Yesterday marked the beginning of the second academic week. Mondays are one of the busiest days of the week; we start the day with morning exercise, chores, personal space clean-up, and breakfast, and then head right into classes. After our three classes and lunch, we all piled into the vans and went to DCMS to visit our buddies and start brainstorming about our projects, and as soon as we got back to campus, we had meetings with our advisor about how the semester has been going for each of us individually. It was a pretty “typical” Monday, but I’ve mentioned before how un-typical a typical day here is. How often in a “typical” day back home do you get to go for a run along the beach with your classmates in the Bahamas? Or talk with visiting marine life photographers from Belgium? Or attend a presentation by Josh Goldman, the founder of one of the most innovative, new, sustainable fish farms? I feel like throughout the last week, I’ve talked a lot about the Island School and what we do here, which I suppose is what I’m supposed to do given that I’m writing for the Island School Blog. But I would like to pay a little tribute to the island itself, as it really is a large part of what makes the experience. [slideshow]As I write this, I’m sitting on the dining hall deck, where we eat all of our meals every day, and all around me I see the sea. I see beautiful white sand and majestic pink conch shells lining the paths, I see lazy green palm trees, their fronds swaying with such ease, I see sea-grape leaves and mangroves, and of course, again, the big turquoise sea, shining with a color unique to this place. I’m in a place where the sand squishes between your toes, gets in your hair, your shoes, your bed, I’m in a place where you can stand neck deep in water and still see your toes clear as day, I’m in a place where not only am I surrounded by beauty, but I’m surrounded by wonderful people as well. Everyone who comes through here is working towards a common goal; a brighter future for the relationship between humankind and the world we live in. Whether it be a student, here to learn about preserving the natural environment, or someone as successful as Josh Goldman who’s passion is to work towards the sustainable feeding of the world’s growing population, everyone here is here for a reason. I’m so proud to be here in this wonderful place, surrounded by and interacting with such wonderful minds.