Early in the morning we all said goodbye to our family, friends, and old way of thinking. Waving goodbye to our parents from security was something many found to be extremely hard. For several, this was the first time they would fly alone or be away from home. Luckily, most of us found other students on the planes and befriended each other with ease and excitement. Abby was lucky to make the flight since she caught it with only ten seconds to spare. Although some of us were a little awkward and nervous getting through the airport we all eventually made it here safe and sound with all of our bags. It took some peoples bags a few days to arrive, like our dear friend Gretta . When asking students about their arrivals the common theme was stressful, but everyone said it was 110% worth it and they are ecstatic to be here. One of the first experiences at The Island School was gathering around the flagpole.

Now, we're here!  Arriving to the Island School has been an unreal experience.   There's been so much going on since we stepped off the plane.  Everyone is so fun and friendly!  It's been quite hectic with orientation starting up as soon as we got here.  The first night we arrived, we all gathered in the boathouse to hear the head of school, John Schatz, introduce The Island School and give us a glimpse into our 100 day semester.  He told us that The Island School is a place where we shouldn't have many expectations but to expect that it's going to be an incredible experience.  He said that one of his primary roles here as the head of school is to confuse us, which confused us.  During his talk he also said that The Island School and its faculty are here to help change our perspective and that it's going to be a mentally and physically challenging 100 days.  It was nerve wracking to hear but exciting at the same time.

We spent a lot of time getting oriented in the presentation room.

Every morning we've been getting up before 6:30am to meet for morning circle and do morning exercise.  The first morning we snorkeled Boys Dorm beach and got our first marine ecology class.  We saw and learned about sea urchins, starfish, brittlestars, sea cucumbers, a big hermit crab, a stingray, and a GIANT barracuda.   After a busy first 24 hours we started an even more busy orientation getting introduced to classes, meeting our advisories, exploring around campus, hearing many rules and expectations, and preparing for SCUBA and Kayak Week.

We got a tour of The Island School campus and stopped here at the floating gazebo.  This outdoor classroom is located between the IS campus and The Cape Eleuthera Institute.

Yesterday we toured Cape Eleuthera on our bikes with our advisory groups.

One of the introductions was to the student update blog, which is what you're reading right now!  Every two weeks a new group of students will be responsible for writing blog posts and sharing stories from our experience on the student blog.  We ended the introduction with an activity that asked us to write down three words that came to mind when reflecting on our journey here so far and three words that best described our first impressions of this place that would be used to create two word clouds.  Check them out!

 

Written by, Abby Gordon, Tess Bialobrzeski, and Catherine Argyrople