New Challenges

Tomorrow begins the second official week of the spring season here in the mountains, my second week in cabin with the girls, and my first week teaching actual classes here. The biggest challenge of this is mental, I think, and once I have finished my first class which I hope I will be prepared enough for, I believe that the rest will go smoother. That being said, I am going to be teaching some topics that I never thought that I would teach. Outdoor skills and orienteering, I was ready for. For forest ecology I could not be more pumped. Leading dissections and physics classes though, will be a hefty mental hurdle that I am both nervous and excited for. Luckily, we had a long weekend to fill with studying!

I’m just kidding, we went surfing. It was worth the two hour drive to get to San Clemente and pick up boards and meet some of the nicest parents around and pick up boards and a pooch. The spot we went to was unlike any beach I have been to before, and the waves were pretty nice! We had to trek down a cliff with our boards, burritos, and wetties (as our Australian friend calls them, which I like way more than ‘wetsuit;) to  get to the water and my goodness was it gorgeous!

Another new experience and challenge occurred when I was stung by a sting ray! It was an experience for sure, and I can’t help but feel bad for the kids at base who forgot to shuffle and were slashed and went without proper treatment because we didn’t actually know what the wound was. I vividly remember a kid this past summer with a stab nearly twice the size of the one that I got this weekend, and I can’t even imagine the pain that he must have felt after walking on it without proper treatment for a full day. I went only three or so hours before I could soak it and my chacos barely fit by the end, Ouch.

Needless to say, as well, studying definitely happened almost all day today. Tomorrow I teach weather and owl pellet dissections and I am both nervous and excited. Here’s to influencing the city kids of Southern California!

ps: we are in a fairy tale forest with giant pine cones and it rules.

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Altitude and Attitude

I recently took my life to the next level – from sea level to 6,400 feet above that.

The view directly outside of the main gate of Pali.

I got a job up here in the mountains of California and it’s been a wild ride so far. I am going to be interacting with a younger kids than I’ve ever worked with, and much to my surprise, I am going to be not only teaching outdoor classes like orienteering and leading night hikes, but serious business science classes as well. It’s a different kind of pushing my comfort zone than I am used to, and I am very nervous and very excited. I have never even taken a physics class before, and this coming week I will be teaching one by myself. How crazy is that! My weekends and off time are going to be packed with studying and making lesson outlines, in addition to climbing, surfing, and general exploring.

The view of the San Bernadino range from one of the three challenge courses.

It’s gorgeous up here, my coworkers are awesome, and I am thrilled for what this season will bring me in terms of personal and professional growth. It may be chilly way up here, but my passion for the field of outdoor education is burning brighter than ever!