I am a migrant teacher and a rock climbing nerd in the process of self re-invention. This spring I gave notice at my work and made plans to begin a graduate program in Counseling Psychology and Adventure Therapy. With few job prospects, looming grad school debt, and a new life on the west coast ahead of me, writing has become a way to stabilize myself. It's also become a great medium for expressing my passion - a life well lived, whatever that means. For me that means embracing risk and the unknown, and throwing in as much travel and time outside as possible.
I moved to DC in June of 2008 to take a job at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as the Formal Education Coordinator for the Solar Dynamics Observatory. I taught middle school science, 7th and 8th grade. I blew things up for my students and made a mess. Now I blow things up for teachers and make a mess. I'll miss this job...
My love of science, geology and ecology specifically, have lead me to my current sport - rock climbing. I've never been a huge athlete. I was on a softball team in middle school, swam and life guarded in highschool, and (yes, its true) was on a synchronized swimming team in college. I also danced classical ballet till I was 17. I prefer active hobbies over competitions. I started climbing in highschool in a group called Civil Air Patrol. It was mostly rappelling and knots and survival training. Then I took a climbing class at Penn State and was hooked.
Multiple states later I found myself in DC with a close gym and a reliable climbing partner (Eric). Since then I've become invested in the sport and have improved by leaps and bounds. I think the thing that draws me to climbing is the problem solving. Each foot placement, shifting your weight, placing gear, overcoming fears, it's all a problem to be solved. You fall, you try it again, maybe another way. You find the solution and you practice it till it's right. To top it all off you get to do it outside in some of the most beautiful places on earth, with people who respect each other and the rock they are trusting their lives to. I've always had an inner hippie who hates to shower and loves patchouli. I love feeling connected to the environment I'm exploring at the moment. Climbing is a good way to do that. It's also a good way to educate people about conservation and responsibility, and since most climbers are like-minded there are lots of opportunities to take action. It's a great community and I'm proud to be a part of it.