The Island School has been so great, but the term is already halfway over. It feels like yesterday I was prepping to set out on my 3-day kayak expedition with K2, and I’m now about to start getting ready for 8-day with K4. It’s crazy to think that I’m not going to see some people for 3 weeks, and by then we’ll only have another month left. I still have to look at this optimistically. Even though it feels like the term is almost over because of kayak, Parents’ Weekend and final academic weeks, I still have half the term and it’s going to be great. Up to this point, I’ve learned and grown so much, and I still have the best parts to look forward to. I’m really looking forward to 8-day kayak and the solo, the Down Island Trip, Parents’ Weekend and the Research Symposium. After a stressful 5 weeks of academics including an insanely stressful midterm week, I’m ready to lose those stresses. Kayak and Down Island will be great. I’ll be spending a lot of time with a small group of people and I’m really looking forward to getting to know all of them so well. At the beginning of the term I dreaded solo, but my peers have gotten me really excited for that. Academics afterwards will be great, as I will be carrying out my Human Eco project and learning about environmental issues in the ocean in Marine Eco, which I really care about. In research I’ll be finishing my presentation and practicing it, as well as having fun field days to catch yellow rays at patch reefs. And as far as Parents’ Weekend goes, I’m super excited for it and just can’t wait to spend time with my family here. I know they’ll love it. Even though I’m sad that I’ll be leaving everyone I’ve made friendships with here in about 50 days, I’m really looking forward to those 50 days and making the most out of them.
The past few weeks here have been challenging, confusing and exciting. It has been a big adjustment to go from seeing my family and friends every day to being almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. So far, I am enjoying this experience and becoming better acquainted with the place in which I live. Speaking of that, dorm life has been a big adjustment. Boys dorm is divided into two sides, North and South, with a common room in between. Our beds are all in the same room and spaced about two feet apart from each other in rows. Living all together in a confined space gives us the need to share responsibilities for keeping the dorm clean and free of pests. Recently one of my dorm mates “disposed” of a rat, named Despereux, that had been terrorizing our dorm for a while. It was a day of joy for the dorm but one of sadness for the loss of his young life. In his honor we hung the dustpan he was killed with in the common room as a memorial. Yesterday, we had a deep clean due to someone having the need to eat muffins in bed. We were very productive and finished with enough time to go on exploration. Throughout these last weeks our dorm has bonded and learned to live with each other. This will change as we leave for kayak and break off into separate groups. This will be a great change to our normal routine and we will get to know some people better than we do now. I am very excited for the second half of my Island School experience and I am prepared for the hardships and joys ahead of us.
The place seems to glow. This is one of the most beautiful buildings I have seen so far on my trip here. The church has a stained wood ceiling with golden fans. A stage with beautiful pink and blue ribbons wrapped around the banisters. The chairs are wide, soft and cream colored; their appearance plays off the beautiful designs on the carpeted floor. The music is even more beautiful than the colors of the building. It speaks to the soul, that music, flowing in and out of harmony with the surrounding earth. Making my connection with God more and more physical. I go to church all the time at home. Coming here without my church family was a big step for me. I know I need a connection with God while I am away and I found it here. The service starts as we all come together in prayer, bowing our heads I realize that there is only one God and that He connects us all. We start to sing. The songs are out of a hymn book written in the 1920’s so it took me a while to get used to all the songs. We sing and we recognize how God has moved in our lives this week. Then the pastor speaks a message that is always exactly what I need to hear. God is good and He has shown me a new way to be closer to Him even though I’m not with my friends at home.