I came to Chewonki expecting full crunchy granola energy. Where everyone would hug trees and talk to the plants and be completely immersed in nature. I think my expectations were pretty spot on as you will probably discover by the end of this post. Chewonki already feels like home and I know I never want to leave.
On our first normal weekend, a group of faculty and students went canoeing from Chewonki Neck waterfront. I went in a boat with Katie Curtis (my math teacher) and her adorable dog, Kineo. At my sending school I rarely think of teachers as people, but at Chewonki, all of the faculty are real humans! With actual lives and advice! Craziness! The faculty have played such an important part in my time at Chewonki so far and it’s such a nice change from my normalcy.
My time on the farm has been such an amazing part of my experience so far as well. Harriet (the newest calf) is the sweetest thing to visit and I love it when all of the chickens surround you at your feet as you go and collect their eggs. I can’t wait for the rest of the semester in hopes of more bonding with the cow named Greta. I think we’re going to be best friends and not just because we share the same name. I can’t stop myself from saying hi and talking to all the animals. But the best part is that no one laughs or judges, they just say hi to them along with me. Last week, the new baby piglets came! At first they were so timid and scared of us. A few of us got into the pen with them and sat with them while they were still exploring their new home. They may be a little stinky, but I definitely recommend snuggling some piglets when you get the chance.
Another “classic Chewonki” thing that I think pretty much sums up the energy of Maine Coast Semester was during my Art and the Natural World class. We went into the woods one day and the 5 of us each chose a mini tree/branch. We hauled them back to the art room. Watching everyone try to fit their tree into the door by the art patio was very comedic, and our laughs were most definitely heard from the quad and interrupted a Natural History and Ecology of the Maine Coast class. Once both classes had their trees in the art room, during study hours, I went to each of the 11 and gave them a name and a name tag. I hope everyone liked their tree name!
Some people were having phone withdrawals or missed their doggo. Apparently I missed doing dishes because dish crew became such an anticipated activity. If you’re wondering, specifically POT SINK! The industrial sized dish room, the fun blue tube with premixed soap and water, the scratchy radio and the cringy dancing on the slippery tile floor that proceeded and the magic of the hobart dishwasher is just everything you need for the best hour.
Greta Senzig, Winchester High School, Winchester, MA