Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Climbing a Mountain

Today is Labor Day, and it occurred to me recently that I’ve worked four different jobs this year. In addition to teaching full time at Innovation Academy, I directed a service-learning summer program in China, mentored a new teacher, and entertained children with my balloon twisting skills. I also continued my education this year by taking courses with Cambridge College and George Mason University. The amazing part is that none of these felt like “work” because I was having so much fun. I feel very lucky that I make a living by pursuing my passions.

I don’t mean to imply that it’s been an easy year. There have been a lot of challenges to overcome. However, it’s been a year full of learning.ย  Here are a few lessons that I’m trying to remember as the school year is about to take off.ย  The photos are from my weekend trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

1) You don’t need to be big to create beautiful things.

2) It’s important to take time to notice the small stuff…

3) And look closely whenever possible.

4) Some paths are clearly marked and some need to be trail-blazed, but there’s no right way.

5) Even if the journey is hard, it all feels worth it when you get to your destination.


6) Even after you get to your destination, there’s always more to do (coming down can be even harder)!

7) It’s important to take some time to rest. You can’t always do everything. (I missed out on a second day of hiking because I wasn’t feeling well, but at least I got to read a good book with this beautiful view)

As you can see, you don’t need to travel on an airplane to have adventures, and you don’t need to go far to learn about the world. What mountains have you climbed this year? In your work over the past year, what lessons have you learned?

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11 thoughts on “Climbing a Mountain

  1. looks like our favorite spot, the AMC Highland Center! Great place for hiking or lazing…

  2. Edith C. on said:

    that path looks just like the mount Washington trail my family climbed to the top of!

  3. Gachau Kabuga on said:

    The White Mountains look simalir to the Precipe Trail in Bar Harbor Maine,that my family and I climbed two weeks ago. It took us an hour and twenty minutes to reach the peak. We had a lot of fun. How long did it take you to climb?
    Gachau.K

  4. Anna S. HB Gates on said:

    These are beautiful pictures, Ms. Krakauer!!
    Great pieces of advice!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Nice balloon creations in the picture!!
    The spider’s web was beautiful!! I love how you took the picture with the light streaming in. The advice for this picture is almost like the quote, “Good things come in small packages.”
    What was the red disk in the second picture? Is it a flower, like the Chinese lotus flower?
    The leaf in the third picture is really cool!! What kind of leaf is it? In other words, what tree did the leaf come from?
    The path in the fourth looks really cool, I’d love to walk on that path!! Was it hard to walk on the wooden planks? Was it relatively easy? Was it very easy? You’re right about the fact that there’s no right way, you can go anyway you want! As long as it’s part of the map.
    I thought the view was beautiful!! Is the Highland Center a center for ONE mountain? Or does it include ALL mountains? If one, which mountain did you climb? How did the little pile of rocks get there? Is it man-made? If so, did you add a rock to it?
    You’re also right that coming down can be even harder. Especially when there’s a ton of rocks in the way, and when the mountain or hill is super steep.
    Are you okay now, Ms. Krakauer? How sick were you? Why were you sick? What illness did you have? At least you had a book and the view with you.

    I climbed and hiked literally a little during the summer, but I’m not sure if I climbed some mountains as in, problems that I had solve this summer.
    I think a problem mountain that I climbed was getting ready for seventh grade and getting used to my new class. It was kind of challenging. But I had two friends in my class to count on even though my other friends were in different classes. I miss them.
    Now here are my adventures on my literal climbing and hiking:
    About 2 weeks ago, my family and I went to Acadia National Park in Maine. It was lot of fun!! One of the places we went to was Jordan Pond. There were some hiking trails there, and we hiked them. They led all around the pond!! You could see small fishing (mostly in groups) darting around the pond in the shallow areas. We even saw a small brook!!
    We also went and hiked the trails of Bubble Pond. My family and I were puzzled why it was called “Bubble” Pond, but we assumed it was because of the sound the water was making. When the ripples of the water splashed onto the shore, it made a sound like bubbles. We didn’t hike too much of the trails at Bubble Pond, but the scenery was beautiful just the same.
    At both ponds, the trees made strange arches and shapes, they were really cool!!
    Acadia was one of those places where you had to take a picture of everything.
    My family and I also went to Peppercorn Hill recently. It wasn’t all that bad, and it represented a challenge too. At times, the path would get very rocky, and there were a couple of ditches that we climbed through. We couldn’t really see the view at the top because it was all surrounded with trees. Then when we went down, the hill got really steep at times, and we had to lean back a lot in order to climb down. It was fun though, I liked climbing up on to the rocks and then climbing to another one!!
    After that, we went to North Pond, a pond not far from Peppercorn Hill. We weren’t able to do much because we didn’t bring a boat or anything. But the water was beautiful.
    Some lessons I learned in my work over the past year was to never give up hope. Even when things looked terrible just keep on hoping. I know that sounds a little too optimistic, but it helped me!!
    I also learned to always be prepared for anything. Think about all the possibilities that might happen, and be prepared for them.

    Best Wishes!!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰ ~ Anna

  5. Anna S. HB Gates on said:

    Thank you so much!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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