Monday was a day full of Demonstrations of Learning (DOLs), a chance for all 49 of us to reflect and demonstrate what we have learned and taken from this semester. We speak in front of invited guests around campus and then answer any following questions. A chance for us to be honest with ourselves, the last 100 days, and the people that transformed it. It is filmed by our advisory and will be sent off to our sending schools. Mine was scheduled at 9:40 in the floating gazebo. I was anxious and shaky. Unsure of how my words will translate to others, I prepared a speech and simply recited it to the group. I used a slideshow of my photography from the semester to display my artistic vision and quite honestly distract the audience from my words. My observations, statements, and emotions began to pool as I became more and more in touch with the words I was reciting. It began with a letter from eldest brother an Island School alum as I spoke to his reassuring words salvaging any hope for my stay at The Island School. As I look back at that letter I understand the importance of this place and the relationships I have built here. I wouldn't change my experience here for the world. The words that changed it all, the words that found my place, my importance, and my extended family tree. I then went on to thank the people in my home here that have transformed me. Those who have guided me, taught me, exposed me, supported me, and showed me that this is self-discovery. I explained that I was surrounded by thoughtful intelligent empowering people. A group of people devoting a piece of their life for my developing mind. I have never been surround with such driven animated knowledge seekers and sharers. I was proud of what I shared and thankful to have those same empowering people present and invested in my words.
I spent my afternoon visiting other students’ DOLs. I anticipated a repetitive day but with such a diverse student body it seemed that no two demonstrations were alike. Paul Henderson used his wise, insightful, and humorous words to paint a picture of his experience while leaving the crowd giggling uncontrollably. While Tai Massimilian’s kind and beautiful words left me near tears as she explained the significance of this place and its people. Felipe Gomez explained that he has spent his life drifting but now finds himself swimming against the current an image that left me mesmerized. I am so grateful to have experienced the powerful insight of my peers and hope to continue see them grow as we part in the coming days.