29 Jun 2009

Weekend Discussion: Home!

NOTE: This post will stay here until Sunday night. Posts for Saturday and Sunday morning go below this post.

Dear Aguanauts,

Discussion posts allow you to discuss a topic among yourselves -- exchanging views, learning and teaching. (I only read the comments.)

If you are interested, take a moment to check out (and add to!) last week's discussion on useful education. After that, please give us your thoughts on...

Home. Where is it? Does it change? What makes it home? Do you care more about defending it -- or somewhere else?


  1. Timely topic for me.

    I moved from Portugal to the UK about a year ago. I now appreciate more the place where I come from than I did when I lived there.

    Nonetheless, this University campus has become my home. It represents where I feel safe and confortable. It is not aestheticaly so nice as my old place, but I have come to love it, and would be ready to defend it.

    That said, I keep in touch with people back home and I am often worried with the news I hear or read from there.

    So, home. It changes, no doubt. I want to defend it, even if a part of me still misses where I come from, my old home. Part of somewhere being home is that you are willing to protect it.

  2. WaterSource/WaterBank27 Jun 2009, 13:20:00

    The "home" I knew as a boy growing up with my twin brother in the San Luis Valley of the Rio Grande River drainage basin was on a ranch surrounded by brew barley grown for Coors beer.

    Water was in balance and plentiful for a valley a 100 miles long and 70 miles wide. At times a cloud of thousands of mallard ducks would block out the sun. A single grain field would have 50 thousand ducks gobbling up the remains from the combines.

    The drain ditches were full of huge rainbow and brown trout that we fished for in the culverts under the county roads. We harvested the muskrats & jack rabbits to supply our meager needs. It was nothing to find a hundred frogs hiding under a single log. Hundreds of pheasants would appear like chickens to scratch for the seeds in the feed lanes of hay we put out for the cattle in the 20 below winters.

    All of this is gone now because of high capacity pumps in the artesian aquifer, sprinkler irrigation systems that eliminated the drain water and aerial spraying for weed & pest control. Emminent domain took the big ranches for wildlife refuges that soon turned to alkali flats and thistle because it is hard work to maintain real estuaries.

    It would give me and my brother special pleasure to see an area of the world restored to such grandeur. Maybe that's why part of our plan for the Source has always included restoration of the once magnificent Colorado River Delta. It is far away from the upper reaches of the Rio Grande, but not in the mindset of boys who once enjoyed much of what nature had to offer.


  3. Home used to be Cincinnati, then it was Berkeley. I have also called a few national parks home for a while when I worked there, and I feel a strong connection to all of these places. I don't think I have a single home anymore.

  4. My home is St. Johns, NL even though I haven't been there for almost 50 years until last year. I was born there. When I returned, it just felt natural that I was there. My *home* now is in Oregon. But it does not feel like *home* because the folks that do call Oregon home are proud of their third, fourth, or fifth generation status and are not shy about letting you know that unless your great grandfather is from here, you are not. My *home* also was located in Wyoming for a few decades. But given that Dick Cheney moved back, I am not certain that I want to say that I am from there anymore. He used to be a good person - I even voted for him when he was in Congress. Something changed.

  5. Although I've lived in the Midwest for over 25 years, I still consider myself a Southerner, a Virginian. When people ask where I'm from, I usually reply, "recently or originally?"

    "Recently" means where my home is right now; "Originally" is where my family is from, where I was born, where I grew up, who I am as related to place. There is a certain culture or sense of place that becomes part of our souls during our formative years, no matter where we go or live later on. I have friends who grew up in frequently-relocated military families; they often talk of feeling disjointed and unsettled because they never developed this sense of "home"...like a hole in their soul.


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