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Hey everyone! My name is Audrey. I’m so excited to meet you all so soon. I’ve lived in the same town my whole life, and I didn’t really grow up around a love for the outdoors or anything like that. Growing up, I focused on sports and reading. I first fell in love with the outdoors when I went to sleepaway camp in Maine, where I was taught to appreciate nature in a way I had never thought to before.  My sister went to Nepal with Dragons when I was in seventh grade and taking a gap year has been a dream of mine since then. I’ve always loved reading and learning, but by the end of my junior year I felt really burnt out and was just disappointed with the way that education revolved around standardized tests and competing with my peers. I started planning my gap year as a way to get through the monotony of high school. I’m most excited to learn more about sustainability and to expand my classroom and learn in a more practical and effective way.

A few fun facts: I prefer lakes over the beach, I don’t really like movies, I’m the fourth of five kids, and I’m addicted to Sprite. I have a really random interest in Mormonism (this is the point where I recommend you all read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer). I love all types of music and I never grew out of my Taylor Swift phase. My other favorite artists are Phoebe Bridgers, Pinegrove, and Dominic Fike.

I don’t have a favorite poem, so instead I’ll include one of my favorite passages of writing ever. This is from The Goldfinch:

Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair. But the painting has also taught me that we can speak to each other across time. And I feel I have something very serious and urgent to say to you, my non-existent reader, and I feel I should say it as urgently as if I were standing in the room with you. That life — whatever else it is — is short. That fate is cruel but maybe not random. That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it. That maybe even if we’re not always so glad to be here, it’s our task to immerse ourselves anyway: wade straight through it, right through the cesspool, while keeping eyes and hearts open. And in the midst of our dying, as we rise from the organic and sink back ignominiously into the organic, it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch. For if disaster and oblivion have followed this painting down through time — so too has love. Insofar as it is immortal (and it is) I have a small, bright, immutable part in that immortality. It exists; and it keeps on existing. And I add my own love to the history of people who have loved beautiful things, and looked out for them, and pulled them from the fire, and sought them when they were lost, and tried to preserve them and save them while passing them along literally from hand to hand, singing out brilliantly from the wreck of time to the next generation of lovers, and the next.