Interdisciplinary Studies is a fitting end to my undergraduate career as I have always been studying across two major disciplines. Throughout my life I have enjoyed learning and sought new knowledge whenever I could. Overarching themes in my education are practical application, cause and effect, and hands on representation. The foundation of my knowledge is divided into three parts. The first is natural curiosity that prevailed throughout my childhood, the second is school and academia, and the third is camp and practical skills.
I was a precocious kid and was happy to sit and learn how something worked. Thus, school has never been a place I loathed or grew discouraged. I happy to sit and learn new things and how the world worked. I was most content where I could easily see crossover into the real world and when I was able to interact with the subject. Calculus was hard and I enjoyed learning it because I was also taking physics where we used calculus to derive formulas. These formulas were then used to understand the relationship between objects. This transgression is common when I am engrossed in the material. From physics and environmental science to band and social studies to trigonometry and health, I was able to find flow in my studies.
Over the summer, I replaced school with camp, and academics with skills. During my numerous years at summer camp I chose activities of something I wanted to learn or what I thought would be fun. I learned how to read a map and compass, how to plan a trip, how to shoot a bow and arrow, how to use tools in the woodshop and build something, what some plant and cloud ids are, etc. l switched from more conceptual material to working with my hands and developing physical skills. Summer camp is where I learned to love learning a skill and teaching it to others.
As I entered college I was drawn to the intersection of physical skills, being outside, and helping people, adventure education. From this, I discovered the world of Wilderness and Outdoor Therapy, so for the first two years I was an interdisciplinarian of psychology and adventure education. I had never heard of the term interdisciplinary so when I transferred to PSU, I chose adventure education with a minor of psychology. However, Once I learned of interdisciplinary studies and that I was able to combine my two passions, I jumped at the chance to learn about the program and become an interdisciplinary studies major. Learning about what interdisciplinary is and some related ideas, like open pedagogy, has been fascinating and I look forward to including it in my lifelong studies.