Tip a chair for me. I want to sit next to you. These words were often said and received throughout this first half of the semester. Meal time is always a fun, busy time of the day. Whether it is just after farm chores in the morning, the middle of a Wednesday schedule, or right after a 5-hour field trip, there is always a life to the time where we sit around the table eating. Now, that may just be because of the great food and after a long working experience, but I would like to think that it is fueled by something greater. I have this feeling that the reason for this boom of energy and room filled with smiles and laughter is due to the great community. This semester pours itself out for one another and is not afraid of their raw emotions. We accept each other and every seat at the table is open for anyone. I think that the feeling of being acknowledged and wanted by another person is key to what people enjoy. This environment around the meal fosters that emotion and great vibe that makes me and everyone else there enjoy each time we eat. The discussions are always fun and informative and lively. I can talk about the presidential candidates at breakfast, then talk about the sustainable practices of Chewonki at lunch, and then finish up the day about how silly it is that knees bend one way and elbows bend in the opposite direction. I think that even though the variety of people I may talk to is finite, the great topics and memories can be endless. There is always a next day. That is what I love about this place. There are always more meals and times to sit around the table, relax, and eat. Many times at home and here, I am always thinking about the future, about what’s next. Thinking about what should I do after this meal or what I need to get done to feel accomplished, but that really does not matter. When I sit down in one of those eight chairs, I feel grateful. I feel grateful for the time that I have spent here. I feel grateful for the life that I am living in such an amazing place. I feel grateful that I can sit down at this table, with these people, in this moment. So if we are ever at the same meal together, tip a chair for me because I want to sit next to you.
–Rahmel, Phillips Andover Academy, Brooklyn, NY