[slideshow]The following update was written by Denali and Arielle for Friday, July 22nd. Waking up this morning was, as always, a struggle. However, within fifteen minutes students were shocked into an alert state as they jumped into the cool and refreshing water for a morning swim. Feeling the stress of the looming triathlon, everyone was pushing themselves in order to prepare for the half-mile swim portion.

On returning to the boathouse Matt led us in 7-minute abs, further defining our glorious six-packs. After that we witnessed something truly moving and powerful—the pig slaughter for the research symposium's local food sampler. A mix of excited and wary students walked up to the small pigpen in the midst of the orchard. With a shotgun the pig was killed, short and sweet. One may think, how horrible, what kind of school allows students to watch the slaughter of an animal? Actually, this is the one of the most humane situations for a pig slaughter to be performed. In human ecology we learned of the commercial food industry and the brutal and, frankly, inhumane techniques used. After the initial killing students were allowed to partake in the cleaning and de-furring of the pig. The experience to see where food comes from, farm to plate, is a powerful thing. The communal effort helped strengthen our community.

These final days of tying together the loose ends have been a hectic whirlwind of emotions. From sad reminiscing to joyful thoughts of home; everyone has been jumping from one extreme to the other. The thought of the end has been a heavy weight on the hearts of students; however, the friendships forged will not be in vein. Plans for reunions and visits circulate as the end draws near. If one thing is for sure, The Island School’s effect on each student is profound and the experiences will not be forgotten.