what the heck is sam jordan doing?

Well, here it is.  Here is my attempt to make a publicly available account of what I’ve been up to.  Bah Humbug you say.  Fat chance you say.  That’s swell you say.  There is no doubt that my track record on this blog is meager to say the least.  I’m sure there will be some dark times with no posts, but I’m hoping to snowball into some sort of regularity so all of you lovely people can keep tabs on my adventures.  I’m not going to try and gain a reader base until I have some sort of backbone to this thing, but in the meantime I’ve got some writing to do.  If I want to be any sort of a writer I’ve got to apply the same principle I do to music: practice, practice, practice.  In not so many words: I’m doing this for myself.
So, what have I been up to?  I’ll try and sum up 2012 quickly here-

I was a naturalist at Walking Mountains Science Center until mid April (nature interpretation).

For April and May I traveled to Utah and Wyoming to ski some amazing mountains.

For June and July I worked as a field science technician at WMSC supporting a new habitat monitoring program for high school students.

In August I wrapped up my job, did a quick stint of work on a family farm in GA, and then I moved here.

Here=Richmond, Virginia.  I’m a Richmonder.

I am now the assistant coordinator for the Virginia Commonwealth University Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP).  The job was offered to me by my good friend Joey Parent, who heads the program.  I work full time and have a variety of responsibilities, but I sum it up by saying I am a professional camper (Joey is a professional cooler packer).  Mostly, I support the day to day operations of a outdoor rental center, grow a leadership development program, and lead outdoor trips.  It’s not a bad gig.  Actually, it’s a really, really fun gig.  It happens to be one of the busiest outdoor programs in the country, in part because of the recreation opportunities right here in Richmond.  We have a bike shop, a climbing wall, about 35 undergraduate staffers, and a medium sized barn chock full of outdoor toys.  If you know me on a personal level, then you know that I flourish in this sort of setting.  I enjoy my boss (and live with him, his lovely wife, and two dogs), I thrive on the relationships with student staff, and love the challenges that leading outdoor adventures bring.  It’s not exactly forestry (what my undergraduate degree is), but it is certainly meaningful work.  I’m only in my mid twenties, and I see myself as very fortunate to be in the position that I am in.

So, I now live and breath a college campus.  This blog post is actually coming to you from a library computer lab.  I have the perks of a land grant university available to me, and I intend on utilizing them.  I work (a lot) but there is not reason why I can’t make time for some blogging now that I am living the big city life.  Pretty soon I’ll have a desk.  In an office.  With a computer.  And an assistant.  Wacky, huh?  All of those factors combined, and the fact that I work for the Outdoor Adventure Program all contribute to my conviction to get that shit written down so I can enjoy it while I’m old and spend my days farting on a cushion.

To conclude, I’ll give an account of the trips I’ve already been on the first seven days I’ve been in town:

Kayaking on the lower James (class III+)
Kayak instruction on the upper James (class II)
Mountain Biking x3
Road Biking x2
Rafting the lower James
Stand Up Paddleboarding on the upper and lower James

To boot my boss has convinced me to enter a 100 mile mountain bike race this weekend.  My next post will be an account of that suffer-fest.



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