From Sunrise to Moonrise, a Day in the Life at Maine Coast Semester

This morning, I woke up at 6:30 am with my cabin mates, just in time for Morning Gather. In a circle under the two large trees that stand in the center of campus, our leader of the day shared a quote before sending us off to morning chores. My chore for the past week has been to heat our two main buildings, the Wallace and the Allen, with a very large wood stove we call the Blumonte. I really like this chore because I know my work is essential in making sure everyone on campus is able to stay warm throughout the school day.

After chores, I walked to breakfast to spend time with classmates and teachers over homemade pumpkin-chocolate-chip muffins. After, I walked over to the Allen Center for Morning Meeting where, among other things, we heard about a sheep shearing scheduled for later that week to be performed by a semester alum on our very own Salt Marsh Farm.

Right after morning meeting, we moved into the school day. I started with Spanish class where I am one of four students and already feel as though I am improving my speaking skills so soon into the semester with such a small class setting. After, I started my math homework on Parametrics and shared some toast and tea with friends in the dining hall. After my free block, I had my favorite class called Environmental Issues. We are currently discussing the history of the environmental movement and looking at some influential writing by Aldo Leopold and Garrett Hardin that catalyzed ecologist thinking. After EI, I had Literature and the Land, where we spent some time journaling outside. Today’s prompt was to observe something unfamiliar about the trees we surround at Morning Gather every day.

Then it was lunchtime. I relaxed after a full morning of classes by talking with friends and Chewonki staff over an almost entirely Chewonki-sourced meal. After lunch, I quickly changed into my warmest clothing before Science Field Lab. For this lab, we met on the Quad before trekking out on the Chewonki Neck to look closely at how the surrounding forest has developed after major climate changes. We also learned about identifying certain arboreal species and watched the moon rise on Ideal Point to end off the day.

When we got back to the main campus, it was right in time for dinner. I had some free time before study hall, and then worked on my upcoming Environmental Issues paper and my Science Field Journal from the Field Lab I completed just hours before. Afterward, I met with my English teacher for advice on a writing assignment. At the end of the day, I returned to my cabin, Orchard, to hang out with my cabin mates before bed. While I’m from Boston, the people I live with are from all across the country. It amazes me how well we’ve all bonded in only just a few weeks and it is so nice to end the day hanging out with my new best friends.

Life here at Chewonki is definitely full, and no two days are ever the same, however every activity is purposeful and keeps me guessing for what I will learn next. I am so grateful that I can wake up each morning excited to see what each day can bring.

Emily, Concord Academy, Lexington, MA

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