I’m not sure if everything is really bigger in Texas, but the folks at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy sure put on a huge event! Continuing in the theme of excellent school visits, I hopped over to Austin, Texas, this past Spring, to speak to the students as part of their Edify Speaker Series and return to my educational roots, working with some of the brightest high schoolers around. 

photo of erik weihenmayer speaking to students in the classroom at saint michaels academy
Speaking to a classroom of St. Michael’s students

After the formal talk in the auditorium, I got to sit down with some classrooms and answer questions and talk about the writing process – for the aspiring writers in the room. We also worked with the students on defining and living the No Barriers Life Elements. One particularly touching story came from a young man whose parents were first-generation Americans with little formal schooling. He explained how he had used Alchemy his entire life to overcome the barriers in his way and receive an amazing education. We also had students read aloud passages from my first book, Touch the Top of the World, and compare the writing to the scenes in the movie. As an added bonus, the teacher of that class is an avid climber herself, having summited Rainier and Hood; she had me sign her climbing helmet! 

a photo of erik with a teacher at st michaels holding climbing helmet he signed
My first time signing a climbing helmet!
a photo of students with eriks guide dog uri
Students hanging out with my guide dog, Uri

Thanks, again, St. Michael’s, for the invite and the opportunity to work with your Rope Team. Hope to “see” y’all again soon!