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Nepal Semester Student's Catherine Von Holt's photograph of the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu.

Introduction

Hello from Los Angeles, California! I teach history and global studies at a private school in the foothills of the Angeles Crest Mountains outside of Los Angeles. I’ve had the opportunity to live in many parts of the United States from my early adventures in Colorado to my college and grad school years on the East Coast to my first teaching years in Alabama. I’m new to the global studies coordinator position and am excited for this new adventure in my teaching career.

My connection to global experiential education really comes from my love of history. Many question the role of historians in modern society with the rise in importance of STEM education and the current challenges in the political arena. Are historians just storytellers or mere data collectors? What is the responsibility of “objective” historical scholarship? Surely the main aims of any historian are to educate and attempt to explain events of the past rather than simply recite stories. The study of history has made me realize that our understanding of the past will help us discover our potential to make significant change in the future. The connections between civic engagement and global citizenship are seen across all areas of the curriculum from literature to science, math to world languages. Next year, our school is working on organically incorporating the theme of sustainability onto our campus. The goal is to find a way to connect our schools’ initiatives (STEAM, leadership, and global studies) and service together and to give people an opportunity to grab onto one or more of the initiatives in their classrooms, on campus, and in the community. I’m Interested in learning about the sustainability of cultures—how can people maintain their cultural heritage in the face of environmental crises, impending modernity and global impositions? The project in Nepal will help me find ways to help our teachers think about sustainability.

A quote from the article that resonated with me analyzed ideas from Camus: “’what gives value to travel is fear’– disruption, in other words, (or emancipation) from circumstance, and all the habits which we hide. And that is why many of us travel not in search of answers, but of better questions.” I, too, am excited and a little anxious about the trip to Nepal. How will it feel to be in Kathmandu? What brings joy to the people of Nepal? How will we learn from each other? How will we feel when we arrive and return?

I can’t wait to meet everyone and to begin learning from each other. Let’s make our minds nimble and foster humor and joy!

Ingrid Herskind 🙂