“The most important thing to remember is to relax” – as Chris Maxey says. “Don’t be flipping your fins like crazy to go down and up –slow mellow movements. Before you take a deep breath, lie on your back and float for a while, calming your body and breath.”
We are paired-up offshore, floating near Cathedral and “off the wall” – places I’d heard about so often through SCUBA talk that they had grown into the stuff of myths. I pictured a medieval castle-meets-church covered in coral at the bottom of the sea. I thought of Walcott’s poem, The Sea is History, when the imperialist voice of the poem interrogates the Caribbean voice, “Where are your battlefields, monuments, your martyrs?” The Caribbean voice responds, “Sirs, in that gray vault. The sea. The sea has locked them up. The sea is History.”
The Caribbean voice goes on to describe their ocean-bound empire:
It’s all subtle and submarine,
through colonnades of coral,
past the gothic windows of sea fans
to where the crusty grouper, onyx-eyed,
blinks, weighted by its jewels, like a bald queen; Continue reading →
We slept in this morning and then had our circle at eight so that all of the swim track would be well rested for the Super Swim, and the run track would be ready to support. Swimmers ate an energizing breakfast and finished some organization before their event while all the runners made some last minute preparations before they headed off on boat and shore to cheer on the swimmers. Three! Two! One! The air-horn blew at around 9:15 signaling the start of the four-mile Super Swim. Swimmers splashed past sunset beach with determination and enthusiasm. Runners cheered along the shore while boat support dove in the water to capture action footage of the swimmers.
The first place finisher, Math teacher Dave Burnham, completed the swim in 1 hour and 33 minutes. Then, the first place student, Caroline “RO” Vanacore, finished strong with a time of 1 hour and 37 minutes. The community came together to support the swim. Once all the swimmers were safely onshore, we headed back for campus for a recovery day. It was a successful day which ended with a mellow activity to help run track get ready for their half marathon! Congratulations swimmers!
Parents’ Weekend was a rush of excitement and confusion as the size of the campus expanded by nearly four times what it usually is. Parents, siblings, and friends were welcomed by a groups of girls on the upper deck of their dorm and clusters of boys at the end of the driveway, anxiously awaiting the arrival of familiar faces. Parents were met by students sprinting towards them, some students even tackled their parents, ending up as a hugging mass on the ground. This image exemplifies the feeling and spirit around campus during Parents’ Weekend as many were reunited with expected and even some unexpected visitors.
Once the initial hugging and crying frenzy subsided, Island School students got down to business doing homework and preparing for presentations as the night came to an end. The next day, each research group gave a ten-minute presentation to teachers, parents and other Island School community members. The Biodigestion team worked very hard to put together a presentation that would inform and inspire the community about the importance and magic of our research project. Initially, our presentation was far too long, but as we worked on it the time was cut down significantly and we reached the ten minute requirement.
As we waited in the boat house for other groups to finish, we were getting pretty nervous, so therefore we decided to play our favorite game: Ninja. This involves a series of ninja poses where the goal is to slap the opponents hand in order to get them out. After the battle, we settled down and focused on the task ahead.
We entered the Presentation room with a calm demeanor prepared to impress. The slideshow was going smoothly and the parents were engaged, however, an unexpected power outage briefly stunned us. Luckily, Arben was in the middle of presenting the results section and recovered beautifully. Forcing the audience to use their imagination, he continued to present the graph sections. The power returned quickly, allowing us to finish our presentation with grace. During our question and answer session we realized the enthusiasm of our audience when they asked us a series of six intellectual questions, forcing us to think beyond our own project and consider other perspectives. As a whole, Parents’ Weekend was a success and we are proud of our team’s work this semester.
This morning under the dark sky the entire Island School community convened at the flag pole at 5 am in preparation for the Half Marathon. Everyone was very excited and anticipating the run, whether they were actually running or just on support. No one seemed to mind the early wake up time. After all of the support crews drove to their designated areas along the course, the sound of the air horn coming from the girls dorm deck set the runners out to a bolting start. Continue reading →
As we walked back from our challenging morning exercise, Chris Maxey expressed the need for a rain dance at some point during the day. We couldn’t have agreed more. Our cisterns were running very low, the crops on neighboring farms were in desperate need of water, and all the students wanted rain so they could run outside in the middle of class to enjoy a shower. We planned for a rain dance during dinner circle. We started off the morning with a delicious breakfast of bagels and oatmeal, which gave us energy for our three-hour block of Human Ecology class. We spent our class time working on our group projects and preparing for our presentations next week. In the afternoon, students either went diving or had Literature and Math class. While preparing our final portfolios in the library, we suddenly heard the sound of rain crashing, splattering, and falling down on the rooftops. Continue reading →
Trueranda Cox, current Island School student, was recently featured in an article in Southern Boating for her internship work with Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation last fall. Trueranda completed an internship with BREEF before beginning this Spring semester.
Island School students, Aldis, Brett, and Sara are doing a human ecology project that utilizes the cobia harvesting waste into livestock feed and fertilizer, trying to further close the loop in our sustainable model here at CEI/IS. The fish silage will be used to feed the pigs and tilapia, as well as a fertilizer at the farm. Continue reading →
While writing our applications, many of us knew that we would be kayaking in the scorching sun for eight days. We had heard that we would be shaken out of bed by a Navy Seal to take part in grueling morning exercise, whether it be swimming with sharks or dodging traffic on the road to Deep Creek. One thing we had not expected, however, was the rare opportunity to see where our meat comes from. After morning circle, every student had the option of participating in the harvesting of two of the school raised pigs. After establishing a respectful tone, Continue reading →