By Luke Stauffer
M.S. in Outdoor & Environmental Education
As I entered my last semester of undergrad I was like a ship lost at sea. 9 months later I found my way…
15 January 2016. It is my birthday today, but I am so nervous about what I am going to do with my life after I graduate, I cannot think about celebrating. Within the past three months all of the paths I attempted dissipated one by one until I was lost. All I want to do is teach, but it seems like I am not meant to teach philosophy or English. I love my job working in outdoor recreation though and I wish I were able to continue teaching about the outdoors. It is honestly the coolest thing in the world!
22 February 2016. I talked to my boss today and asked for some guidance. He recommended checking out this grad program at Alaska Pacific University in Outdoor & Environmental Education. Basically, the program educates people to teach in and about the outdoors, which is exactly what I want to do!
28 March 2016. I applied for the MS in Outdoor & Environmental Education (MSOEE) program at APU today. I am not the type to put all my eggs in one basket, but I feel especially confident about this program!
13 May 2016. I am graduating from the University of Arizona today! After four long years, I am finally getting my BA in Philosophy! I still have no idea what I am going to do after this summer if I do not get into APU.
24 May 2016. I just received a letter from them this morning stating that I got into APU’s MSOEE program! I am actually going to Alaska!
21 October 2016. Through this amazing program out in Palmer, Alaska I am being educated by means of experiential, outdoor & environmental education and I get to teach for this awesome program called FIELD School! It is remarkable how nine months ago I had no idea where my life was heading and now I am actually living the dream! I came into this program thinking it was just another reason to get outdoors, but I was mistaken. It is so much more than that. My mind is being stimulated with new ideas and ways to approach education, from free-choice learning to this Scandinavian “Nature Life” called friluftsliv.
FIELD School is one of my favorite experiences so far. It nearly fits what I wished for in a job nine months ago. At FIELD School I teach a group of elementary students and regularly engage their minds to think differently about the outdoors. I have taken them on hikes around the Kellogg Farm, hunted for fossils in Sutton and did some exploration in Hatcher Pass! It is surprising how applicable the ideas I am learning about in my literacy class can be applied to teaching at FIELD School.
I am astounded by the opportunities this program has provided for me. I am excited with anticipation to see what is next!