HOLLY WR - your resident Leslie Knope
Volume 9, Issue 12
Let me be the first to admit that any JD student who has an affinity for living things has probably picked the wrong career.
Years of grey-walled, coffee-stained, 17-hour days stretch ahead of you, where the only bit of green likely to give you any sense of relief from that desk-bound hell is an incoming text from your dealer.
While this corporate wasteland may still be one or two years away for many of us, the neo-masochist interior design of Melbourne Law School is fulfilling its role as the perfect training ground.
But I have a secret. It doesn’t have to be like this.
Let me introduce you to plants. Plants, meet JD student. You babes don’t know each other very well, but you really are a match made in heaven. Let me explain.
JD student is stressed, depressed, reliably anxious, and spends all waking hours in air-conditioned rooms under fluorescent lights (with no chance to escape because their lectures aren’t recorded).
Plants are certified chill. They clean the air, reduce symptoms of anxiety, fatigue and confusion, improve cognitive function, and generally make people feel heaps good (science!). They also do pretty well indoors.
Like, just look at that. Basically, having plants indoors helps to alleviate our suffering. They also look pretty. Why we don’t have these fit, leafy jesuses in every classroom is beyond me.
So I decided to make it happen.
Last year, I set up the Classroom Botanica project. My aim has been to run some pilot projects to show that getting plants into our learning spaces is a) really easy and b) really beneficial.
Thanks to the wonderful LSS Enviro portfolio, there are now plants on Level Three to make your weekly, soul-crushing study sessions in the library slightly more bearable. This semester, we’ve also started a project in GM16. The weird metal box on the wall in there is measuring air quality, to see how much of a difference the plants make to factors such as carbon dioxide levels, and, consequently, your ability to concentrate. (To do this right, we’re also running some surveys – if you have a class in GM16 this semester, please fill them out! The links are at the end of this article).
Eventually, what I’d like to see is the faculty providing ongoing funding for some plant life in our learning spaces.
If you’ve got any remaining doubts, I am happy to admit that no, plants are not going to solve everything. They can’t automatically give you a H1 in Corporations Law, or cure your all-encompassing fear of failure. But they are such an easy way to make your wellbeing a little bit better, and overcome this weird, post-modern delusion that our immediate environment has no effect on us whatsoever.
By the by, the university already provides plants for office staff. If that’s not a scandal, I don’t know what is.
** Surveys below for people who have classes in GM16 this semester **
Holly WR is a fourth-year JD student
The rest of this week's *bumper* issue: