I’ve been at Chewonki for a little more than a month now—I think. Lately the days have begun to blend together largely because there hasn’t been a day I haven’t enjoyed. It’s a quiet Saturday morning here. We just returned from our winter wilderness trips yesterday and it seems like everyone is still recovering from their adventures. Recently, I’ve noticed that in any given room that has more than five students, at least one of them will be playing an instrument. It’s a natural law here.
The mood here is very relaxed but nonetheless very energetic. Everyone seems to be endlessly resilient. This weekend I’ve seen a hint of what spring in Maine looks like: wet. The docile snow that once covered the boardwalk between the Allen Center and the boys’ cabins has now become slick and icy. I’m going to slip and fall soon, I know it! Maybe someday the ice will melt away. Until then, I’m sending for some crampons to put on my boots.
On this Saturday afternoon, we have some free time. We don’t usually have free time, though I our time is seldom ever wasted. I’ve discovered that the library is the best place to spend free time. It’s always relatively quiet and should I finish whatever I’m doing, there are scores of bookshelves to be perused. I won’t ever really finish my work, though. That’s the thing about Chewonki: there’s X amount of work to be done and two-thirds X time to do it. Even when I use my free periods, I’m still barely caught up. Going to school here, I’ve learned that every hour of every day should be used to do something productive. In a way it’s satisfying. Though I work harder, I have more to show for my time. Indeed, daily life at Chewonki is the antithesis of this conversation:
Bob: So what did you do this afternoon Billy?
Billy: Oh, you know, stuff. I hung out.
Bob: Cool, so did I.
Rather, daily life here is typically like this:
Ben: What did you do today Sam?
Sam: Well, after I read about climate change and contributed to Chewonki’s student written blog, I practiced a song on the guitar, took a walk down to the end of the Neck and defeated Willard in an epic game of slushy basketball.
Ben: Wow, sounds like you had a full day. I heard about your crazy skills on the court!
Sam: Yea, Willard never saw what hit him…and he’s so tall!
See the difference?
-Sam Colt, Atlanta, GA