Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Congratulations to Joshua on his Senior Exhibition

Yesterday was a Big Day for our Buddy, Joshua W.  He had to present his red Rock High School Senior Exhibition.  Many months ago, Joshua chose the to study the impact of invasive species on river ecosystems with a special focus on the Colorado River through Grand Canyon.  As LRBs know, Joshua participated in a rafting trip there last summer.

Back in early January when we were just starting to get the Verde River Guide project up and running, Joshua contacted us to inquire as to whether he could help out on the project.  It was a perfect match.  Joshua was a very quick learner and really put his energies into understanding how tammies, reeds and all the rest of the villains mess with the native species and the entire river ecosystem.  He did an awesome job in every way.  Without his participation, the project probably still wouldn't be complete. He was a ideal canoe partner.

Meanwhile, his big Red Letter Day loomed and Joshua put just about everything he had into his Senior Exhibition.  We sure were sending him positive vibes yesterday at 5pm when he was scheduled to give his oral presentation.  It turned out great for Joshua and we are very happy for him and offer heaps of kudos and congratulations.

Here's an email we received from Joshua when the hoopla subsided :

"Hey, just got back from my (Senior) exhibition presentation. The judges told me how wonderful my subject was and your involvement helped tremendously! If you hadn't invited me along your journey, I would have learned nothing about paddling, or the ecology and river environment on our own local river. Thank you thank you thank you. I'm sorry you couldn't be there. (Attached) is a final copy of my exhibition paper.  JW

Josh sent along his 13-page paper and we don't think we or his Family would mind if we shared it here.  It's a gem of a high school project, that's for sure.  We'd like to close this blog post with Joshua's closing paragraphs from his written presentation. We think you will find these words as uplifting as we did.

“We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls rise over the river, we know not. Ah, well! we may conjecture many things” (Powell 156). Mr. Powell knew better than anyone to stay steadfast and strong when facing an adversary. He boated down the full 277 miles of the Grand Canyon multiple times with only one arm. It is clear he never gave up his pursuit, or his struggle for understanding the Grand Canyon and the nature of everything having to do with the Colorado and Green Rivers. Powell is not only musing about what lies down the river, but musing on a strong metaphor for life, as well as a piece of advice for how to be patient for what is ahead.

While I rafted down the Colorado River, many hours were spent among our group by the water. Not boating, not washing, not talking. Not absorbed in smaller things about the outside world, but completely absorbed in the immense sound and force of the river; and it lent to us an understanding of something larger. Something simple, yet completely overarching: the metaphors drawn from this water that apply to existing. It paints a picture of everything, and everything to come; its canvas is our lives. Yet it churns and ebbs, indifferent to our own human struggle. The river will always remain a reflection of time, every infinitesimal drop of water ceaselessly traveling its own unique path, but being one with a whole. This body is completely different every second, much as the world we inhabit continually renews itself into a different reality, until we are left with only the idea that in order to move onward and progress is to change with this deeply shifting world.

This is the only way we may look into the future at the status of the Grand Canyon river corridor. Although we may see a source for fiscal opportunity in these rock halls, this ancient entity functions best through no change whatsoever, justified by bureaucracy or not. Before we can ultimately change the canyon, we must learn everything we can about its true, unexploited identity. Through education we can understand. Through understanding, we can love."

Click here for Joshua's 13-page paper he presented today.

Way to go, Josh, what's next?

Many Cheers!  Carry on.



Unknown said...

john and Josh--here's knowing that they have great distances yet to run--on rivers and in life. luck and love, jBishop

The Goatherder said...

We are mighty proud of Josh, and are grateful to John and Susun for including him on the Verde project. Thanks for the kind words and positive vibes!
GH and Kate