5th grade science camp. Laying on the top bunk of a bed, fiddling with one of those yellow disposable cameras in a musty and cramped cabin. It smells like sweat and Axe Body Spray (to this day I don’t know which is worse). We are summoned to what was the equivalent of a mess hall for a mountain dinner; soup, bread, potatoes. It’s skit night. I grew up a very shy kid but my best friend and I were in the same group and our skit was about breaking out of normal life and becoming rock stars. We took the stage and our song began to play. Maybe it was being away from the confines of the school, maybe it was the thin mountain air. But that was the first time in my life I remember letting loose.
Last night my girlfriend decided I needed a good cry and put on the movie Up. After the now-infamous Carl & Ellie montage we paused the movie to catch our breath and chuckle as if we weren’t being emotionally annihilated by a children’s movie. We checked the DVR and realized we were barely 10 minutes into the movie, the montage taking up only about 5 minutes of that. Somehow in this short span of time, the dastardly writers, editors, composer, and director strummed our heart strings like Hendrix. I can only imagine the plight of parents in the theater with their kids for the first time, not expecting this colorful cartoon about the spirit of adventure to dive into themes of death, mourning, and… losing a pregnancy? Damn Pixar.
I believe the purpose of education is to open the minds of those receptive to knowledge. To arm individuals with the information necessary to form their own beliefs and opinions. To gain perspective and understanding of the world in which we live.
Though there are different facets of intelligence (social, emotional, etc.), in a traditional sense I believe an educated person is someone who acts on logic. Someone who can see multiple points of view. An educated person spends time collecting facts before forming judgments or opinions.
I work in a dull office. In the break room we have a TV mounted on the wall that’s constantly displaying one of those screensaver slideshows of mountains and lakes. Lately I’ve been lingering on my water breaks. I find myself receiving much more nourishment from the images on screen than I get from the water cooler.
8:30am. We arrived at the Glacier Gorge Trailhead, bright-eyed and bushy tailed. As one of the more popular regions in the park, we had set our sights high. Sky Pond.
Nestled between Taylor Peak, Powell Peak, and Thatchtop Mountain, Sky Pond couldn’t have attained a better moniker. At 10,900 ft. this jaw-dropping lake had become that of myth in the weeks leading up to our trip. I familiarized myself with the trail and day by day, fixated on reaching our goal. In my mind, the hike to Sky Pond had become a beast we were meant to conquer. I write this with sore, shaky hands to tell you how the beast kicked our ass.
Everyone and everything has a story.
Moby-Dick, 1984, The Cat in the Hat, Harry Potter, Batman comic books. All immersive tales that drop you into another world with nothing more than words (or drawings) on a page.
Citizen Kane, Forrest Gump, Rocky, The Godfather, Napoleon Dynamite. All staples of pop culture, with characters that will live far beyond their time on screen.
Apple, Nintendo, Pixar, LEGO, Old Spice, Nike. All successful companies with either extraordinary origins or with bafflingly effective, story-driven marketing campaigns.