Last week, Chris Maxey challenged himself to try not to use plastic the whole time he traveled from The Island School to New Jersey. Based on this photo he took during one of his flights, it looks like he was doing a pretty good job! Keep this challenge in mind the next time you travel!
Hello, my name is Caroline Muggia, and I will be updating the blog for the next week. The rainy weather has continued, but has not put a damper on the spirit at The Island School. Yesterday, run track and swim track had their last workouts before the big events this weekend! Nerves and excitement are building throughout the campus as we prepare to accomplish our own events and to support our friends. The sign making and hydration has begun. The four mile swim and half marathon are going to be incredible events where the community will come together to support each other.
Yesterday, during advisory time some students opted to go on a dive to hole in the wall in a rainstorm. I went on this 90 foot dive a few weeks ago and it is incredibly beautiful. The wall drops off 4,000 feet into the Exuma sound, it was at first daunting when deciding to go on the dive but definitely an awesome experience. In literature class we wrote letters to our sending schools, students wrote about challenges they have encountered and the growth that they have seen within themselves. We have also begun working on our Demonstration of Learning. This is a chance for students to creativity show the community all that they have learned this semester. I cannot wait to see the presentations from my peers. Students have been working hard on their human ecology projects and the final projects are approaching. All of the projects are tackling hard issues either directly in the community or outside of the community and seem to be succeeding with their solutions.
Today we have Literature, Histories, and Research class. It is crazy that today is our last field day in research! In Histories we will be having a stakeholder discussion, debating marine management decisions. Literature class will be exciting as we are close to the end of the epic poem Omeros and share our own epic poems that we wrote earlier this week.
Today is the first day in a long time I have gone to sleep and woken up cold. It has rained for the last three days almost non-stop, and I am starting to forget where I am. Not so sunny for the Land of Sun and Sea. Despite the cold, wet weather, the final weeks of Island School are still moving along. While we have Eleutheros papers and math assessments on the horizon, the thing on everyone’s mind is the long run and swim. With only a few days remaining before the event, our morning workouts have become more mellow with the intention of resting before the weekend. By mellow I mean in our swim workout we only had to swim against the current once or twice, rather than the entire time. Even though everyone is fairly nervous about completing the final event, I am confident that the semester’s worth of training we have done will help us accomplish our goals. As long as it doesn’t rain all weekend…
Yesterday students spent an hour and a half preparing for their final Demonstration of Learning that is coming up next week. Our DOL is meant to replace traditional assessments like final exams with a more creative and open ended assignment. With no restrictive structure or format, DOL typically include both academic and extra-curricular experiences, and are presented in a wide variety of forms. My idea is to take my audience on a tour of my favorite places on the Cape and weave in my personal and intellectual growth into the trip. These presentations are meant to show our peers and faculty what information has stuck with us over the course of the semester, without putting the whole audience to sleep.
Even with the rain, our community celebrated Matt’s birthday yesterday with multiple rounds of “Happy Birthday” and a delicious chocolate cake. Everyone made it to the dining hall right on time even though it was pouring rain, maybe they should offer us sweets more often if they want us to be punctual.
While everyone would prefer sun, a little rain doesn’t faze the Island School community in the slightest. It can rain all it wants, just more water for our cisterns.
DCMS appreciates the help of our Island School alumni families who look out for our students when they are stateside attending boarding school. DCMS alumna, Curchara Taylor, recently graduated from Garrison Forrest School in Baltimore, Maryland. Curchara couldn’t have done it without her Maryland Mom, Susan Naeny, Island School parent of Rob (F’01) and Stuart (F’04). Susan was a great support for Curchara, hosting her on long weekends and cheering at her softball games. In fact, Susan recently hosted a birthday party for Curchara at the Naeny’s home:
Hosting DCMS alumni while they are away from home on class trips, summer camp, at boarding school or college is a great way to stay in touch with Eleuthera. If you are interested in being a home-stay family, please contact Dr. Joanna Paul at email@example.com.
Last week, members of The Island School were present at the opening of SEEP’s (South Eleuthera Emergency Partners) second Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in South Eleuthera. SEEP is a “community-led organization that serves and enriches the communities of South Eleuthera by providing fire and medical transport services, as well as community outreach programs.” The vision of SEEP is to create “safer communities by establishing a network of emergency operation centers that provide essential community services. This will lead to community growth, as well as economic development which will continue to benefit future generations.”
According to an article on the opening, published in The Eleutheran, members of the South Eleuthera communities, as well as some as far north as James’ Cistern “came out to celebrate the official commissioning of the new center and to witness the handing over ceremony for the Fire Truck–to the Royal Bahamas Police Force…The new Weymss Bight EOC facility will provide under-served communities in the surrounding South Eleuthera area with emergency fire, ambulance vehicles and operations space. This new facility will also eliminate twenty-five minutes from the driving time necessary to reach the surrounding South Eleuthera communities from the present EOC facility located in Tarpum Bay, according to [Shaun] Ingraham”, CEO and Founder of One Eleuthera Foundation. Ingraham went on to tell The Eleutheran that the “long-term goal for the site is to make the EOC multi-functional to include several other community programs…including farmer’s markets, shared craft workshop facilities and a community meeting space”.
by Brady Wheatley, Dean of Students and Histories Department Head
The boxes on the student schedule are deceiving. The schedule looks neat and ordinary, but most of what we do here can’t fit inside a box.
“7:30-8:00: Chores”: I sat down with this week’s Caciques, Megs, Michael M, Liz, Noelle, and Peter Kite, and heard their plans for the community this week. I realized that every week I am less and less necessary in the Cacique meetings. Students have taken charge in the best of ways and I am only a supporting member for their ideas. The biggest change is that the Caciques realize what they are capable of. They don’t hesitate to attend a faculty meeting and discuss community needs or organize an event at 6:30 am on what would be a day to sleep in.
“9:15-12:15: Human Eco”: Noelle, Liz, Megs, Bailey and Sarah Taft told me excitedly that it was time to put the scallops we had caught under the off-shore aquaculture cage. Knowing wind was coming soon in the week we made the last minute decision to move quickly. We figured out the logistics and hopped in the boat, ready to see if we had solved one of the problems of a previous group’s project. Our group this semester chose to continue to work of previous students rather than start a new project from scratch, a slightly less enticing idea, but one that in my opinion has even more value. As students a year ago realized, scallops could potentially be farmed in The Bahamas in an effort to filter nutrients in aquaculture systems, and simultaneously provide an alternative shellfish for conch consumption. These five young women decided that following through on previous work could help kick start an even larger project in the region- now we just have to figure out if it will work.
Bubbles surrounded us as we sank to the bottom of the ocean floor, almost 90 feet under water. Our group worked effortlessly to move the cement blocks back in place from the Scallop group a year ago. We carefully buried the black pen-shell scallops in the sand and watched the large grouper come close, curious of the new creatures in his home. I remembered all too well seeing this same grouper eat the Amber pen-shell scallops we tried to plant last year. As we resurfaced I hoped that these scallop shells, a different species suggested by the previous group, were strong enough to keep predators out.
“2:45-4:15: Fisheries”: Marine Eco and Histories have teamed up for our last unit and we wrote the question “How should marine management decisions be made?” on the white board. Peter and I worked together with students to address the complex social and ecological elements of marine management and gave space for students to begin answering this question in writing for their next Eleutheros essay. I overheard one student say at her table, “this is so complicated! It’s like there isn’t just one answer.”
I love working at a school where students look at me confused and say “but this is really hard.” They are thinking deeply about some of the most important issues in conservation and international development. I love working at a school where students and faculty work together through challenging ideas that matter both inside and out of the classroom. I love working where Literature teachers and dive instructors will suddenly and unexpectedly drop everything that they are doing to come out and support students on a mission. Most of all I love working with students who know that they can change this word. I love working at this school.
For those of you hoping to watch your child’s research presentation again, you’re in luck! We have posted all of the Parents Weekend Research Presentations on YouTube for you and your son or daughter to enjoy. All of the presentations can be found on the CEI YouTube Channel homepage here.
Yesterday afternoon was one of the most fun exploration times I have had this entire semester, and I didn’t even have to leave my front yard. It had started raining a little after lunch, and the weather had picked up to thunder and lightning. The students were on lock down in our respective dorms, and everyone was starting to get a little stir-crazy. After the lightning had passed, it was already past 5 o’clock and I had lost the drive to get out of the dorm and sign out. That’s when I heard them. The entire girls dorm was screaming and splashing around the middle of the Circle in the pouring rain. Without hesitation Tim and I led the charge to the mud party, which quickly became mud dodge ball, and soon after escalated to mud wrestling. Everyone was filthy, but everyone was still smiling and laughing simultaneously. No one seemed to mind that our outdoor showers were shut off, and we all cleaned off in Boathouse cut. Besides being incredibly fun, yesterday was a great example of how our community takes advantage of any situation we are presented, no matter how dirty we end up.
In honor of Memorial Day, the Caciques and Dorm heads planned a barbecue on Boys Dorm Beach with a bunch of tasty food. The weather altered our plans slightly, however our cookout in the boathouse was really fun. We had hotdogs, hamburgers and a plethora of potato chips, all of which were delicious. To top it off we sang happy birthday to Peter Kite, and had an amazing chocolate cake to celebrate.
Even with all the excitement of the afternoon and evening, the students were able to switch gears and crank out some serious homework in preparation for our final week of academics. Although we only have a small amount of class time left, we have some pretty important assessments coming up that are meant to demonstrate our learning here at The Island School.
While most of our sending schools are ending in the next few days, I don’t think there is anyone in our community who wishes they weren’t here.
With parent’s weekend in the past, life at The Island School is slowly returning to normal. We began this morning with an exciting and challenging run-swim workout led by Charlie, Dale, Marcus and Ivy that included jumping off bridges and calisthenic exercises. Although everyone was sad to see their parents go, we are all jumping right back into the grind of Island School life.
Parent’s Weekend was a fantastic few days for everyone in the community, and it was nice to show our parents that we haven’t just been sitting on the beach all semester (even though we’re all way tanner than they are). The events began with our student led Art show, titled “Paddling Forward,” which was a big hit among all the parents. Some even requested to take their student’s art home, yet some parents seem to have forgotten…
The following morning was our Research presentations, a great demonstration of the diligent, hard work we have put in throughout the semester. All of the groups were very successful in conveying their objectives, methods and results, and most of the parents were blown away. The audience seemed very intrigued and impressed with our work in conjunction with CEI this semester.
The highlight of parent’s weekend for me was the Coffee House we held on Friday night. This was a great opportunity for the community to get together in a relaxed environment and enjoy ourselves. Peter C and Charlie were hilarious as always, and the vocal talent among the students was impressive. Noelle claims she had never sung in front of a crowd before, but her voice was incredible and I think she should try out for American idol. Girls North had a ridiculous, blind-folded, peanut butter and jelly eating contest that had the whole crowd cracking up, and we got to see a satellite launch during one of the intermissions. And we got cookies after. Overall, a pretty awesome night.
Now that parent’s weekend is over and we are in the final stretch, students are beginning to worry about having to leave this place. Instead of worrying we should enjoy the time we have left. Charlie Mauck always says, “don’t be sad because it’s over, be happy because it happened.”
Last Saturday, May 18, Island School and Deep Creek Middle School students put together a cancer plastic awareness night. This picture shows the Deep Creek student leaders and their teachers that helped coordinate the event.
From left to right we have Kristal, Shawnea, Breanna, and Mr. Simmons. The night was a big success and raised money to help the cause.
This picture shows the students in the plastic awareness group presenting their project. They are from left to right: Tyrin, Matt, Peter C, Kylisa, Jack, and Garric. They presented their project and showed the harmful effects of plastic on both people and the world. Both the cancer group and the plastic group prepared amazing videos to demonstrate the goals of their project. Excellent work by both groups! At the event, Continue reading