Throughout the semester, we will be featuring regular updates about the student experience here at Island School, through the voices of our own students. These “Student Update” reflections will blend stories and experiences from all areas of student life, from academics to adventures, keeping you all posted on meaningful moments that happen here each day. Enjoy our first Student Update of the Fall 2013 semester, written by Lyndsey Silverstein: We kicked off the end of orientation by running to High Rock together, both faculty and students. I ran two miles to get there and jumped off the rock, metaphorically starting my three month journey here. Marking the end of orientation, kayak and scuba week to start a more normal rhythm here at The Island School. After every student jumped off, we ran back to campus and headed for our Querencia spot. Querencia is a time where, after being surrounded by teachers and peers at all times, I can be utterly alone and write or think to myself. I biked back up to High Rock and found a huge boulder, climbed on top and stared at the open waters before me. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this time to myself. This was a place I would come every week to learn more about myself and discover my identity. Discovering who I was wasn’t going to happen in the two hours I had but I knew this place held significance for me in the future. Once Querencia was over I headed back to circle and gathered around the flagpole, headed out to community outreach. I loaded into a van that was driving to Deep Creak Middle School where I found my seventh grade buddy and played a few introductory games. After an hour of greeting games, I had a relaxing afternoon at the beach with everyone in the program. This was the first time it felt like we were all together as a community, officially starting a new chapter with one another. Following our beach afternoon, we gathered again for 6:00 PM circle and continued the rest of my night.

My first official class was longline shark Research, which started my day off on a good note. Continuing to Art and Human Ecology, these were all new to me, which was somewhat daunting but once all said and done I was pleasantly surprised by how the classes were going so far. All afternoon we had extended advisory time, which was a great way to get closer to the few people in my group. Sucking down mango cups which are similar to the American Icee, this was also the first time I felt connected to my advisory which was an amazing way to embark on the school year about to begin.