Writing our Environmental/Health/Science stories didn’t involve many issues that I don’t already find to be a pain in my ass when writing any type of paper. All I really had to do was Internet research to learn about the benefits of group research. The University of Florida Web site was very easy to navigate, and the Group Fitness Program Web site was plentiful with information. I was able to find an entire page of experts and people involved in the program, so, needless to say, I was very excited.
The one thing that did stick out my mind though that set Lab 9 apart from the rest is how important it is to be reachable and how aggravating it is when people aren’t. I made a list of interview sources that had to be at least 10 people long. I couldn’t believe that, as I went down the list, not a single person was in contact. Sometimes, if I was lucky, a real person would pick up the phone and talk to me! Don’t get excited though; they were only there to forward me to someone’s voicemail.
What was really annoying is that I had done all of my research, and as much as I attempted to write my article, I couldn’t because I didn’t have any quotes. I couldn’t predict what someone was going to tell me, so I couldn’t properly insert spaces and guess where my story was going to go from one quote to the next.
As the days passed, and I kept repeatedly calling my sources, I was getting very worried that no one was going to pull through. Finally, on the day before the stories were due, David Bowles, Director of Recreational Sports at UF, called me back and gave me some great quotes. I was really happy to be talking to him and getting good interviewing experience.
Today I experienced what will come to be the first of many “Sunday Strolls.” Four friends and I decided that we want to be more active individuals but agreed that we don’t like the gym. Therefore, we decided that our new form of activity is long-distance walking.
We concluded that the Baughman Meditation Center would be our destination, so we could satisfy our bodies and minds. Along our glorious walk, we passed many beautiful trees, plants and ponds in which people have sited alligators. As we continued on, I found a spot along our walk where you could see the Meditation Center from across the lake, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to capture this picturesque view. Upon getting closer to get the perfect shot, I found a shady pathway that led to an observation deck overlooking Lake Alice. First, I found one turtle sticking its snout out of the water by a bank. Then, it seemed as if turtles were starting to come from every direction, until there were a total of 11 turtles staring my friends and me in the face! Once they realized we weren’t there to feed them, they soon scurried off back into the lake.
We continued walking to the Meditation Center, but once we arrived, it was empty and all of the doors were locked. We walked the perimeter of the building just to check it out and decided it was time to head back. As we were leaving, we noticed a little body of water just out front of the building and stopped to soak in the calmness of it all. What did I see, only seconds after declaring that before the end of the semester I must have a picture of an alligator? AN ALLIGATOR!
It was floating in the water, with only its eyes and nostrils poking through the surface. It was so cool! It wasn’t all that big, so I wasn’t too scared to get closer for a better look. We stared at it for a while, and it wasn’t going anywhere. We’d gotten enough, so we turned and headed for home. After all, we may not have gotten to meditate in the center, but our experiences with the lush trees, the turtles and our new alligator friend were enough to satisfy my need to feel “in touch.”
As a self-proclaimed survivor of a near-death experience, I feel the need to immediately warn the naive public of a very easily attainable medical condition. Apparently, there is such a thing as drinking too much water. I never thought such a thing could be true, since water is the life-giver to the human body.
I encountered this condition after I arrived at home from a good workout at the gym. Thirsty as hell, I reached for the icy, cold jug of water waiting for me in my fridge. I was so thirsty, that I quickly gulped the entire jug of water. No longer than five minutes later, I was faced with a deathly pounding headache, dizziness and the feeling that I could puke at any second. As I ran to the bathroom, I began to get the sensation that the hallway was closing in on me. After taking what felt like the biggest pee of my life to date, I returned dizzily to my dorm. My concerned friend asked me, “Are you okay?” to which I responded, “Noooo, I think I drank too much water!”
Of course, our first impulse was to Google it, and, yes, I had indeed experienced water intoxication! Apparently, when you are dehydrated and you drink water, your cells are extra-quick to absorb every drop. I drank so much water in such a short amount of time that my cells’ osmotic pressure became off-balanced because there weren’t enough sodium and electrolytes to absorb the water, and my cells could have reached bursting point!
The clinical term is “hyponatremia,” for which the symptoms are nausea and vomiting, disorientation, lack of coordination, headaches and dizziness, which clearly explain my instantaneous pounding head, the about-to-throw-up feeling and the tunnel vision. Thankfully, I had some life-saving deli mustard and soda in my fridge, so the sodium was able to soak up the excess water in and around my cells, and I am still alive today.
Langerado is an annual music festival in South Florida. This year, a line-up of over 80 bands and artists played on five stages for four days. It was AMAZING. I think festivals get better every year you go. Each experience is one to learn from to make the next even better. I didn’t want to leave. I had dirt in my nose and toes, grunge in my hair, I’d been sleeping in cars, and I couldn’t imagine eating another fucking piece of granola and peanut butter, and I still didn’t want to leave.
The show I enjoyed the most would have to be Bassnectar. He was performing before STS9 and we all just went to see him on a whim. WHAT A FUCKING WHIM. That’s one of the best things about festivals like Langerado: you have the opportunity to literally walk into something that can change your life and perspective on the world.
I’ve never felt such a sensation before. I was a part of something bigger than myself. The wind of the storm grew more powerful as the music grew in intensity, and, as if all of the elements -music, people, nature- were synchronized, Bassnectar let go and his hair burst into this extraordinary mane that had to be a five-foot-long stream of slick, black hair just blowing in the wind, as if he was a wizard or something controlling everything that was happening around him.
Everyone was moving to the beat, changing movements with every new sound. People were spinning to the music with hoops that lit up with brilliant colors. Every light, every glow stick, contributed something else to the whole experience. Even though I didn’t know anyone there except the people I came with, I felt like I was surrounded by all of my best friends. We were all in the same moment together, having the same experience and loving everyone.
It was enlightening. MY MIND WAS BLOWN. Every show I saw left me with an opened mind and smile on my face. Shows just have this remarkable ability to unite the crowd. The most comforting part was how wonderful all of the people attending were. Everyone was so helpful and giving. No one judged, no one cared what you wore or did or said or felt. Inhibitions were left at the gate.
If only the world could be so beautiful…
For more about Bassnectar at Langerado, visit http://www.langerado.com/home2.php?bandid=59.