The first event I attended this quarter was the lunch and learn session hosted by the Fowler Museum! I feel like at this point the khipu has been a key part of my experiences in this class. I really enjoyed the style of this event. The idea of having a productive while still relaxing lunch break sounded really appealing to me! I always love learning new things and I found it so fun to “eat lunch” with other people also learning about the same thing.
A photo from the garden taken by me
First, for the interested, here are the most fun facts of the fun facts of a New Zealand corn fact website:
Our visit to the Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens was an experience that I’ll cherish dearly from my time at UCLA. Ever since I transferred back in the fall of 2020, I had every intention of exploring the Garden, but a long list of deadlines, distractions, and physical exhaustion from the daily commute overshadowed my eagerness to visit.
“Story, as it turns out, was crucial to our evolution – more so than opposable thumbs. Opposable thumbs let us hang on; story told us what to hang on to” (Lisa Cron).
It was super nice to get outside and spend time in UCLA’s Botanical Garden. As a Southern California resident, I have been to the Botanical Garden previously with my family. However, after coming to school here I just never prioritized going. The experience of going to the garden and having so many different perspectives on the garden from Cole Oost, Patricia Cavidad, and Alvaro Azcàrraga was interesting and gave a different dimension to the gardens.
I am a big fan of the botanical gardens. The first time I went there was for my Geology class during freshman year (2018). At the time, I didn't really know much about UCLA’s campus, so I felt completely transported when we arrived. Out of nowhere there was forest, bamboo, desert, you name it. Unfortunately, that would be my only visit for years. COVID-19 had me lose half of my sophomore year and all of my junior year.
This week we got to have an outdoor classroom experience that acknowledged both the beauty and peace of nature as well as the history of colonialism and violence that is tied to the land. The presentation by Cole Oost and the ritual ceremony by Patricia Cavidad gave us complimentary views of the history of the land on which the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Gardens sits upon.
Pictured: Red striped invasive turtles in the Botanical Gardens