Every morning at 6:30 AM, I hear that familiar sound, I often think that I am dreaming, but no, there is in reality a loud bell waking me from a beautiful deep sleep. I roll over in my bed, grabbing my covers, stretching, and squinting my eyes, just trying to cling onto the last 15 minutes of sleep I have left. The process of waking up involves intense will power. Putting your bare feet on the cold wood, standing up, feeling terrible, you can feel every vertebra stacking on top of each other. This is Step 1 of completing a day in Semester 44. Step 2: Chores. Chores switch every two weeks, and as of right now I am on recycling with my good friend Callum. Recycling entails taking out the trash in the Wallace and Allen Centers, and taking the recycling bags to the dumpster. It is a smelly chore, but it goes quick if you put your mind to it. Next is breakfast, probably my favorite part of the day. I tend to put sriracha hot sauce on every breakfast food we have, even oatmeal. Meals here are amazing. Everybody sits with new people every meal, students and staff all sit together. Some of the best conversatiosn I have here occur at meal time. The food is outstanding, there is so much variety, it’s almost better than at home.
The rest of the day until 12:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, or 3:45 on Mondays and Fridays is completely devoted to academics. But these are no ordinary academics. At Chewonki, I have discovered interests I didn’t know I ever had. I have never been a “sciency” kid, but at Chewonki I discovered the wonders of natural science; the hands-on approach, and visual aids help me so much, thinking comes naturally in the class room environment. I actually have fun. All of my classes, not just natural history, have this same vibe, and it’s truly unique. The next part of the day after classes is OAP (Outdoor Athletic Program). During this we play random made up games that are usually variations of actual sports. For example: Yoga Ball Soccer. It’s like soccer only the ball is a huge yoga ball. After OAP, we get some chill time to do work play, play music, or rest: (free time). During free times, if I have limited work, I play music. Sitting in a circle playing guitar, or the bongos, or piano, or bass, or whatever, has been one of the most enjoyed activities at Chewonki. Everyone (seriously everyone) plays some sort of instrument, and people are willing to experiment even if they are not experienced musicians. After dinner, we have study period, and this is where I get the majority of my work done. I have found that this study period that lasts for about 2 hours is barely enough time to get all of my work done. But at Chewonki, I have learned how to manage my time more effectively, and I can get my work done every night.
At about 9:53 PM I make my way down to the bathroom, use the bathroom, brush my teeth, and walk back to my cabin with my cabin mates. We sit around the fire, talk about the usual topics, sometimes finish work, or play ridiculous games of tackle basketball. At about 11:00 we all are in bed, just waiting for the daunting sound of the bell to come in the morning. But when it does come, we all know that the next day will be even better than the last.
-Johnny Steines, New York, NY