I wish that I could put a recording device in the Wallace Center for just one day. The sounds that are heard here symbolize the Chewonki Semester School experience. There’s the low rumble of people talking, getting closer and learning about one another or sharing stories from home. They speak and smile, and you can just see the happiness pouring out of them. There’s a sweep sweep sweep as slippered feet shuffle across the floor from the Flintstone couches to the tea area and back again. We hear that sound often. We drink enough tea to sink a large ship. Often there’s a loud burst of laughter, ringing clear above the voices. When I came here, I expected to meet awesome people and learn a lot, but I didn’t realize how much I would laugh. Jokes, stories, and sayings make me laugh more in a day than a week at home.
Then, above it all, there’s the music. There’s almost always live music: people practicing, goofing around or just jamming out. At least half the semester knows how to play the guitar or the piano; there are several banjoists, a ukulele player, and a cellist. No one cares if you play, just so long as you play loud enough for everyone to listen. When someone finishes a song on the piano or cello, everyone claps. That’s the environment at Chewonki: one that is supportive and encouraging, with great friends and good music.