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Outdoor leadership students get new perspective on learning

January 24, 2011

The outdoor leadership majors and professors grew close through Discovery last semester. Photo by Jenny Cavin.

By Callie Stevens, Staff Writer

Adrenaline is rushing through every cell in your body. Nerves are on the edge of a cliff. Butterflies are soaring in your stomach, which feels like is in your chest. Your life in your hands with the knowledge of one mistake could cost you that life.

Imagine a whole semester filled with this exhilaration. Spending four months on a constant adrenaline rush. Then, imagine after a month being made to sit quietly for hours in a desk listening to a lecture.

The Discovery students have moved back into normal schedules with normal classes. As for me, it has been a strange transition. I have made the joke several times that I somehow acquired ADD over the break. Last semester we were constantly active, and we practically stayed on an adrenaline high. In the new semester, we are forced back into traditional classes. I sit in class having to make myself focus, because all I keep thinking about is me wanting to be outside doing something active.

Strangely, though I am antsy to get out of class, I am also really enjoying learning. It is surprisingly refreshing to have to think hard about different topics and broaden my perspectives. Last semester we learned a lot, but it was information that you do not realize how much you learned until you have to put it into practice. For example, we learned the different strokes of paddling a canoe. I didn’t realize how much I really learned about them until we got on the river and the strokes just seemed natural from learning them properly. With learning that takes place in traditional classes, you are able to reflect right after class and see what you learned.

Though the Discovery semester is over, I am still discovering new qualities about myself. I have realized that I love and miss the field work of living in the woods. I have also discovered, as nerdy as it sounds, that I enjoy learning. I do not know what the semester holds for me, but I do know that I am going kayaking this weekend, and I am going to study this weekend. As for me, it sounds like the perfect weekend for an outdoor leadership major coming out of the Discovery Semester.

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