Greetings from Rice Lake, Canada! My name is Jacqueline Priolo, less than a year ago my name was Jacqueline Scheffel. Last June I got married in Algonquin Provincial Park at a canoe camp to my adventure partner Steve. Before this, I had just begun my teaching journey at Trinity College School, where I still am today as a Health and Physical Educator. In the summer months, I turn into a nomad and wander around Canada looking for rocks to climb and water to paddle on. Stretching back a bit further I was a hockey player, playing for the University of Toronto where I studied Education and kinesiology. I feel as though my identity is constantly shifting and taking new forms. I enjoy changing and embracing new chapters, even though change can be terrifying at times! Throughout my time on earth, one constant is that I have always been madly in love with nature, I am very drawn to water in all of its forms, and to the forest and mountains, all of the critters that we share the planet with and especially spending time with people in the elements. I feel that when we are outdoors, we are the closest, and most honest with one another and all living things. I am very excited, and nervous to see how our adventure in Nepal, with all of you, will change me with the beauty of the Himalayas surrounding us and the people of Nepal teaching us.
My connection to global experiential education is just beginning! I have experience in experiential education domestically, here in Canada I have taught at an outdoor school where we teach a wide range of subjects while whitewater canoeing and camping along the beautiful Madawaska River. As well as opportunities to connect with indigenous families from Canada and the US and learn together as we teach the game of lacrosse. These opportunities have been wonderful learning experiences for myself and my students. As for global education, I am looking forward to chaperoning a student trip to Ecuador in November 2019 and again in 2020. This will be a new experience for me and is a major reason why I am so excited for the Nepal Educator program so that I can gain tools and learn as an educator before facilitating a trip overseas.
In terms of climate change education, I would say that I am also a rookie. Although very passionate, I have not had any formal experiences in educating students about climate change other than doing my best to role model and incorporating environmental awareness into each of my courses and tying it to the curriculum. My husband and I have recently started working towards having a waste-free household, and I am excited to learn new ways to be green from other parts of the world. This trip signifies the beginning of a new chapter for me. My journey as an athlete has come to a close, and I am eager to devote my time and energy towards learning service, learning to be green, learning global perspectives and eventually teaching my students and taking them on experiential trips. I predict I will truly enjoy this course and feel challenged to dig deep into a new realm. My hope is to work with each of you, Claire, and those we meet in Nepal to form the foundation for a future of experiential learning that each of us can bring back to our schools to build upon.
Finally, my favourite quote from the reading Why We Travel by Pico Iyer is “ if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed” as I am ready to be transformed in many ways through this journey with you all.
I am truly looking forward to connecting with each of you, eh!