Sometime during David Miller’s interpretive dance of Don’t Stop Believing I realized that this place really was unlike any other school. Unlike schools back home, the Island School is a place that encourages individuality, sustainability and independence. In order to do this, students are taken on field trips around the community where they are encouraged to talk to locals and pay attention to how the community works together so the individuals can survive. Today we went and toured a local farm in order to see where all our food comes from. This was part of our Human Ecology study of systems. Seeing how hard these farmers have to work in order to feed a small portion of the local community helped us realize that in order for a community to be sustainable, all of the citizens have to work together. Observing how he cared for his animals and realizing that this potentially feeds us at Island School made all of the students stop and realize how challenging the food industry truly is.
The festivities for Fourth of July started with Coffee House, a talent show where students, mentors and teachers are encouraged to share any talents they have with the rest of the community. There were many talented acts ranging from sonnet recitation to standup comedy, and everywhere in between. The festivities continued after Coffee House when everybody went to the dining hall to get brownies before proceeding down to the beach to watch the fireworks.
As the wind blew the sparks across the sky, we all huddled tightly together on the beach enjoying the show. Staring up at the lit up night sky, surrounded by our new friends, we couldn’t help but feel the essence of family. Although, we might not have been with our real families celebrating our Independence Day traditions, the Island School started to feel like home.