Student Update April 6, 2013

I realize there hasn’t been a student update in a few days so I’ll jump right into it. Monday, April 1, started with a relaxed morning exercise of capture the flag played across a small ocean cut next to campus. While there was a lot of arguing about who was or wasn’t out, it was a fun way to start off the day. For classes, everybody had Research, Human Ecology, and Art. In Art, we continued to work on our plastics project. Students chose between an art for advocacy piece or an upcycling piece (turning something useless into something useful). The majority of the materials we use is plastic we found on the beaches. Some pretty cool designs are being made. After classes, students had the choice of qurencía or a dive, followed by an hour of exploration time. Although it was April Fools, no major pranks were pulled. That was probably a good thing. It was a pretty relaxed and regular way to start off the week.

Tuesday began with a long distance exercise in our run and swim tracks. Swim track started at Sunset Beach and swam to No Name Harbor and back. The distances have been increasing, and the total swim was around a mile and a half. For run track, there is an extremely long road that goes down most of the island, which is where the actual half-marathon will take place. Runners went for half an hour in one direction, then turned around and ran back to campus. Some of our more experienced runners even went 10 miles in just about an hour. Classes followed exercise, including Marine and Human Ecology. Students continue to go on dives for Marine Eco, and as a follow up to the food unit, Human Ecology classes helped the kitchen staff to prepare dinner this week. On Tuesday night, in celebration of local foods for Human Ecology, we had barbecue chicken from Abaco, invasive lionfish, and coconut cake! It was pretty tasty. However, the most exciting activity of the week occurred on Wednesday morning.

Normally on Wednesdays we don’t have exercise and are able to sleep in a little bit. This day was a little different. Following a tradition at The Island School, and to close our food unit, we had a pig slaughter. It was an optional for those who wanted to watch, and those who did not helped to harvest lettuce for lunch. The way we do it at The Island School is the most humane way to do it, and is part of a full food chain. All of our scraps of food that are not eaten (left over granola, rice, meat, etc.) get fed to the pig, and it has a nice life on campus. Then, when it is big enough, the facilities staff organizes and conducts the killing of the pig. We’ve learned shooting the pig, like we saw, is much more humane then many of the US slaughter houses. Afterwards, we harvest the meat and store it for future meals. Students who wanted to participate helped to clean the pig and prepare the pig’s carcass before it was sectioned and stored in the kitchen. The majority of people went to breakfast afterwards, but those who wanted to stay and help with the gutting were welcome to. It was an extremely interesting process. As a meat eater, I think it is important to know what actually happens before cooked pork lands on my plate. The rest of Wednesday was pretty normal, with classes and research in the afternoon. Dinner was some delicious local pulled pork (not from the same pig) and mashed potatoes.  A normal couple of days with some exciting events.