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Monday, March 31, 2014


I have Yosemite's weather saved into my phone and every time it rains here in Santa Maria I check for snow in Yosemite.  Finally my check was successful!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Resource of the Day...

This post is for my classmates that didn't come out of the college admittance season with the outcome that they were hoping for.  It may seem like all of the hard work that your have put in over the last twelve years have gone by unappreciated and unnoticed, but there are thousands of reasons to still keep your head up.  Here are Thirteen Things to Remember When Life Gets Rough.  I personally feel that number five is the most inspiring in this situation.


I actually already have mentor because I wouldn't have been able to begin my Senior Project without one.  I've been talking with her throughout the entire process and she has been helping me and giving me advice along the way!  I don't have any current questions for her because I've been asking her for help as questions have come to mind.

Literature Analysis #3

Our Town
By: Thornton Wilder

1. Briefly summarize the plot of the novel you read according to the elements of plot you've learned in past courses.
The play takes place in a town called Grovers Corners in New Hampshire in 1901.  The Stage Manager serves as the narrator  throughout the play and the stage has a very minimal set which means that most of the characters pantomime their actions.  The play is about the lives of George and Emily growing up in their small town.  Emily is very bright and George is a baseball star and the two of them fall in love early in life.  The play has a very simple plot line that occasionally jumps in time.  The first act ends with George and Emily talking to each other through their windows during their adolescent years.  The second act takes place three years later and the couple gets married.  In the third act it is nine years later and Emily has died during child birth.  She is about to be buried on the hill above the town and has conversations with the dead.  She decides to relive one of the days in her past so the Stage Manager takes her back to her twelfth birthday.   She is disappointed in how the living don't have an appreciation for everyday life and returns to the cemetery to be buried.  The ending of the play solidifies the authors purpose that life is often over-looked and taken for granted.

For those of you finally realizing that a new adventure is about to begin...

Looking forward to the sequoias!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


This is a great website with tons of resources!
Off of this site I got:
a.)  The full version of text.
b.)  Character connections.
c.)  A Macbeth study guide. (This is a great resource!)
d.)  A podcast of the entire story.

This website also has tons of great resources from soliloquy analyses to metaphor explanations!

Here is a full length video of the play.

And a twenty-five minute cartoon.

Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


These need to be everywhere!  Making recycling as easy as possible for people will create the best results!  In my community there is only a tiny stress on the importance of recycling bottles and cans and absolutely no stress on the importance of recycling paper.  These bins make recycling obvious and easy for everyone.

Fun Fact: Gary Dean Anderson designed the recycling symbol in 1970, reminding us to recycle, reduce and reuse our natural resources. Without recycling, the average family creates one ton of garbage each year.

Thank you ASCE for this fun fact!



I'm looking for experts than can give me feedback on the work on this blog!  Particularly my work with Yosemite National Park.  The whole point of this trip that I'm planning is to inspire my classmates to take an initiative toward caring for our environment and living a more sustainable lifestyle.  Hopefully when they see the park, they will find it worth protecting and have a reason to take action toward a healthier planet!

I'm searching for experts who:
a.)  Can give me feedback on the work I've done so far.
b.)  Can give me advice on what I can do better.
c.)  Know a lot about the park and love it as much as I do!
d.)  Are willing to answer tons of questions about environmental education.
e.)  Know a lot about the park history.
f.)   Can give insight into what it takes to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

At this point in time I'm considering contacting some Yosemite Park rangers to answer some questions and give me feedback on my blog.  In the meantime, I have been talking with Lynnae Fischbach from the Nature Bridge program in Yosemite and she has been the perfect expert for this project!  All that's left to do is to invite her to my blog!

.......and Wiser

"When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.”
― John Muir
(Photo taken by yours truly.)

Trip Roster!

Get to know the wonderful people that are committed to sharing the adventures of Yosemite National Park with me! Just click on their names to check out their blogs!  Also enjoy this picture of Yosemite Falls that my dad took from Taft Point!

Monday, March 24, 2014

......and Wiser

"In God's wildness lies the hope of the world.”
― John Muir
(Photo taken by my Dad.)

The Steller Science Expedition!

A lot has happened in the last week!    

1.)  We finally have a name for our group! (see post title)

2.)  Last week Dr. Preston sorted out some final details with the representative from Nature Bridge.  The main topic for discussion was his five year old daughter whom he wanted to join us.  The representatives at Nature Bridge were wonderfully accommodating and welcomed his daughter into the program with kind and outstretched arms.

3.)  I hosted a meeting last week for all of the big-hearted, brave souls that committed to this adventure.  At the meeting I handed out paperwork and BBQ tickets for our first fundraiser!

4.)  On to the fundraisers!  I designed, printed, and cut out over 900 tickets to sell to community members.  There will be a Tri-Tip BBQ at Old Town Market in Old Orcutt on April 19th.  I contacted Pepsi for drink donations and am waiting to hear back from Coca Cola and Frito Lay for more drinks and chips!  I also ordered 200 boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to sell on the same day!

5.)  This evening I had a great conversation with Miranda Nillo who has to be in Arizona for a graduation on May 23.  She is willing to fly into Fresno on Saturday morning so that we can pick her up on our way and she won't have to miss out on this experience! ( It's amazing to hear that my classmates will go to such great lengths to be  part of this experience!)

6.)  We have a foreign exchange student from Poland coming with us!

There are so many amazing things happening so quickly!  Stay connected for more updates!


     I have an undying passion for any and all things that have to do with Yosemite National Park.  When this semester began in January, my classmates and I were told to begin our senior projects with no further instructions than to delve into our passions and present what we learn to our classmates.  These projects are meant to help us get a jump start in our fields of interest and connect us with people that have real world experience and can give us advice. 

     With no real guidelines, there were multiple traditional learning projects that I could have taken on such as a research paper, a presentation, or a documentary.  All of these options would benefit me and my learning experience, but when presented to my classmates, a project like this would seem boring and lack the mindfulness that I would like it have on my peers.  In order to have a lasting impact on my classmates and to help them fully understand my passion I'm taking them to the root of its beginning.

     In just a few short months I will be in college studying civil engineering with a concentration on sustainability and environmental protection.  Rather than bore my class with a presentation on sustainable engineering projects, I am going to take them to the place where this very idea originated and try to inspire them to do their part in protecting our planet and preserving natural resources.

     For my senior project I am planning a class trip to Yosemite National Park that will be hosted by a program called Nature Bridge.  My hope is to inspire my classmates to take action in protecting our environment and of course work for the preservation of our national parks.  I have recruited 26 students to join me on this adventure in hopes that this trip will help them understand my passion and truly learn what I'm intending to teach them.  Rather than talk about the park in a traditional classroom environment, the park will become our classroom.  Rather than looking at pictures of the beauty, we will be a part of it.  We will be able to smell the incense cedar and breathe in the fresh mountain air.  We will be able to push ourselves up rugged terrain, and we will be able to feel nature's presence all around us as we squint into the sun searching for the top of a giant sequoia tree.   I'm hoping that my classmates will leave the park feeling refreshed and inspired with a desire to make a change.

     There are multiple posts throughout this blog updating my progress on this project.  See my Benchmark post for links to the earlier phases of this project.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


To be honest, seeing the author talk about his book and theories during the interview with Mike Wallace didn't really change my perspective of the book or of my essay.  It was very interesting to put a voice and face to the words, but I expected to hear everything that he said because they were things that we've been talking about.  So in a sense of perspective changing, I already had a set perspective going into the interview that just became more solid as Huxley spoke.  I already think that Huxley is brilliant and almost unreal for making such incredible predictions.  Hearing him talk about these things in person just made my thoughts and opinions even more profound.

.....and Wiser

“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
― John Muir
(Photo taken by yours truly.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

....and Wiser

"The power of imagination makes us infinite.”
― John Muir

(Photo taken by my Dad.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

...and Wiser

"In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks."
-John Muir

(Photo taken by yours truly.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Wise Keeps Getting Wiser...

Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
― John Muir

(Photo taken by my Dad.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Even Newer Words From that Same Wise...

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

― John Muir
(Photo taken by my brother James Steller.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Newer Words From that Same Wise...

“The sun shines not on us but in us.”

― John Muir

(Photo taken by my brother Matthew)


I finally finished running my last Renaissance Ceremony!  No more verifying GPAs, addressing envelopes, and typing programs.  Here's a little slo-mo video for you to show our excitement about it being over.

Monday, March 10, 2014

New Words From the Same Wise...

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity...”
― John Muir

(Photo taken by my Dad.)

Word from the Wise....

"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
-John Muir

(Photo taken by my brother James Steller)


Ok, here are the ten questions that I would currently ask Lynnae Fischbach from the Nature Bridge program in Yosemite.
1.) Do you have any of these dates available? April 26th and 27, May 18-31, or June 9-21?
2.) How does transportation work?
3.)  Is it included in the fee?
4.) Is it provided?
5.) Would we have to find our own?
6.) Do you think it's better to stay in Curry Village or Crane Flat?
7.) What kinds of discounts do you have if any?
8.) If the weather predicted for the dates we are there says sunny, is it still mandatory for students to go out and buy rain gear? Or other items on the list if it's obvious that they won't be needed?
9.) Are we going to do things during this experience that the common public can't?
10.) Would it be easy to do a question and answer session with some of the rangers in the park?

Sunday, March 9, 2014



For those of you who are visiting this blog for the first time.  I am currently working on my senior project and have been updating my progress in various posts.  You can see them from the start until now here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Not Different... Just Creative

I have always been insecure about things that set me apart from my peers.  This article showed me that these differences of interest that I share with my peers are nothing to be ashamed of because they are the result of a creative mind.  I really recommend reading this, it was very interesting and connected a lot of dots.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


At the end of our Brave New World we came to the consensus that after everyone finishes the book on Friday, we are each going to choose how we want to represent the ending of the book on our blog. We stuck with most of the options that we discussed before you left.  Some people will find/create questions and answers to put on their blogs, others will find and answer essay prompts, and some will do some kind of remix about their representation of the ending.  I'm doing a remix with a drawing of my perspective of the story.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Resource of the Day

This resource of the day task didn't really come with very much instruction so I'm just going to go for it.  Today the resource of the day is because I will be spending the rest of my evening catching up on scholarship applications.

There you go!

Sunday, March 2, 2014


1.) If all goes according to plan, the Naturebridge program in Yosemite could become a huge resource for me in terms of knowing people that work in the park that could help me get jobs in the future.  I'm not only trying to arrange for the class to visit Yosemite through this program, but I am also applying for an honors program that selects twelve girls to go on a twelve day backpacking trip.  If I can accomplish both of these things, this program will become a HUGE resource for me.

2.)  A now very tangible person that we all can benefit from is Terry Lawless.  So far none of us have gotten any advice from someone in the music world, and if I'm not mistaken, music is all about getting noticed and helping others get noticed.  Terry is probably an expert in this field.  Also, if he likes what we do when he comes to visit, maybe he can help spread the word about open source learning as well.

3.)   Focussing back on my individual work, Lynnae Fischbach from the Nature Bridge program can help me organize the class trip that I am planning and give me tips for fundraising.

4.)  I feel strange saying that my parents could help endorse my work, but they are the masters of fundraising and I could utilize Old Town Market and the clientele there to raise a lot of money through bake sales, and BBQs.

5.)  I would say that Dr. Preston is my number five.  He has a lot of connections and can teach me how to make more!