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Missouri Botanical Garden

Sarah

St. Louis in the Fall

by Sarah on November 20, 2014

in In Saint Louis

Hmm …autumn, what is there not to talk about for this season and the city of St. Louis?!  Honestly.  I love living here in general but when fall comes around, my heart just flutters with joy because of all the color around to see!  The trees are changing, as well as falling, the temperature begins to drop and take a change of course, more family events and dinners occur – which means much more family bonding of course!!  As well as my birthday and my sister’s birthday since we share the same birthday month, that of being October.  Now sadly October does not have a special background of origin as compared to January, February, March, April, May, June, July or August basically.

Going back to what I was saying about the several kinds of trees in St. Louis…where can I even begin?! There are so many colors that I see just from my drive to and from campus each day! There are several trees in Forest Park – which I used to know the exact number of how many different kinds of trees but much more than I would ever know. I know that certain things that make St. Louis so great in the fall would be the little events and traditions that go on that some of us may not even be aware of. Such as the “Best of Missouri Fest” that takes place at the Missouri Botanical Garden, where several companies come together to share some of their products for possible customers to purchase. I know that whenever my family attends, we come home with 3-4 caramel apples from our favorite little shop. Also there is pumpkin picking at Eckert’s Farm, where you can choose any pumpkin of varying sizes to take home and then carve for Halloween.

Now I will say that I am beginning to love hiking though it depends on where. My boyfriend and I actually love taking walks outside in the neighborhood, now sure, that is not the same as hiking, but we make sure to go for bike rides on Grant’s Trail through the city as well as county.  Bonfires, now those are the best! A group of friends of mine have been planning on meeting up a few times each month just to go outside and have a bonfire with this horrible cold weather coming upon us, so we must make the best of it! Roasting marshmallows and creating the best s’more possible!

I will say that fall traditions vary from person to person but making sure to share those traditions with others makes fall even better, because there are more opportunities to spend amounts of time with friends in one of the best seasons possible for this city. There is so much color and beauty out there – so make sure to spend time exploring it while you can as well as creating more memories with friends along the way!

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A few weeks ago, I mentioned Rosemary Grove and its partnership with the Environmental Club. Rosemary Grove, I’ll reiterate, is a store that focuses on Fair Trade items, which ensures that the producers of the items were paid fairly and had good working conditions. I’m pleased to announce that last Thursday we had a benefit shopping night at the Kirkwood location, and it was a success!

We invited anyone from Fontbonne to come, and 10% of the proceeds went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens – one of my favorite places in St. Louis. And there were a lot of cool things to purchase! I’m definitely going back to get some items to raffle off at the Environmental Fair (which is Thursday April 18th, by the way).

Check it out!

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As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve changed a lot since first entering college. While my looks have changed (in my opinion) quite astronomically, I think the biggest change I’ve experienced has been in my personal interests. For example, had you told me as I went through my first semester of general chemistry as a freshman that in a year I’d be weirdly passionate about alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes, I would have been pretty skeptical. Actually, if you had told me that I would know and understand what those things were, I would have been pretty skeptical, too. But that’s exactly where I found myself the next year: spending hours in my dorm studying organic chemistry because I liked it. And I was good at it. That’s when I decided to add a chemistry minor, and, in the spring, one in biology as well. All that from a girl who hated science in high school (I blame that on lazy, bad teachers. Okay, and I was lazy about science then, too.)!

Excuse me while I geek out here, but adding all of these extra science classes has seriously opened my eyes to things I had never thought about before. Organic chemistry has made me realize just how incredibly toxic the world we live in is, from the foods we put in are bodies that are full of crazy sounding chemicals or are sprayed with pesticides, to the things we put on our bodies that contain such lovelies as phthalates and fragrances. As I begin to test my biology skills (which are terribly rusty from high school, thanks to the aforementioned bad teachers and my laziness), I’ve come to realize how incredibly sophisticated the natural world is. Not to mention beautiful! And also, have you ever stopped to think about how amazing the human body is? And how, if we really respect it, it’s capable of doing some pretty impressive stuff?

So. As soon as I think I have my future potential career all chosen, I realize usually around two weeks later that maybe there’s something else I’d rather do. And that’s the case now. I started off the year thinking I wanted to go into environmental toxicology and molecular nutrition, but now I’m not so sure what I want to do! There’s so much stuff that fascinates me at this point that I don’t know how I’ll ever narrow it down. If I could have a job that allows me to travel and experience the natural world in all its glory, and it somehow ties the topics of plant foods and human nutrition together, that’s what I’d want to do. Wouldn’t it be cool to go to the rainforest and study the nutritional properties of some exotic plant food? I mean, surely that’s a job, right? Whoever concluded that chocolate is in fact good for us or that chia seeds are incredible little powerhouses, I applaud them. And this week, I want their job.

I guess what got me thinking about this was my trip to the Botanical Gardens yesterday. The more time I spend there, the happier and more confused I am. I have a feeling, though, that eventually it’ll all come together if I just keep pursuing those very things that make me happy. So I suppose I’ll leave you with a quote from the late Steve Jobs that I have hanging above my desk that reminds me to keep moving forward, despite the confusion:

“Follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

-Carly

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