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Last class ever… in the prettiest place ever

Today I had my last class for my MELP and it was in Montana at a beautiful spot overlooking Blodgett Canyon. The wind was blowing in our hair, the sun shining bright, the sky gleaming blue. We talked about wildfires, and learned about smoke jumpers — firefighters that parachute down into fires to try to put them out. We were in an area that burned in 2000, and although there were some scary things that happened during the burn, the area was now recovering wonderfully, with birds everywhere and flowers and vegetation returning in abundance. The last class was largely about wildfires, and how the public has an irrational fear of a process that is a natural part of a functioning forest. We also had a fascinating presentation on the Mann Gulch fire and the smoke jumpers who died trying to fight that fire. Not a happy story, but very fascinating.

The class was a lovely way to finish up my classes for my MELP degree. Of course I still have the final for the class, and a few other things to finish up, but it’s really nearly the end here. Lots of my fellow classmates are already done, but I’ve been enjoying the classes this summer, and definitely have loved my time out here in Missoula. What a great town — I could definitely live here. And, what a great class. I think it’s so important to get out and see the things you’re talking about so that it’s not all just mysterious, theoretical stuff. Definitely makes it so much more real, and also reminds you why you’re doing this stuff in the first place.

Well, I suppose I might write a few more blogs before it’s all over. For now, I’ve got to get focused on the final exam and getting ready to go back to VT. I’ve got a wedding coming up in a few weeks! Holy moley, I’ve got a lot to do for that, too 🙂 But, being out in the wilderness has been a great way not to think too much about it! That’s probably the best thing you can do before you get married — stay cool. Here’s hoping I can do that in the last two weeks.


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