Spring Gully Dam, March 31

It’s taken just five days, from me starting this journal until now, to have some rather big realisations… about my learning style, my motivations, and my current lifestyle.

  • I enjoy learning in a group setting but I prefer reinforcing learnings privately, away from classmates that I feel judged by. Practicing practical skills alone give me a sense of security around the way I like to do things and reminds me of two major things: that there is no ‘right’ way of doing anything, and when I’m not overwhelmed with the feeling of fear; either held toward assessment, the environment or my peers, I do love nature.
  • I do want to be studying outdoor education right now, and I do want to be a secondary teacher. I have connected with the bush that surrounds Bendigo in these last five days. It’s a feeling of linkage that has never come to me exploring the environment before.
  • I’m excited by the prospect of exploring as much of our country as possible by means of adventure, appreciating its components and varied ecosystems. I’m only studying bushwalking and cross-country skiing, but I want to climb, I want to kayak, I want to mountain bike and canoe. I want to bike tour, trail run and cave. I want to drive expanses of this country and get myself into magical nooks of appreciation, building a strong sense of Country, identity and grounds for teaching as I go.
  • I might consider myself moody, an unreliable employee, inconsistent at tasks, a sporadic communicator, any number of things relating to my solidness as a human. What is consistent about me though, objectively, is who I surround myself with, or who surrounds me when I don’t reach out to them. I may not think a lot of myself a lot of the time, but the people around me are amazing, and so whether I am a refraction of them or they are a refraction of me, I have more qualities or aspects of my life to feel proud, happy and confident of than I allow myself to.

Basically, in the last five days, I’ve discovered that this ‘online’ learning environment suits me better than the environment afforded at the classrooms and lecture hall of the Outdoor Education Department at La Trobe. I’ve realised that fear has gotten in the way of a lot of enjoyment and professional and personal development thus far in my degree. I’ve rediscovered my yearn to wander and explore; my nature strip, the local Parks and Australia as a whole. I have questioned my self-worth with an eye to alleviating myself of the burden of negative core beliefs.

The walk along the aqueduct was gorgeous, sunlight filtering through the trees. It was the perfect mix of shade and sun. I saw the most stunning, stunning Red-Bellied Black, hunting in a section of the aqueduct that is dry. He was beautiful. I swear we cannot replicate the colours that nature produces. I suspect he was looking for lizards. There were dozens of skinks that skitted away from me throughout the three-hour round journey.

At the dam, I collected moss samples in film canisters, from an especially green patch of bush on the lowside of the dam. I think that there’s a small underground creek running beneath it year-round, a crack in the dam wall that is gravity-fed water which finds its way downhill by seeping further and further from whence it came. These specimens will be the first for my moss terrarium.

I brainstormed my Bush focus area and Interps presentation theme well, but my ideas haven’t sorted themselves out enough yet to be fleshed-out here. Things that I’m considering are: Box-Ironbark forest, bodies of water in Box-Ironbark forest, Mt Alexander by comparison to Box-Ironbark forest, vegetation of the Box-Ironbark forest, basic ecology of either setting, presentation by means of a story book and storytelling, presentation by means of an original card or board game.

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