Plant a Tree!: International Day of Forests

Meet Douglas.

My new PhD companion.

Yes, it’s true. It’s a tree (apparently, it is a douglas fir tree).
And yes, that’s my planter at home and I named it something that makes it super easy for me to remember what kind of tree it is — because, I almost forgot within the matter of three minutes.

Douglas came home with me today, because I participated in ‘plant a tree’ activity to celebrate the International Day of Forests.

I actually didn’t know about today being the International Day of ForestsĀ until I was handed this precious and beautiful baby tree. Apparently, this day was set up by the UN General Assembly, and

[o]n each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.[1]

So I figured I’d do my portion of raising awareness of the special day by talking about it.

As usual, I woke up bright and early this morning, and got ready for my morning teleconference meetings starting at 8am. I have lots of interesting roboethics things going on lately, so my mornings have been filled with roboethics for the past couple of weeks.

After the meetings, I head out the door and started walking along the usual path I take to the lab — through the Forestry building.

That’s when I saw it.

There was a booth set up inside the forestry building where a group of students from the Forestry Graduate Student Society were wrapping small little evergreen trees.
While certainly being aware that I’m walking through the forestry building — lots to do with tree there — I was curious why these little trees were being wrapped up.

As I cautiously approached them, being highly hesitant what to do, one girl came up to me saying “Would you like a tree?” and handed me Douglas.

Are you kidding? Would I like a tree? Of course, I’d like a tree.

I actually have a thing for trees. My favourite word in the world is tree in Korean. In a sort of warm and nature-loving way, I think trees are awesome. To me, they are like these mystical creatures that symbolize slow yet continual growth, perseverance, strength, and something friendly and happy in general.

But as though being handed a puppy to raise in my residence, my first reaction was a mixture of “yay~!”, “what do I do now?”, and “how big is it gonna get?”.
I asked the lady where I should plant it, and she simply said “anywhere!” with a big and confident smile. I’m sure she’s studying Forestry, so I assume that she knows what she’s doing in handing me the baby tree to take care of with such simple instruction as ‘plant it anywhere’.

So I did. I am sure the idea is to build, protect, and foster forests, and my planting of the tree at home probably isn’t very helpful.
But maybe, if I can take a good care of it for the rest of my PhD career, Douglas will grow to be a strong little tree with a sense of character and healthy attitude (yes, I am anthropomorphizing lots here). Then I will find a good spot to plant it, and make it a part of beautiful forests of BC.

Maybe, as Douglas grows to be taller and stronger, I will grow to be a taller and stronger (not in the literal sense) researcher as well.

Anyways, I am glad that the graduate student society is actively participating in their portion of the UN’s initiative.

Happy International Day of Forests everyone. I am not sure how long the booth will be there, but I hope you get the chance to drop by the Forestry building today and spend a few minutes planting a tree.

2 thoughts on “Plant a Tree!: International Day of Forests

  1. Daniela Titus

    Hi. I loved your story with Douglas, and i think is great that someone else thinks that trees are awesome.

    My name is Daniela Titus and I’m from Barranquila, Colombia; the same place where Shakira is.

    You see, i found this site on the UBC main page. I know you are busy right now with your PhD but the thing is that I’d really appreciate if you could guide me or tell me what do I need to applicate to the Donald Wehrung International Student Award.

    I’m so nervious and excited about this. Thanks.
    Oh! You could email me : danielatitus_08@yahoo.es
    Or add me at facebook : Daniela J Tifus.
    Daniela

    Reply
    1. AJung Post author

      Hi Daniela,
      Thanks for reaching out. I haven’t been keeping up with the blog very often, but I’m glad you found at least some of the contents interesting.
      I am not sure what the award is about, so I am probably not going to be a very big help.
      Is this administered through UBC? I think my suggestion for you would be to contact the awards department responsible for the award and find out as much about the award as possible. If it’s a UBC award, people from here should be able to help (http://you.ubc.ca/tuition-scholarships/entrance-award/). Good luck! šŸ˜€

      Reply

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