Today was the kind of day I enjoy here. Most of my classes were outdoor classes and I got to enjoy the sun; though the cold breeze inspired me to bundle up while we were outside. I spent the morning on the zip line.
This is my friend Chris, demonstrating the safety equipment.
Our next class was a day hike; I took my kids up the May Valley Forest Service trail, discussing plants and animals on the way up. We took a side trail to find a place to look out over the valley, we saw three deer on our way to the look out. I gave the students pens and paper and told them to find a quiet place alone to write, sketch, or just sit in solitude and observe. This is the kind of activity that I love to watch; eighth graders are incredibly social, and to tell them that they have to be alone and quiet is like telling them that you're going to crush their ipod. It's awesome to watch the revelation though. They realize how vast nature really is, that beyond the limited spectrum of their daily lives is this beautiful wilderness that dwarfs them. The world is large and wonderful and waiting to be discovered. Today I felt like the kids who walked down the trail with me were slightly changed from the kids who walked up it.