Where in this world can students be friends with their teachers, understand themselves as learners, push one another to learn more and accept everyone? Here at MCS each day we accomplish all of these tasks. All 55 of us (including faculty) make up a community where each member is challenged, supported, and accepted. For four months, we have united along this small peninsula on the Maine Coast. Together we have observed fungi, climbed Blueberry Hill, swam in the frigid waters, spent a night alone, frolicked in the mud; but most importantly, in this short time, we have developed a band of trust permanently bonding us together.
Each one of us shares a similar goal: to have a good time while learning about our surroundings and ourselves. We take learning very seriously and put our full attention into each endeavor. From 6:45 AM when chores begin to the nighttime bell at 9:45 PM, we work hard. Nevertheless, its not tedious busy work, its meaningful work. At the end of each day, we feel a sense of educational triumph different from the rest of the world. We are fired up to dig deeper and learn more. We raise the bar for ourselves and push one another to question even more. We can sense the pulse of increasing knowledge as we walk through the woods and distinguish an American Beech tree from a White Ash. It is a sense of success foreign to so many students but so real to us. We consistently get our hands dirty and see for ourselves the ideas written in textbooks. Throughout each day, it is apparent that we all strive to reach our goal.
Teachers here are an exceptional part of our community. They love the work they do and exude a sense of passion in each class. Each moment they spend with us, they are devoted, and willing to guide us. They understand how we feel and empathize with us. The give us so much trust that in return we give them a tremendous amount of respect. Sitting in our cabins with us after check-in for up to a half hour allows us to develop meaningful relationships. Having teachers, who are like friends, pushes us to put more into our work. Their expectations inspire us to work harder and reach to that next level. Working alongside teachers throughout the day helps us to appreciate that these older members of our community are extraordinary and valuable mentors.
As the semester comes to a close, I hope that my experience here will empower me to devote more energy to learning. I look forward to challenging myself to connect with my teachers and push myself to raise that bar and dig deeper into each assignment. Chewonki has been a spark of energy that has illuminated our fire for learning and fed our flames of passion.
-Fiona Haslett, Lincoln, MA
and Tucker Deane-Krantz, New York, NY