Nature on Display
Chomp Chomp! Me standing next to our mascot's Skull
My favorite exhibit was the one that explained a natural history of the University of Florida. This first captured my attention because of the giant alligator skull displayed on the wall. I was drawn to it because I knew it contained a history about the University that I was unaware of. The design of the timeline was very intriguing to me, as I could literally walk through time, learning about the wonders of the University. By physically seeing the skull and other objects on display, I could visually picture myself in each of the time periods and more vividly learn about my school's history. For example, I never knew UF had a live mascot that we took out the the 50 yard line on game days. However, I learned that in the 60's and 70's we did indeed have one. Overall, I found the visit to the museum an enjoyable experience, as I could become in touch with nature and in touch with my University all at the same time.
Nature and Ethics
A beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly rests on a flower.
The Natural History Museum allowed me to experience nature in ways that Leopold spoke of. I felt one with nature walking through a tropical rainforest filled with butterflies. Walking through the Butterfly exhibit with my friends was an amazing experience. We all were very excited to see butterflies land on leaves right next to us, and even land on us! Seeing their faces of excitement was very fulfilling, as I enjoy seeing others have a good time. The Natural History Museum allowed visitors to contact with nature first hand, as we could walk past waterfalls, butterflies, and gorgeous scenery. The experience in the museum did indeed instill an ethical responsibility to nature as Leopold imagined, as I felt a conservationist inside me emerge. Growing up in a surfer community, I have always cared about the health of our beaches. However, I realized from the museum that there is more beauty in nature than just the beach. I know hope to preserve the fragile Earth, and spread this ethical responsibility to others.
Nature and the Human Spirit
Me feeling amazed by the Giant Ground Sloth
The Natural History museum helped me step out of my ordinary life, and learn to appreciate the past of our planet. In ancient Florida, Giant Ground Sloth's roamed the Earth. At 8,000 pounds and 20 feet tall, this creature was truly enormous. Compared to my 5'6 self, this animal would've towered over me 2 million years ago. By seeing the huge bone structure, I could imagine what it would be like back million years ago, instead of focusing on the minuscule problems of the present. In a way, this Giant Ground Sloth helps me better understand who I am and where I came from, as otherwise, it would be very hard to imagine what the ancient Earth would have looked like. It helps me better appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world, as these animals are nothing like the current sloths of today, and makes me think of how the world today has changed so much.