused its extinction sounds great it could be detrimental to our current ecosystems.

Anonymous said...

Many of these posts had challenged me to rethink things, and change the way that I looked at things. The one that provoked the most change in the way I think about the specific topic was "Digging through the World's Oldest Graveyard". This is so because it challenged the way I thought about creation versus evolution. I grew up in church, raised and groomed to strictly believe in creation, but evidence from fossil record challenges those teachings.
-Kevin Cox

Taija Cook said...

The article that I think challenged my thinking the most was Rebecca Boyle’s “The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness". This article opened my eyes to light pollution and helped me see the negative effects of lights. Before reading this article I never knew that light pollution could be so impactful towards everything. I am glad that I had the chance to read such a delightful article about such an unknown topic.

Kameryn Sabino said...

"The big kill" challenged me the most because I was confused at the beginning of reading it. I thought that they were killing mammals for no reason. It made it seem as if humans are just cold blooded killers when you make through the first paragraph or two, and then they start explaining the humane ways that they do go about the over-population of the rodents.

Rodney Clark said...

Each section provided useful information. What I feel truly made me rethink conceived notions was "the Big Kill", because it shows you what most don't think about when speaking on wildlife conservation. Humans are not the only species that is harming the habitat of animals. The animals humans bring with them also cause extinction."From Billions to None" challenged my thinking the most because I don't understand why people consider a species like that, one worth having. Based on what people spoke about it seemed like people hated them and even drove fear into some people. Although it is unfortunate, other animals cause extinction while hunting as well. The article that connect with me the most was "The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness" because I have experienced insomnia numerous times and always look at my phone while trying to sleep. I realized it might be an issue but the article helping to explain why.

Rodney Clark

Kelsey McNeil said...

The article that was the most challenging for me to read was "The Effects of a World Without Darkness". This one stood out to me and was so intriguing because it is a topic that I have thought about before but I never really took any action. Knowing what effect artificial light can have on the world and also on our own health is a major problem that isn't really talked about much. I've read articles before that have talked about how bad things like cell phone or computer light is for us but it doesn't really seem to be a problem that many people notice, and if it is noticed many people choose to ignore it. I also really enjoyed how at the end of the reading there were different suggestions that people can do to reduce artificial light and such.
This article helped me to understand how I can be effecting my health just by using my phone or computer which are both things I use every day. It provided me with insight and motivation to use these things in moderation.

Ronnie Akpan said...

The article “Digging Through the Worlds Largest Graveyard” tremendously caught my eye in the way that they explain digging up fossils and they effect that this has on people’s everyday evolutionist views. Me, as a devout Christian, felt slightly triggered by the topic due to my firm belief that we were all created perfectly and beautifully through the eyes of an ever so caring God.

Isaiah Johnson said...

I believe that Kim Todd's "Curious" caused me to think the most. It reminded me how I used to read fact books and the dictionary all the time, and would even fall asleep reading them. And I see myself now, and even though I'm still very curious, I don't try to learn new things anywhere near as much as I used to. I also thought about why people are curious, and if there even is a definitive answer. What I came up with so far is that as humans, we want search for the truth, and we wish to understand the world around us, which causes us to connect. Also, I believe every human being feels like something is missing, and so we want to find out what is missing for us. But wanting to understand our world and connect with each other, I believe that is the most compelling of my answers, and that we were made to communicate, and even with all the miscommunication that's especially going on today, we still all want to connect. I could write for hours on this, got me thinking so much. But I'mma end it right here.

Avant Hall said...

“The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness" made me think more than any of the other ones. It required me to think of different perspectives of how light affects different things. It also prompted me to think of other problems humans have made by industrializing. it also brought up questions of how humans are affecting the ecosystems and how they're on the way out with new technology coming in.

Tomika Collins said...

The one article that definitely challenged my way of thinking was "Chasing Bayla" by Sarah Schweitzer. The article basically put a stamp on my thoughts of how the world works when it comes to humans vs. animals. We as humans value human life over that of animals. When in actuality we need animals to survive. Without them the ecosystem would fail and all human live would be non-existent.

Kiara Coker said...

The article that changed my thinking the most was Rebecca Boyle's " The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness". The article discussed some of the human activities that affect our environment. It made me realize how our behavior plays a huge part in the world around us, every action has a reaction. My thought process was very similar to the butterfly effect and I thought to myself "Well, if all of our bad actions have an effect on the world, wouldn't our positive actions have just as much of an effect if not more?" After reading the article, I began healthier behavior for both me and the environment.

Anonymous said...

"Curious" was my favorite, and most challenging, article to read. It did not make me change my current beliefs but as I said in the post for that article, it made me reflect of aspects of mt life where curiosity has benefited me or hurt me. And that in it itself is a valuable lesson to me and others. Curiosity has its place but there is such a thing as unethical curiosity.
-Desmond Crumer

Samontriona P said...

Out of all of the articles that we've read over this semester I would have to say that Sarah Schweitzer’s "Chasing Bayla" challenged my thinking the most. I say that because that article opened my eyes to a lot of things that I've never really payed attention to before. It also makes me just want to take part in doing something to help prevent the ocean animals from being harmed.

Raillane Kamdem said...

I believe “The Health Effects Of A World Without Darkness” really changes the preconceived notions about how the sun really affects our daily lives. Before this arrival this was not something I really thought about. I felt as though humans would be as fine as night as they could be in the daylight. But as we get closer to winter right now, and daylight gets shorter, I realize how much the sun can really impact your mood and Health. When it’s dark all the times, it puts a damper on your mood and you feel somewhat depressed. It definately affects your mental health. This is not something I really thought about before this arrival and really changed my perspective on the importance of sunlight.

Marley McCoy said...

The most challenging article to me was Chasing Bayla. I found some parts to be difficult to read as it discussed animals being treated poorly in the ocean. It made me think the most about how we as people treat animals and how we can be better about the treatment of marine life.

Stella Nguepnang said...

The article that most challenged my thinking was "A world without darkness" by Adrienne Rich. This article really made me think about all the modern gifts we have in this world and if it is doing us more harm than good. I wondered if we should actually be living more like the first humans, not only with technology, but also food. I started rearranging my life a little more. I fell healthier because I try to make things from scratch and try to be more mobile instead of sitting in front of screens too much. I actually turned the night light on all my electronics and encouraged my family and friends to do so as well. This also impacted my school semester because I wrote a proposal essay on this topic for English 101. I was so happy that the things I was reading were actually helping me better my personal life.

Christen King said...

Rebecca Boyle’s “The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness" challenged my thinking the most because I didn't realize how light and the use of light effected so much. I was unaware light pollution was even a concept. The thought of how the artificial light in cities and towns affected the nocturnal animals and insects really interested me. I try to not use my phone as much before i go to bed. I love to have some form of light source while trying to go to bed, but I have tried to limit that by turning off the TV or dim my lamps.

Jayla Pierce said...


I think that “From Billions to None ” made me rethink the most. I’m not an animal activist or pro-animal right or anything like that but I do have a soft for injured and harmed animals. I don’t think I could ever by choice become a vegan or vegetarian. The story just really made me think about how much of our actions effect wildlife more than we care to realize. Littering, pollution, deforestation, and etc. all harm wildlife and nature itself. Just the little things you do every day that are so normal to us is hurting the world around us. These animal and plants are alive just like we are, we should respect that. Animals may not have the same intelligence like we do but they do have emotions and can be hurt.

Tyla Lucas said...

I think the "Big Kill" challenged my thinking the most. I love animals and the thought of slaughtering so many really shocked and horrified me. But as it was explained in the reading I started to see how it could be the only solution. Those species were not supposed to be there in the first place it makes sense to eradicate them.

Dejanee Geeters said...

“The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness“ was most challenging and interesting to me. It really showed how an individual alone could affect the world with how much light they use alone, which makes me more considerate of my daily activities in general that effect the world

James Beverly said...

“The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness” really changed how I look at things in the world. It showed me how light pollution can really harm everyday life. I remember being able to see the stars in more rural states like New Mexico, but living in more populated states like California- you cannot see the stars. It also made me realize the various heath detriments that light pollution can have on An individual. I’m the end, this article made me more aware of light pollution.

Jasmyn Kloster said...

Barry Yeoman’s article “From Billions to None” stuck out to me the most because I had never really given thought to bringing back a species from extinction until reading it. It got me to thinking, if we can not even take care of the species that are already present on the Earth, how can we be expected to care for new ones? Not only would we have to keep a close eye, they could also cause damage to the ecosystem in ways we can not reverse.

Daeja Daniels said...

Daeja Daniels

I think that “From Billions to None ” was the most memorable and intriguing. Animals have a place in my heart. And the idea of animals being harmed or abused makes me upset. This passage just really shows me how our actions as humans effect animals and the wildlife. We as humans are the dominant and superior species. Because of this we have to use our intellect to not only protect one another but animals and out plant as well.

Breonna Roberts said...

Personally, “From Billions to None” was the most challenging. Like I stated on the blog post for it, I am an animal lover and cannot stand the idea of making whole species or more, extinct for the sake of “nature species”. There ja definitely something wrong with killing a living thing for the sake of another because all lives have vaule. iI hope that community is able to find a healthier alternative to get ride of the unwanted animals.

Anonymous said...

The article I found most interesting was the article “The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness”. This article really troubled me and made me think about everything else we take so much advantage of and don’t worry about how it affects our environment. The story of how the turtle babies run towards the light really brought an emotional side of me and it really impacted how I look at things. Jonathan S.

Dasia Anderson said...

I feel Rebecca Boyle's "The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness" was the most influential in my life. I have always been one to avoid sunlight, knowing how good it is for me but not grasping how detrimental it is to go without it. My continued avoidance has had effects and has made me realize that I should make lifestyle choices. Especially with light pollution already making it harder to reap the sun's benefits.

Abraham Carmichael said...

I would have to say that the most enlightening text we read was "The Big Kill". It mad e me reflect on human behavior and our superiority issue. We put all other species beneath us and feel we have the right to do so because we're apparently better than other creatures that roam this earth. It made me reflect on myself and does make me feel bad when I think about all the animals that have to put up with the behavior of humans.

Kayla Summy said...

The article I found most enlightening would be "The Health Effects of a World Without Darkness", I am someone who likes keeping the area around me well lit I am not a fan of the dark at all. I am also someone who tends to have issues falling asleep and reading this showed me how not having as much light as possible is healthy.