Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Outdoor Survival

"You know, I once read an interesting book which said that most people lost in the wilds die of shame. Yeah, they die of shame. 'What did I do wrong? How could I have gotten myself into this?' And so they sit there and they die. Because they didn't do the one thing that would save their lives—thinking."
—adapted from dialog from The Edge by David Mamet

So this class is about survival, which perhaps is about more than a set of learned skills. Undeniably, one’s chances of survival can be improved by a passing knowledge of some skills and a modicum of preparedness. Students in this class will practice building shelters, making fire, plant identification, and first aid. They will be taught the importance of material preparedness. But, without mental preparedness one is unlikely to apply the knowledge that one holds. Which implies a harder but arguably more important goal for the class—to slow these kids down long enough and to keep them quiet enough to see the world through calm eyes and open ears—to take in their surroundings, to begin to understand how the world functions and to find their places in it. In this way, the psychology of survival can apply as much to common daily life choices as it does to the much rarer event of needing to making it out of the wilderness alive in a critical situation. Oh, and the class is fun....

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BBC World News

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  • Deal to end Yemen crisis signed
  • The Yemeni government and Shia Houthi rebels sign an agreement aimed at ending the political crisis which has gripped the country for weeks.
  • Moscow rally against Ukraine crisis
  • Tens of thousands of Russians march in Moscow to protest against Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
  • Afghan contenders sign unity deal
  • A deal to form a unity government in Afghanistan has been signed at a televised ceremony in Kabul, ending months of political wrangling.
  • Pope decries 'perverted' extremists
  • Tens of thousands of people attend a Mass by Pope Francis, as the pontiff hits out at extremists "perverting" religion to justify violence.
  • Kenya marks Westgate mall attack
  • Kenya is marking a year since the attack by Islamist militants on Nairobi's Westgate shopping centre, in which at least 67 people were killed.