While I normally do not preach about some of my deeply held beliefs, today I want to talk about the importance of continuing education. Whether it is taking a French class at Northwest College in Powell or participating in a seminar about roping techniques, I am always open-minded and supportive.
One of my bucket list items is to go to school to be a bull fighter – dressed as a rodeo clown. I know a guy who works in Yellowstone who went through this training a few years ago. I have this great video of him getting flipped by a bull. It looked scary, but fortunately, he escaped with just a few bruises which he wore as a badge of honor for several days. He still talks about that incident and the bull fighting school as a highlight of his time spent in our town.
Even though I grew up surrounded by some of the best streams in the world for trout fishing, I never really knew how to tie a fly or cast properly. Since we have absolutely terrific fly fishing guides in this area, I tapped into their knowledge and expertise until I reached an acceptable level of competence. Today, I am comfortable in waders and proficient using both dry flies and nymphs to land trout.
There are some times, however, where it just makes sense to return to the basics for a refresher course. Sometimes changes in technology turn things completely upside down (sort of like what that bull did to my friend at rodeo bull fighting school), and it is necessary to learn new techniques.
A good example is photography. I learned to shoot and process film long before digital cameras came along. Framing a photo and using light properly have not changed much, but the cameras themselves take some new training.
I have therefore decided that I am going way back to the basics starting next week. This afternoon I am heading over to Eastside Elementary School and signing up for fifth grade.
I remember that year of school as being a turning point in my life. It was the bridge from my childhood to young adulthood. I started to notice that the world was a much bigger place than I realized. My teacher challenged me and my classmates to better ourselves.
There’s one other thing I am anticipating. You see, Sleeping Giant Ski Area has opened for the season, and fifth graders are eligible for a free season pass.
See you on the slopes.
Future valedictorian and current snow bunny,