Friday, April 22, 2016

Outdoor Studies is a Thing

And this is what happens when
things go wrong in
Bear Avoidance class.  
Apparently you can get a college degree in playing outside.  Yeah, you read that right.  They call it Outdoor Studies.  I am sure it promises just as lucrative a future as majoring in Beer Drinking or Competitive Pizza Eating.  All lots of fun, but I think the job market is limited.  C'mon!  Even a park ranger doesn't have to do most of the stuff these guys take classes for.  For real, what job are you getting with this major?  They aren't even transferable skills.  Bartender at TGIFriday's doesn't have much call for Glacial Travel (that's an actual area of study within the major).

Anyway, there were a few things I needed to discuss about this news story and it was too much to make a Facebook post out of so, please read article, consider the following, and then report back to FB to discuss:

1.  Back to first point - how exactly did an Outdoor Studies major come about and who was the first kid to explain to his parents (I say "his" because you know this wasn't a woman, and please note mauled professor is also not a woman) he needed a degree in backcountry navigation to move forward with his career goals?

2.  Let's just wrap our minds around the fact that the person charged with teaching others
Some insight into how
things may have gone awry.
how to survive in the wilderness is the person who was mauled by the bear.  I truly do feel terrible that this man got hurt and is in serious condition - BUT - if the expert didn't know how to avoid the bear, what do you think your chances are!?!?  Purposely interacting with nature when don't have to is akin to walking through gang territory at night banging cymbals and yelling "I am here because I want to be and you can't stop me!  I am edgy and fearless!  How ya like me now?!" - you are looking for trouble and you are likely to find it.

3.  What's the job interview even like for professor of Playing Outside?  Hey, we're gonna send you somewhere awful and perilous.  If you come back alive and with at least 75% of your limbs, the job is yours.   And what about final exams?  "We're sorry Mr. and Mrs. Sadderson, the $100k you spent on your child's degree seems to have gone down in value as your child has been eaten by wolves.  He probably shouldn't have skipped that last backcountry navigation class."

4.  The reason humans live longer than in the past is because they stopped living outside and spending their whole lives trying not to become someone else's dinner (or get crushed by rocks, or drown, or freeze).  Even homeless people don't try to go live in the wild; they work on finding a way to be back living inside, not their rock climbing and scary animal avoidance skills.

See ya over at Facebook...and I don't want to hear how some of you love rock climbing or hunting.  I bet you didn't major in it in college.

Naked Ice Climbing.
Are you kidding me with this!?!!!?!


  1. I had a roommate who's major was "Leisure Arts" - I asked what kind of job that got her "Golf course management!" Needless to say we were not a connection, what with me having BOOKS and STUDYING all the time for my silly major of MIS.

    1. Leisure Arts sounds like fancy people version of Outdoor Studies. :)

  2. Why you studying the lives of my in-laws? Oh yeah. One is a scout camp director with a major in Outdoor Studies. One has a degree in fine arts. Works at Kohls.

    1. I bet you don't need a degree in outdoor studies to be a scout camp director. I mean there are probably some good skills there you would want, but a whole 4 years of study?? And what job are people trying to get with a fine arts degree? There's a reason "starving artist" is a thing. You don't hear about too many "starving accountants." :)


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