The Centipede

“The centipede was happy, quite, until a toad in fun said, ‘Pray, which leg goes after which?’ This worked his mind to such a pitch, he lay distracted in a ditch, considering how to run.” -Alan Watts

Alan Watts was a British Philosopher who popularized much of Eastern thought in the West during the 20th century, and while I hate to admit it, I am often the centipede he describes here. Leadership in the Himalayas was recommended to me by a close friend after she saw the program page, and she could not have been more right about it being for me. My occasionally crippling levels of introspection, like the centipede, is at home finding out my own way to lead in an experiential Himalayan hike. The prospect of gaining a greater self-awareness and then applying that knowledge to positively impact those around me is not one I could pass up.

My name is Daniel Peters and I am, now that the semester has just ended, a rising junior at Pitt. I am working towards majors in statistics and philosophy, and hope to promote the understanding that there is narrative and humans behind the data that is so prevalent in today’s world. I previously studied abroad in Vietnam, that being the first time I had left the United States. There is something about embracing the discomfort of being in an entirely different culture that creates the best learning, and I am ready for India to surprise me in the way it will affect my worldview.

Outside of academics I am a volleyball player and have been for almost ten years now. I have been captain of every team I have been on, both club and high school, but I had never been able to grasp why I was placed in those leadership positions, because I had never been a loud voice like I perceived a leader to be. The material we’ve covered in class over the past semester so far has allowed me to reflect back on those teams and formulate the potential reason my coaches and team members designated that position for me, and how I might have been a stronger leader during those times. This next week could perhaps be the longest one yet waiting for the flight to Delhi, but that gives me plenty of time to lay in a ditch to consider how to run.