At work today at Chadwick School, when I was sorting several years of digital photography into their proper categories, I ran across several marvelous photos taken on outdoor education trips over the years. This one is from the senior trip in 2004 and I don't know the person, but assume it is one of the wilderness instructors as I don't recall a student back then who looked like this. I don't know who took this photo either, but the department said it was OK to use it.
It seemed like such a classic photo to me--the young man with intricate blond dreadlocks, the sunglasses reflecting whatever is going on around him, the scarf tying his hair back and keeping the sweat off his face. We all talk frequently about the challenge in our busy society of staying in the now moment. Since it's 2004, I assume he is not texting to a buddy back home. He's focusing, I imagine, on whatever the group is encountering in the Southern Sierra at that moment--hiking, taking a food break, possibly writing in his trip journal. If he is a student and not an instructor, he has by now undoubtedly finished college, maybe grad school, and he's out working in the world.
What do you think he might be thinking or doing? I hope he got to see this sunrise that day. It's another photo in the series.
Our current seniors are out in the Sierra right now for a few weeks and this trip is considered a rite of passage. Whatever they are doing, I hope they are able to stay fully in the moment because when they return, their new lives will take them all across the country and into new layers of learning and living. For all of us who work in education, the winding down of the academic year is both a relief--and it is very poignant. At least it sure is for me.