“Bee-ing at Island School” October 13, 2010
By Caciques Charlie Fichtner and Ellen Doughty
This morning we were treated to an eight o’clock sleep-in, followed by an energetic rush to the granola and yogurt. We began our day with an hour long class, prior to our two-hour class followed by lunch. After lunch, we continued with the remainder of our classes and a bit of exploration time, leading up to dinner.
For many, today was the beginning of our Human Ecology electives, marking a substantial milestone in our semester. Following four weeks of normal Human Ecology classes where we learned about our ecological footprints, environmental ideologies, food processing and consumption and consumerism, we began a new unit. Each one of us had the opportunity to choose our top two elective preferences from the following: Bees, Biodiesel, Compost, Conscious Consumerism or Water, and from there, were placed in a group. Within each elective, we will be able to benefit the future and present state of The Island School. For example, I was lucky enough to receive my first choice of Bees! In my group, we will be going out among the settlements to discover a swarm of bees. Once discovered, we will be able to capture them while they are in a lethargic state and bring them back to campus. Back on campus, we will keep the bees in our own set-up. If we are able to achieve this, we will not only potentially have access to fresh honey, but also will be saving the declining bee population! The bees will also make good pollinators for our Orchard. This exciting aspect is only one of the events that students participated in today.
Today we awoke an hour and a half later than usual, enjoying the great and hard earned rest. My first three blocks of the day were all dedicated to Marine Ecology. We went on a pleasant dive to Cathedral Rock. The rock is large and covered with various kind of marine life. The bottom of the rock is at fifty-five feet, allowing us a bottom time of around thirty minutes. The sky was overcast as we set off for the dive on the boats. My dive buddy, Jackson, and I quickly geared up at the site and jumped in. We slowly descended to the rock and began to circle it. We saw all kinds of organisms, including two huge lionfish. After twenty-five minutes we began to ascend. The dive went well for everyone and we returned to the surface to complete the rest of our day.