Sunday, May 11, 2014

San Gabriel, Marion Christa E.- Reaction Papers

San Gabriel, Marion Christa E.
2011 – 14694

STS X2 - Group 9

Reflection Paper: Documentary on Dreams

Dreaming is one of the strangest yet thrilling experiences in our lives. Everyone can relate and share some stories about their most hilarious, most unforgettable or most striking dreams because every human being is expected to experience dreaming. Moreover, one can share a similar dream as with many other people. For instance, many have shared that they had dreamt of losing teeth or forgetting to prepare for an examination. According to studies, these dreams may have a symbolic meaning to each person or they may reflect something about one’s emotions.
Apparently, science tries to explain why people dream or how dreaming works but until now, there are still no specific laws identified to explain the concept of dreaming. Consequently, dreams can also be considered as existential because they are based on our own experiences, sentiments or even memories we treasure.
The documentary we watched tried to explain how a person’s body reacts when he is dreaming. During sleep, we pass through phases of sleep. These phases include light sleeping, deep sleeping to REM (rapid eye movement) sleeping. When a person reaches REM stage, breathing becomes more rapid and shallow. Eyes move rapidly and randomly in various directions. Likewise, muscles become temporarily paralyzed, heart rate increases and blood pressure rises as well. During this stage, when people awaken, they often describe strange or mysterious stories called dreams.
The documentary also discussed lucid dreaming. It is a type of dreaming when you are aware that you are dreaming. They happen naturally on certain occasions but it differs in every individual. I find this part very disturbing but interesting since I think I have not experienced it yet.  

Reflection Paper: Bird Watching

Last May 6, 2014, the class was introduced to a new interesting activity, Bird Watching. Each group was tasked to roam around the vicinity of the Science Department and to try observing and taking a look at the birds around. At first, I did not really know what to expect from the activity because it sounded quite strange; however, during the activity, I found myself enjoying the given task.  I, together with Group 9, patiently observed the surroundings. Though at first it was hard to look for birds during that time because it was already late in the morning, we got fascinated with few little birds, such as Maya and Shrike, that we encountered. Moreover, taking pictures of the said birds was quite challenging for us. They seem to notice the lens of the camera every time we try to take a picture of them. Consequently, seeing those little birds was a wonderful experience for us because we became more aware of the beauty they contribute to the environment.
We see birds from time to time; however, we usually do not mind them. Consequently, the activity we did that morning made me appreciate more the value of these living creatures. At present, due to technological advances and the fast paced changing environment, more infrastructures are being created; thus, more trees are being cut down. Likewise, air pollution is also a major problem most especially in urban areas like in Quezon City, University of the Philippines Diliman.  Because of these circumstances, the population of various kinds of birds is slowly decreasing from time to time.  People must realize that we should not sacrifice the natural beauty of the surroundings for the developments we aspire for. We should always put into consideration the welfare of the creatures that will be affected by our actions. Therefore, the habitat of the birds should be taken care of in order to protect their existence. Due to manmade environmental destructions, it would be very depressing not to hear the sweet chirping sound of the birds when we wake up in the morning. With this realization, if we still want to have all these wonders for the future generation to experience, we all should cooperate in preserving the beauty of life by being responsible citizens of the country. 

Reflection Paper: Life of Mammals

Monkeys have long arms, grasping hands and strong tails which help them move from one branch to the next by jumping and swinging. They look for trees which bear fruits and they seem to remember where these fruit trees are.

In primate taxonomy, monkeys are classified under the suborder Anthropoidea, which is the Greek word for “humanlike”, and are considered as one of the higher primates. In line with this, I have observed that monkeys are among the smartest animals. They can communicate with one another through signs with their body parts, try to observe and then eventually imitate the activities of the adult monkey. They use sticks and branches of trees to pick up food and rock formations to smash things. Capuchin monkeys, for instance, use sticks to dig for nuts or catch ants. Likewise, they use stones to crack open the large shell of nuts.

According to some studies, monkeys are said to be our closest living relative. These animals are smart enough to adapt to their environment using available resources. Just like humans, they have this innate curiosity which leads them to try new things and to teach or influence younger generations of monkeys to learn from them. Through observing the adult monkeys, the younger ones learn how to find food, medicine, communicate, recognize kin and even use various tools.

After watching the informative documentary, The Life of Mammals, which focused on monkeys, I got amazed by their way of life. Just like us, humans, monkeys spend most of their time socializing.They also exhibit camaraderie and cooperation by providing food, often fruits, for a certain group of monkeys. Having this comfort zone together with the other monkeys, the group creates a better self-defense against its predators. Also, mother monkeys are very protective of their offspring. They take good care of their offspring until they are old enough to adapt to the changes in the environment.  

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