Hi everyone, I’m Kelly, a student here at The Island School and I’ll be writing the Student Update Blogs for the next two weeks. I write new updates during chore times on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. So look forward to those in the coming days. A little bit about myself; I enjoy creative writing, snorkeling blue holes and finding massive spiders on kayak trips. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be your window into our lives here at Island School... Today marks the first day of academic classes. It’s a pretty important day as you might guess, because not only does it mean classes and homework but it also feels like a sort of… beginning. Orientation ended on Saturday, and to celebrate we all jumped off High Rock (which is, well, a really REALLY high rock). While it may not seem like much, it was very meaningful to a lot of us. One by one we leapt off the rock and into the sea; out of orientation and into the semester. Even for those of us who are afraid of heights didn’t hesitate. As we stepped to the edge of the rock and looked down into the water, into the scary unknown of the next couple months, we heard the voices of all of our new friends and classmates cheering us on. And we just closed our eyes and jumped.[slideshow]

I’d like to share a little story with you all, a story that to me, really highlights what makes the Island School Community so special. This morning for our daily morning exercise, we did a run-swim. It’s exactly what it sounds like; you run then you swim, you run then you swim, on and on and on. It’s great exercise and a really good way to start the day, but in the moment it is a lot of hard work. During one of the swim portions, we were swimming down this inlet called Current Cut. Well named, this cut has a rather strong current; lovely to swim with but almost impossible to swim against. I felt pretty good as I was cruising down the cut, but then I missed the exit. I just completely swam right past it. A few other people did as well, and we were told to turn around and swim back to the exit. It wasn’t that far of a swim, only about ten feet, but this was 40 minutes into the run-swim and the current was just so strong. I swam and I swam, and I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere other than tired, fast. Everyone was climbing out of the water ahead of me and I was falling even further behind. I was feeling really helpless when suddenly I heard someone calling my name. I looked up out of the water and saw a classmate of mine, Nathaneal Matlack, reaching out his hand to me. Someone I don’t even know very well had one hand on the rocks and the other reaching out to me, letting people pass him just so he could help me out. I grabbed his hand and he pulled me out of the water. As simple as it sounds, that really struck me. That’s what this community is about; sometimes things just feel way too overwhelming and you just want to give up, but someone is always there to lend a helping hand.