Before I have ever taken this class, sustainability has never been one of my main priorities. I have always tried recycling, taking quick showers, and turning the sink off while I brush my teeth but I never realized how big of an issue sustainability is for the human population. Throughout the past few years, sustainability has become a more controversial topic. One of the issues that stood out to me in this class was becoming a paperless society. There are many different opinions on this topic and this class has really opened my eyes on it. It gave me a new perspective that I did not think I would ever have.
Since being in Math 33, my awareness for the amount of paper we use has augmented. I have realized that although we recycle a lot of plastic and paper as a campus, we still waste and burn through a lot of those resources. In the beginning of the semester, professor deForest gave out an extra credit opportunity. It was to write an essay advocating for the development of a Penn State University map app. This was to allow students, faculty, or any visitors to have access to a map without having to use paper. I remember hearing about this project and thinking this was a good idea. If I had never taken this class, I would have never known about this app and project. Ever since I heard about going paperless, I thought if we could ever do that as a campus. I became very concerned with Penn State’s paper use. I thought about the classes I took during my time here and how many of them didn’t use any paper materials. After thinking about it, there were a few classes I had all my materials available electronically and did not have to use any paper. Even in this class, there are many ways to potentially cut back on the amount of paper we use. For instance, instead of using note cards to take attendance ever class, we could use clickers. And for the classes we have guest speakers, you could do the clicker questions at the end of class to hold people accountable for staying the whole class.
Reflecting back on this class, I definitely feel much more confident in my knowledge of climate change. After taking Math 33, I know more about the causation of the rise in temperature. One of the guest speakers had the topic of flooding and natural disasters. We learned a lot about flood insurance and the amount of times a certain region gets flooded. I realized that there is a strong correlation between the increase of climate and the amount and severity of flooding and hurricanes. Although I am no expert in climate change, I feel now that I have a stronger grasp on the causes and effects, all thanks to this class.
Math 33 has opened my eyes to the way Penn State stays accountable for all the resources they use. I have been introduced to the process of becoming a sustainable campus. I never used to be a huge environmental advocate, but this class has changed my mind. We only have a limited time on this planet and we must make it able to be used by the next generations. I am very lucky to have taken a class like this to change my perspective on the world.