The Fall 2010 class will be blogging about their Island School experience over the next 14 weeks. A couple nights ago, they had an Intro to Blogging workshop– check out the posts they wrote in their advisory groups below!
Rachel’s Advisory- Aubrey, Noah, Ellen, and Heather
After a night of barely any sleep, last minute packing and pre-arrival jitters, we all finally arrived to our new home greeted by friendly and excited faces. After the bus ride down island, we arrived in what we thought must be paradise. Once the day of meeting our new family and unpacking was over, we settled into our warm beds and were rocked to sleep by the soothing sound of the ocean waves crashing. Morning came surprisingly early as we woke up to the sound of blasting music. But luckily we had the whole day to look forward to, starting with our first morning exercise as one community, snorkeling.
Allegra’s Advisory- Sarah F., Sarah S., Jackson, and Charlie
Driving from the Rock Sound Airport to the Island School campus is an experience fresh in our minds. There was an anxious atmosphere combined with pure excitement and a touch of awkwardness as we looked around at all of our future classmates. As the blue roofs of the campus came into view, we felt like all we’ve been anticipating for had finally arrived, and the bus broke out in applause. Finally, it hit us that this will be our home for the next fourteen weeks. Splashing into the ocean for our first snorkel at sunrise was a refreshing way of acknowledging the beautiful place we’re in. Meanwhile, the late arrivals are enjoying the sunrise as well as they fly through the silver-lined clouds with a never-ending horizon in a rush to make it to breakfast. Finally the forty-eight are together!
Alyssa’s Advisory-Catharine, Clay, Megan, Scott
This morning, together as a group we warmed up our minds and bodies in order to get ready for our first snorkel. The sun was just rising and it started sprinkling as we jumped in. We stayed with our advisories, but split up with our buddies. While snorkeling we encountered a small shipwreck where there were many different organisms living. While we were snorkeling we encountered a baby stingray, it was cool interacting with the stingray in its own element. Floating on top of a different world in the ocean was an amazing experience for us all. When we all came in, as we waited for the others we warmed up our bodies with pushups. Once everyone reached the shore Chris Maxey began giving us a lesson on Queen Conch. During the lesson a small octopus crawled out of an abandoned conch shell. The octopus fell out of the shell onto Chris’s hands, it was so un-planned and amazing that we were all surprised and excited. He was able to pass it around to a few kids before we reunited him with the ocean.
Ashley’s Advisory: Aly, Will, Brigid, and Chris
Everyone arrived safely at the Island School yesterday afternoon. After a much needed meal with our new advisory group we began orientation as a group at the boathouse, where the idea of a “placebook” (a journal that we will use for the next 100 days) was introduced to us. Everyone was exhausted from their strenuous day of travel so we quickly fell asleep. Day one… awoken by the beeping of a chorus of alarms, we got up while it was still dark to go to morning circle and ready for our first morning exercise. The first of these exercises was a snorkel off of boys dorm beach to a small wreck bursting with colorful marine life. While at the wreck we were fortunate enough to handle sea urchins, sea cucumbers and brittle star. We also saw crawfish and a stingray. We headed back to the beach and while learning the tragedies of conch harvesting an octopus peeked out of an empty conch shell. This rare occurrence launched us into a day of learning and discovery. One of our favorite parts of the day was bonding with our advisory on a bench overlooking the ocean discussing various baked goods which we happen to all love. And hope Ashley will bake us some soon.
Francesca’s Advisory-George, Rachael, Hannah, and Nate
A Morning Surprise
Bright and early in the morning, The Island School awoke to begin their first day. We headed to the beach with our snorkel gear in hand and a beautiful sunrise ahead on the horizon. For some, snorkeling was a new experience, but each student was captivated by all the life under the sea. Experiencing this extraordinary underwater world was truly eye opening. It was as though an artist had spent a lifetime creating the intricate designs that were evident the moment you looked below the water. As we returned to the beach to get ready for breakfast, Chris Maxey, the Island School director, sat us all down on the beach to tell “us a story.” As he was describing the conch population we all were surprised by what inhabitanted this mature conch. An Octopus.
Hannah’s Advisory-Julia, Phoebe, Allegra, Gian Paul
This Fall 2010 semester had a great start of snorkeling in the crystal clear water in Cape Eleuthera. As we met up to our advisory groups, we formed one of our first circles and started “four-step jumping jacks!” Once we got in the water, we paired up with our buddies and headed out to the wreck. Passing schools of fish, patches of conch, and quite a few sea stars made it a morning to remember. Our advisory group even found a stingray! It was yellow with speckles and an intimidating tail. Later that day, we went to Deep Creek Middle School, and were briefed on our challenging task to mentor the children. A delicious dinner concluded our super duper pooper exciting day! HI MOM !!
Katie’s Advisory- Chris Pibl, Margaux Burnham, Louise Shiverick, and Hunter Foote
Where In The World Is Katie’s Advisory?
Where in the world are we? This question was presented to the students this morning. In order to answer this question that almost no one knew the answer to, we had the opportunity to split up into our advisory groups and spend a couple hours studying a variety of maps and answering questions. We learned, after several minutes of confusion, what exactly a nautical mile is: 6, 080 feet. Did you know that Ft. Lauderdale is 11,000,000 meters away from the island of Eleuthera? It was eye opening to learn about this beautiful place we’ll be living for the next fourteen weeks.
After lunch, we also got a rare treat of having extra free time where some students played BS (the card game) and were able to get to know each other better. Another group took advantage of the swim time to cool off on this extremely hot and sticky day.
Currently, we (Katie’s advisory) are in the Intro to Blogging workshop in the dining hall enjoying the breeze and the ocean and scenery in the background.
Kristen’s Advisory-Chamon, Jack, Sasha, and Dorothy
A journey of a life time begins
This morning we woke up at the ripe hour of six in the morning, up before the birds as well as the sun. Feeling the cool rush of the timid water we told ourselves it was so worth it. Beginning the daily rituals like morning circle is starting to make The Island School feel like home. Along with having fun, learning about the Bahamian wildlife, weather and people are amazing experiences. From the queen conch to exotic rainbows and then talking with the Deep Creek Middle School teachers this journey has begun with us having high expectations for what is in store for us here at Island School.
Matt’s Advisory-Tucker, Brandon, Garneisha, and Taylor
After first arriving yesterday, curiosity, interest, and the flowing electricity within the community, energized each new student of the 2010 fall semester of The Island School. After getting to know one another, everyone began to feel comfortable with the fact that this unreal situation was in fact very real, and would last for 100 days. Immediately once arriving, each student began to slowly adjust to the concept that this is our home, and we are responsible for its well-being. Leadership effecting change, The Island Schools mission statement, was first introduced to us this morning and gradually our mindsets began to adapt to a new outlook on our existence. Consumption, conservation, sustainability, and our role in the natural world are a part of every aspect of The Island School. After only 2 days of being a student here, the transformation has already begun, and everyone knows this will be an experience we will never forget.
Nadine’s Advisory- Will, Ashley, Liam, and Daisy
Having to be ready by 6:00am was something I’m not used to. I was really tired and it was really tough to change gears after the summer, but the morning snorkel was an awesome and refreshing way to wake up. It was the first excursion together as a community, and it was a good way to talk to people after coming to a new place and not knowing anyone. One of the reasons why I’m really starting to have a good time is because things can happen out of nowhere. A perfect example was the octopus slowly wriggling it’s way out of the shell that was just suppose to be used for a speech about the school year. We got to know the teachers more in depth, and it was nice to drive out of the campus and see where we were going to be doing out community service work with the middle school. I don’t have any doubts about being here.
Rob’s Advisory-Hammy, Lea, Marianne, and C.J.
This morning we were woken up by the piercing sounds of alarm clocks at 5:55 a.m. We were then informed that our morning exercise activity would be a snorkel to the shipwreck right off the coast of The Island School campus. Although waking up at such an early hour was very difficult, the beautiful turquoise water suddenly energized all students. While exploring the ocean we saw a wide variety of sea creatures such as a nurse shark, lobster, stingray and much more. During our adventure we as an advisory group spotted a gorgeous peacock flounder, and were amazed to see it change color. We observed the flounder for a brief time before returning to the shore to receive a lesson on sea creatures from Maxey. While Maxey was talking about the queen conch and how they are endangered, a small octopus crawled out of one of the shells that he had collected as an example. This experience was amazing and definitely set an excellent tone for the semester to come here at The Island School.
Taylor’s Advisory- Perry, Augie, Chris, Meaghan
Power of the Conch
The dangling tentacle dropped out of the abandoned conch shell onto Chris Maxey’s hand. Although he was surprised, it was a great new experience for many us. Bulging eyeballs and distorted head enveloped his hand. This moment captured the beauty and the essence of the Eleuthera as we have newly discovered. Later on, we embarked on a scavenger hunt and answer questions about The Island Schools location. Bonding like no other advisory group could, we got to know one another much better. By the end of our blogging session, Taylor’s advisory group made up nicknames for each other. Augie now sports the nickname Gill, the merman. Chris, now Warren, loves long jogs. Perry, who resembles a Sammy is now know as Sammy. Meaghan, the animal lover, made friends with a starfish (not actually a fish) and now is called Melissa. These names only apply in our advisory group they bond us together. The conch was the octopus’s home; like us we are beginning to crawl out of our shells.