It was about three years ago when I was walking along this small lake in West Virginia, really no more than a pond fed from an old surface coal mine, that I decided to further my education and pursue a Master’s degree. Shear folly, of course, since I was well past the age that anyone should be entering graduate school, but still…..
After several weeks of web browsing and soul searching, I found a program in Environmental Policy and Management at American Public University and enrolled the same day. My first class started in June 2014 and, since then, I have read thousands of pages and written hundreds more on topics ranging from environmental law and ethics to restoration ecology and landscape planning. Nearly every weekend for the past 2 1/2 years has been consumed with reading government reports, scientific studies, and course textbooks while writing an 8 to 10 page paper on any number of topics.
Now I am nearing the end of my program. I have submitted my capstone thesis and, on Christmas day no less, I’ll receive my final grade. It’s been an amazing and thought-provoking experience that left me very little time to do other things, like writing this blog. Now that it’s over, I can’t wait to get back to exploring nature, bird watching, hiking and photography, and dropping by here from time to time to share my experiences.
One question I have been pondering is whether to stick with this old blog or construct a new one. For now, I think I’ll stay here. I have to prove to myself that I am willing to make the time to read and write. With so many false starts over the past couple years, it seems the prudent thing to do.
Oh yeah…the pond. It’s called Rockhouse Lake and has a Facebook page (where I found the photo). I sometimes go for walks there when I’m visiting my family.