“Proposing Not Imposing” by Caciques Rachael Pridmore and Chris Lorient

What does it mean to be immersed in another culture? Today, at Island School, the students caught a glimpse of what it truly means, while spending a sun soaked day with the Deep Creek Middle School students. But first, to understand what this truly means, we must go back to the meaning of the word community. A community shares a sense of togetherness, while supporting each other through both encouraging words and actions. As a community, members give each other the ability to pursue their individual dreams while pushing them to greatness. This afternoon, Island School students went into Deep Creek for community outreach, a weekly activity at The Island School, just expecting to meet a buddy. Instead, we found a humbling and enriching new family among the students. The mentor-mentee role that was to be established, turned out to not be that one specific way. They had just as much to show us as we had to offer them. This familiar idea was first introduced to the students before they even arrived on the island, in the book The Rediscovery of North America. The author, Barry Lopez, discussed the mistakes that humans make when they enter a new community with their own ideas of what is right and good in their own minds, rather than listening to other valuable perspectives of the people around them. Although we have only been here two weeks, and we have only met our “buddies” once, we have come to know that they have a lot to teach us and we can’t wait to learn.