kayaking through life with skill

kayak 2In the past week as I was refreshing this website, and especially the header photo with one of our students kayaking and the corresponding quote, I got to thinking about what a practical metaphor our STLC kayaking is. As we kayak more often each year with our students, I see even more correlation   between kayaking and our journeys and lessons in real life.

These are some of the questions I might ask myself, and the skills I would want to practice, in order to be a skilled kayaker…OR in order to be a person equipped with the necessary tools and skills for a progressive and satisfying journey through life.

  • kayak 3Where am I headed—in which direction? And am I pointed in that direction? Am I moving in that direction?
  • Have I checked the conditions beforehand so that I am prepared for what is ahead? Is it too windy or cold? Are there rapids ahead, etc? Rapids and such can be so       invigorating if I am prepared.
  • Will I actually get where I want to go? I will get wherever I paddle…no one else can paddle my kayak for me.
  • If I get behind, do I expect others to wait for me or do I paddle with more gusto in order to catch up?
  • If I get stuck in the weeds along the shore, can I back out on my own and get back on track…or do I shut down and expect someone else to rescue me?
  • Am I riding calm and steady in my boat or am I rocking and rolling it so much that I am out of balance and tip or sink?
  • Can I right my kayak if I tip it over? Or am I just out of commission at that point? Can I fall and get back up? The only way to acquire that skill is to practice and practice some more.
  • Have I practiced my steering techniques enough to be able to maneuver through tight spots or unexpected conditions?
  • Am I physically and mentally conditioned so that I have the stamina to get to where I want to go? I might be sore at first, but the more I practice with regularity, the further I go.kayak1
  • Am I committed to safety and wisdom, so that I don’t find myself in scary or rough situations that could have been avoided?
  • Do I maintain and care for my kayak that keeps me afloat?
  • Am I careful to give other kayakers or fishermen their space? Do I realize that I am not the only one on the river?
  • Am I respectful of the wildlife and the natural environment around me? Do I move through the water quietly with gratitude?

I realize that I could ask myself EVERY one of these questions in terms of how I am making my way through life…they could be my guides.kayak 4

Anyone up for a kayak trip….through life? Feel free to leave a reply below if you have more ideas about our kayaking/life metaphors.

Tien Stone Langlois                                                       Scholars Together Learning Community

One thought on “kayaking through life with skill

  1. Julie Foskett

    Hi Tiena,

    So glad to be directed to your beautiful website! I can see that you’re deeply engaged in giving your students something very special. It can’t help but point the way for them to life-long satisfaction as truly thinking individuals and valuable citizens able to make significant contributions to our country as well as the world.

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