The Unseen and Unnoticed – by Srijita Kar. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at and

The Unseen and Unnoticed – by Srijita Kar. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at and


Nature has enormous amounts of pleasure in store for us. Its beauty and serenity is beyond any beauty human beings can synthetically create. Even though we live in a world of technology, sometimes taking a break from our mechanical life is like a treat to yourself. As a college student in the 21st century, I am often surrounded by technology. Thus, in order to rid myself of all the stress and pressure of my world of isolation and digital screens, I take time to observe and absorb what nature has to offer me.

One such pleasure is the sunrise and sunset. In the past couple of years I have travelled quite a bit. The morning sun, the first rays of the day, the pretty red, orange, and golden sky, the soft cold breeze, the smell of fresh wet grass– all of these things fill me up with intense joy and relaxation. While traveling by road or in air, it always seems like the sun comes out from behind the clouds and softly smiles at us, greeting us with a pleasant ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Ohaiyo’ or ‘Su-Prabhat’– for the sun, language is no barrier. All it understands is love, warmth, pleasure, joy, gratitude and grace.


These are the most treasured moments of my life. These pictures don’t have the smell or the feel that I experienced at that moment, but they remind me of the time and I fall into a trance.

Another gorgeous natural occurrence is the sunset. The beauty is unreal. The sun fades away in the horizon and leaves its golden glow all over the sky. It shrinks into a tiny red dot and eventually disappears, but leaves behind a mesmerizing view to look up at, every time.


Even though sunsets and sunrises occur every day, taking the time to look at it and appreciate the beauty once in a while is refreshing. We cannot rid ourselves from the fast paced technological world, but with the help of all that technology has to offer us, we can capture and create our own little paradise of natural beauty.

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The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy ( is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors ( This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (

For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at)


Filed under North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang, Srijita Kar

27 responses to “The Unseen and Unnoticed – by Srijita Kar. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at and

    • Maria Nowak

      This is a lovely written article, thank you for sharing. During our college days, it’s easy for us to get carried away with the technology we face every day. We get so caught up in our busy lives that we take advantage of the beauty in nature. Instead of going outside to enjoy the weather, sometimes we choose to stay inside and watch TV, or play games, or talk to people on our phones. When we miss the beauty in nature, we miss out on these important moments in our lives. We’re always going to be busy, but we have to choose to take the time to appreciate the world around us. Who knows what nature will be like with global warming in 20 years from now? Who knows what stress you might be under when you choose not to enjoy the small things in life?

  1. Holly Kampa

    Our lives seem to become busier by the day and more often than not technology is involved in one way or another. There’s nothing more beautiful and fulfilling than to take a break from your busy lifestyle and just look. Look around you and see the beauties of nature. I myself love the outdoors, mostly because of how serene and beautiful nature is. Watching sunrises and sunsets are one of the most fascinating things; for me I love to watch the trees. The way they change, whether in the fall with the different pretty colors or the way they look in the winter with frost glistening the branches and holding the fresh fallen snow. It’s amazing what you can observe when you just take a minute to stop and look.

  2. Emily Ciernia

    Your post is very insightful in explaining how much we rely on technology and why it is important to “unplug” from it every once and a while. Sometimes we all need to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of our lives, and appreciate the beauty of the world around us. Sunrise and sunsets are truly incredibly and I often find myself mesmerized by their beauty. I think that you a great job showing how you appreciate the beauties of the world. I hope that we can all take some time every day to put down our technology and observe all wonderful things in the world.

  3. Kelsey Dickinson

    I would agree that, especially as a busy college student, it seems that we are constantly in a state that is driven by the use of technology. It gets to the point that people struggle when they are suddenly disconnected and experiencing a vacant need for stimulation. I often think we are unaware at just how much we truly depend on technology for a sense of false ‘happiness’ or belonging in our culture. Nature has always been a source of inspiration for those that take the time to ponder it and I enjoyed your reflection on taking the time to enjoy sunsets and sunrises. Doing so is a good way to reclaim connection with the natural world and with oneself.

  4. Catherine McConnell

    The imagery in this piece brings the reader to a place where we often forget about. The exciting promise of a new day or the closing prayer of a day well done, both are depicted beautifully by the words and images of the author. The author also makes an incredible parallel of the commonality of nature in different cultures by mentioning the different languages she has learned while traveling. Travels highlighted by the wonderful sunrises and sunsets to be experienced. Beautiful article.

  5. I definitely agree that nature can give us a calmer sense of being. It can be hard to slow down and notice nature at times due to our fast-paced lives. I think it is wonderful that you have had the chance to experience so many beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The pictures you provided instilled in me a strong sense of longing for the sun (when it gets to this point in winter I often ask myself “where did the sun go?” even though I know it’s just hiding). This article also made me wish to wake up earlier to experience more sun rises. Venturing out into nature always gives me a sense of piece. It can be a very meditative experience.

  6. Bryce Gadke

    Nature is something that we take for granted every day. We assume that when we close our eyes to fall asleep that the sun with greet us with fervor the next day. Most individuals don’t see the sun rise and are too busy to watch the sunset on most occasions. How can we slow down our lives and make a collective effort to raise a sense of awareness to enjoy these things, maybe hostility would decrease if people were just happier with the little things in life.

  7. Sarah Burton

    This article had me thinking about many of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets I have experienced as of late. I am definitely a huge fan of going outside and going for a hike whenever life gets stressful. I use a lot of technology since I am a college student and it kind of makes me sad because I would much rather be outside exploring. I think it is important for people to remember to get outside and breathe some fresh air to clear their heads and be more thankful for the natural beauty of the world we live in. It is good for the psyche.

  8. I think that sunsets in particular provide an easy way to combine meditation with the appreciation of natural beauty. My experiences of the light of the setting sun casting the world in a gentle, warm orange glow, essentially seem like the turning of a page. From watching the sun set we can put the troubles of the day behind us and move on, perhaps even get some rest.

    Witnessing sunsets in Duluth have made me realize that once a while, simple things can really impact you with some sense of the scale of the place we live. It’s so profound.

  9. Meghan Lozinski

    I also try to take time and enjoy what’s around me, whether that be snow or rain falling, a sun rise or sun set, or a sunny day. Everything has its own beauty and taking a moment to step back and recognize that is so important, especially during college when everything feels rushed and impossible to finish on time. I especially try to do this when travelling and seeing something new.

  10. Nancy Thao

    I am also a big fan of nature myself, minus the bugs and insects of course, but I love landscapes and the sky. I am often mesmerized with what the sky has to offer with its beauty. Whether it is the sun or the moon up in the sky. One of the things I think about when I take a look at the beautiful scenery is the stories I have heard in my culture. It could be about how the world was created, the connection of nature with human beings, of how nature and humans use to be able to communicate with one another. There are times when I would simply talk to nature out loud or inside my head, acknowledging its presence. I see this a lot with my mother and the plants she raise. She talks to them with care and gentleness which creates a personal connection between the two. When the rain is pouring with lightening striking and thunder in rage, I would always ask, why are you crying sky? Is there a war going on up in the sky? This is one thing I love about nature. Nature is not always about beauty but it also brings in its ugliness creating chaos into the world. It shows the imperfections of life itself. Like the snow itself. The snow is beautiful with its fluffy snowflakes falling, covering the land with its white purity, yet it causes the people to shiver in coldness. Once the snow melts, we see the ugliness of what is being buried under the snow.

  11. I admire how you take the time to take a step out of the world we live in get outdoors. I agree with you that we live in a world surrounded by technology and that stepping away from that can be so relaxing. Living in Duluth, I have always enjoyed the outdoors and how they have helped me deal with many hardships in my life. I find it amazing what a little fresh air and walk through the woods can do!

  12. Thomas Landgren

    Like you said with the increased evolution of technology we have begun to forget about the world that surrounds us. I feel like every college kid or even just kid should take time to go outside and enjoy the nature around us, instead of having our faces plastered to screens. It is sad to see the decline in time spent outside just enjoying the weather, and really we can’t blame it all on technology, we have an equal part in this problem. Great article and the pictures were awesome!

  13. I’m definitely not one to agree that the screens infiltrating pretty much ever aspect of our life. It’s a bit disconcerting, but it’s improving our lives massively. That being said, I wholeheartedly agree that we need to take time away from them every once in a while, because nature’s natural wonders are indeed greater than near anything humans could do. I have nocturnal tendencies in the summertime, so considering that I’m definitely not an early riser, that’s the only way I ever see sunrises. But never, ever am I more at peace than when I sit on our swing with a cup of black coffee watching light slowly flood my yard. Great article.

  14. Martti Maunula

    I’m a photographer myself and I greatly enjoyed seeing these pictures of the sunrise and sunset. Some of my memories from taking pictures are when my dad would wake me up early so that we could get the sunrise coming up over the lake. Sometimes when we had just had a snowfall he would wake me up as well and we would go out and take pictures of the snow before it fell off the branches of trees. The natural beauty in nature is easily forgotten in our more modern age of technology and comforts, but sometimes it’s worth it to step outside and just take it all in.

  15. Andrea Ramler

    I think our lives have been taken over by so much technology that we tend to take things for granted. It is important that we sit back and take in life’s simple pleasures and not get so drawn into social media and technology as a whole. We are very busy people and often don’t think to much into being so disconnected from nature. I think it’s up to us to put things aside and appreciate the things we do have and not worry so much what is happening on our devices and worry more about the world we are living in!

  16. Sara Desrocher

    I really enjoyed this article. I have found that it is very easy to let the appreciation of nature slip through the cracks. I would like to work on this lack of appreciation on my part. Although I appreciate nature while I am enjoying the outdoors during the summer but there is beauty everywhere in the world during every season. I especially need to start noticing and appreciating the sunrise and sunset more often.

  17. Jodi Moran

    It is easy to let something that is free to us like the simple but complex landscape around us to be taken for granted. Why is it that the truly free things in life are easily overlooked? Like you said in your article, as a college student life almost revolves around technology and time crunches, leaving little time to enjoy nature and the world around us. However, I find that when I take the time to breathe in the fresh crisp air, it’s almost like a weight is lifted from my shoulders, even if it is momentarily. It’s important to slow down for a bit and cherish the beautiful nature that is around, because who knows how long it will be here. Nice article.

  18. Elisabeth Bergstedt

    You are spot on with this discussion. I agree completely that will all the new technology around us, we are easily misguided through life and forget about all the natural beauty right in front of our eyes. I have found that I think the most clearly away from the loud city and technology, and best during a hike within nature or driving along the countryside. It really allows me to clear my mind of and think about the important things. I have always loved a good sunrise or sunset, but unfortunately I have been “too busy” to take the time and enjoy them. Your article has reminded me to make the time and get out there!

  19. Connor

    While I can only speak for myself, I imagine a lot of people take the beauty of the natural world around them for granted. Many people. myself included, are so absorbed in our technological fast-paced world, that we forget to appreciate what’s around us. Personally, I struggle to appreciate nature during Minnesota winters especially. I feel like every day is a battle with the cold, the snow, wet shoes, etc. However, in the summer months, when i’m free of the distraction of school and the weather is more enjoyable, I tend to be grateful for what nature has to offer much more often.

  20. McKenzie Ketcher

    I love how you mentioned that the sun has no barriers. There is so much truth to that. All around the world, no matter what country or state one is in, we all share the same sun. The sun is something that we all have in common, and we can share that with people we can’t even understand. The beauty of nature is a wonderful and serene common ground.

  21. Breena Alfredson

    The descriptive nature of your writing transported me to the times I enjoyed sunsets and sunrises. When I am up in the morning I feel so at peace watching the sunrise over lake superior from my living room. The sun shines in as beams and warms me. When I start my day with this, I find it more fulfilling.

  22. Sarah Plankers

    This article is beautifully written, and I agree with much of what you wrote on a very personal level. One line I especially appreciate is the fact that “for the sun, language is no barrier”. I think that we all should try and disconnect from technology and appreciate nature more than we do because our generation and current society as a whole often spends too much time overlooking the beauties of the natural world. Additionally, I think much of what you wrote can apply to not only natural aspects of the world but also one another as human beings. Investing time in one another shows compassion, empathy and an overall better encompassing value of the human spirit, something that often is quite overlooked.

  23. Der Yang

    Hello Srijita,
    This essay was beautifully written. I very much agree with your sense of beauty of the sunset and sunrise. As we grow older, we tend to forget about the natural and scenic views in our lives. We then turn to technology and media to fill in our desires for nature. However, this process is very wrong. As you do often, we should learn to care for and observe nature much more before it vanishes in front of us. On another note, I have seen many sunrises and sunsets growing up. Yet, now that I am also in college, a computer screen seems to be my best friend. Today, I try to take walks and learn about my local changes as much as I can. By this way, I will be able to slowly retain memories and make new ones of sunsets and sunrises. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Madina Tall

    Hello srijita!
    What a beautifully written piece! Although we, as you said, live in a fast paced world, there are some true sights of beauty that simply can not replicate the same sensations as viewing through a screen. Another example I find myself thinking of is the sight of a million stars on a dark night. Simply beautiful.

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