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Teacher finds her passion

Mary Norris spends free time outdoors

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Mary Norris relaxes by the beach in a hammock on her trip to Costa Rica this year.

Photo used with written permission from Mary Norris.
Mary Norris relaxes by the beach in a hammock on her trip to Costa Rica this year.

English teacher Mary Norris has loved the outdoors for as long as she can remember using nature as a place for solace and reflection.

Norris said she can not pinpoint what attracts her to the outdoors, only that she has always loved it.

“There is something in nature, something that has that spiritual completion (for me),” Norris said.

Norris said she escapes to Sioux Narrows, Canada during the summer months where her and her husband own a house on Lake of the Woods. There, Norris said she spends her time outside enjoying the beauty.

“I am perfectly happy watching the sun go up and watching the sun go down and getting up in the night and looking at that moon in the sky on the water; what more do you need?” Norris said.

Norris said as a child, she expressed her love for the outdoors through camping. She loved showing her independence through pitching a tent, fixing food and getting water.

“(My favorite memory) was when I was waking up and the morning sun was just coming in and everything was golden. It was a sort of dew color. I looked out and I just watched that morning creep across the landscape and listened to the birds. I just thought to myself, if this isn’t perfect I don’t know what is,” Norris said.

Senior Raina Arntson, Norris’s student, said she did not know the extent of Norris’s passion for the outdoors.

“There are more sides to (Norris) than what she brings to school and the classroom,” Arntson said.

During winter months when the frigid weather prohibits her from going outside, Norris said she relies on CorePower Yoga to fill the void. Most of CorePower Yoga’s classes are practiced in a heated room.

“I am an addict. If you took (yoga) away from me, I would be in withdrawal,” Norris said. “I hate winter increasingly with each year that goes by. The idea of being in a place that could get up to 102 degrees and practicing in this absolutely warm, wonderful spot and sweating everything out of your body, it is perfect and it is my antidote to winter.”

Senior Jens Albright, Norris’s student, said that Norris has told the class about her passion for the outdoors.

“I can tell that she loves the outdoors due to her outgoing and positive attitude (about it),” Albright said. “I think that having a good connection with nature can be very beneficial to life in general. I am sure that her passion for being outside has had a positive impact on her teaching and is another reason why she is one of my favorite teachers.”

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Teacher finds her passion