Do you have any small world encounters with other Island Schoolers? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
At the conclusion of every semester, Island School students break into small groups to focus on a single final Human Ecology project based on an particular interested that has developed throughout the semester. Spring 2012 students Brendan James, Liz Ellinger, Paul Henderson, and Kyle Forness studied the Cape Eleuthera Institute’s Aquaculture program and its history and created an informational and professional video for educational purposes. Check it out!
Over the course of the semester we have worked closely with Deep Creek Middle School to help improve problems facing the community here on Eleuthera. Our group assisted Moesha Leary’s project on Haitian Bahamian relations in attempts to combat the discrimination of Haitians in The Bahamas. Moesha, her DCMS peers, and their Island School Community Outreach buddies planned an event to educate the community about Haitians’ culture and to celebrate the similarities and differences between Haiti and The Bahamas. The event was a success and had a great turn out. Many people were inspired by what they saw and heard there. They left with a new perspective of the Haitian community in The Bahamas. The documentary “Can You See Us?” which chronicles the struggles of young Haitian Bahamians and the discussion that followed the film were among the highlights of the night. The evening had a fiery ending as both the Bahamian and the Haitians gave performances specific to their cultures including a fire show. It united the beauty of the two cultures and brought people together. You can read more about the event in an article in The Eleutheran newspaper here.
- Kira, Kyle, Will, Moesha, & Dana
The Island School Semester is filled with journeys. Students embark on their own, made up of the thousands of small individual journeys that happen each day here: the first run-swims, kayak trips, inner-loop explorations, settlement days. This place is blanketed with epic voyages, woven out of small journeys. In their Literature classes, students read Omeros that tells them: “in its travelling all that the sea-swift does it does in a circular pattern,” and learn about the Heroes Journey. Recently, we asked students to use this model to better understand and reflect upon their time at Island School. Today we feature these stories of of separation, initiation and return. Students consider their guides and mentors along the way, challenges, and how they have returned or will return, changed. So, as parents prepare to embark on their own epic voyages to campus for the upcoming Parent’s Weekend, enjoy these powerful stories of our own student heroes… (our apologies that not all student’s work is featured here. Many felt that their experiences were too personal to be shared in such a public venue, others, well… just have not turned them in yet).
Paul: I had been looking forward to this moment for years. It was one of the reasons that I wanted to come to The Island School in the first place. I had heard about solos many times before and it had always seemed so fun. Two days and nights by myself alone in the woods: Man versus nature with only myself to keep me company. I could build a fortress or write a novel. I had expected I would discover the meaning of life or think up the cure for a disease at the very least. The options had seemed limitless not a day before. But as I stood in the sand looking at the trees along Lighthouse Beach that I was to live in for the next two days, the reality of the situation started to sink in. I turned right and saw my companions walking far down the beach, being dropped off one by one. I searched my brain for thoughts to comfort myself, but came up empty. All I could think was that I was alone, and I was already bored of myself. I knew from those very first moments that this would be a very interesting two days. Continue reading
On Saturday night kayak rotations officially ended. Kayak groups 1, 2, and 3 were returning from watching the sunset as K4 emerged from the Boathouse. They had just finished the long process of cleaning their gear. It was hard to recognize them because they had just come off their solo; meaning they all were extremely tan. K4 talked about how it rained for the first three days of their trip, but they continued pushing through it and ended up having a great time. To celebrate everyone back on campus, we watched a movie and devoured ice cream and brownies during intermission.
Students continue to tell stories to each other of their solo. The highlights include: Felipe Gomez slept on his pool toy mattress (his personal item), Sterling Wright made a rope swing and bracelets, Annie Obrecht sang Adele to herself, Kyle Titsworth built a shelter out of trees and palm fronds, and Taylor Lundeen tried to sleep for 48 straight hours. Overall everyone enjoyed the experience and had some time to reflect on ourselves, our experience so far, and what time we have left.
A couple weeks ago the Bonefish Flats group took a trip to Page Creek in order to gather information about the habitat that Bonefish live in.
The flat that we went to was surrounded by the ocean and land. In the beginning of it the depth ranged from 0-3 feet, deeper into the flat it was only a foot deep. Some fish populations included yellowtail snapper, schoolmaster fish. There were also red mangroves all over. Flats are generally shallow areas. They are an abundance of mangroves and small fish that use the mangroves for protection. Present in the mangroves are species such as small fish, echinoderms, Cassiopeia, etc. In the flat that we went to the water varied from 0-3 feet. The beginning of the flat was deepest, and then it got shallower. In the flat we found yellow tail snapper, schoolmaster fish, blue crabs, etc. There was sand and turtle grass on the floor. When we went there it was low tide and the sun was high in the sky. This caused for the water to be much warmer than if the sun was not out and it was high tide because the more water there is the more energy it takes to heat it up. It was important for us to take a trip to the flat and observe it because this is the habitat for Bonefish.
We went into the flats to have hands on experience with our studies. We went into the field to collect, observe, and tag Bonefish to have a better idea of where we should take out studies. Continue reading