24 Hours In and I Love It – Excerpts from a Maine Coast Semester Journal

Excerpts from the journal of Mia, Drew School, San Francisco, California

Day 1
I’m 24 hours in and I love it.

Day 32
Today was so cool! We did a homesteading set of activities and it was the most fun Saturday activity we have ever done. First I went to the woodshop which is a beautiful space and I learned from Lisa how to carve a spatula which I hope to finish so I can give it to mom and dad as a gift. My whittling skills are getting better and I sharpened my army knife. Later in the day I whittled a canoe that says Allagash seventeen. After spatula carving I went to natural dyes with Megan and it was so cool to see the steeped flowers and roots and to get to dye my own wool.

Tonight we did cabin activities and it was very high energy and there was lots of spirit to go around. We also had amazing teriyaki chicken with noodles for dinner!

Lisa Beneman, Farm Educator, teaching semester students wood carving techniques

Day 33
Today it was pouring rain at brunch and Chris, our spanish faculty, said “I recommend people go out and play in the rain.” Sav and I booked it to the quad and it was like a shower. I’ve never seen it rain so hard in my life. We ran around the quad with our arms out like airplanes, feeling the rain soak our t-shirts through. Drenched, we went inside to change into fresh clothes, then went to phenology and made watercolor paintings by dipping our brushes into the ocean pools while sitting on a nearby rock. It felt like a movie scene. It was a beautiful rainy day.

Day 38
Today was the first frost! I woke up and the grass was crunchy beneath my feet on the way to farm chores. I went to math class first thing after breakfast and I had a short quiz which was well anticipated and then we learned about seeing math in nature with the Fibonacci sequence. Then I had english and a few others and I gave presentations about a chapter in the book we’re reading. It  was super fun to lead the class and host fun activities with my six other classmates. I had US History and then free period before lunch. After lunch a group of four of us went down to Pinky Point on the neck for a quick hike before Work Program. It was beautiful and not too cold. This week was peak foliage and it was beautiful to see the trees change color, especially since I’ve never seen that before coming from the city.

Frost covers salad greens at Salt Marsh Farm

Day 47
Its outdoor leadership weekend and I woke up under the trees. The sound of the birds chirping woke me up; the world was awake except for me. I was cozy in my sleeping bag. This morning I was on wood processing crew where I got to saw and chop some wood with the axe for our breakfast fire. We had oatmeal for breakfast and sat around the fire talking as a group. Amy and Rachel are fun to listen to, they have great stories. We then did a one hour solo where I went and sat under a huge eastern white pine. We split into groups after and practiced our compass skills and I got led to this beautiful cliff and blue water straight that I’d never seen before! We packed up camp and returned to campus, or “town,” since it was our last day out on the neck. I did laundry and showered. We had ice cream for dessert tonight since it’s ice cream Sunday! My favorite! Study hours I sat in the pottery room doing my homework. I love it there since it’s warm and the whole room is glass where you can look over the lower field. I was productive and able to get my work done with enough time to practice ukulele in the Flintstones with a few others before check in.

Mia holds up a fake abrasion during the Wilderness First Aid certification class that was part of this year’s Outdoor Leadership Weekend

Mia and her twin, Cali, taking photos at Salt Marsh Farm at Sunset