On Saturday morning, we had a series of workshops led by students, teachers, and other Chewonki staff members.
I (Rachel) learned how to play the bagpipes with Scott. He taught us how the bagpipes worke as well as how to play. When he handed his bagpipe over to us, we finally realized how unbelievably difficult it is to power bagpipes with self-generated wind power. It takes about 5 deep breaths to fill the bag, and then one must continue breathing into it every few seconds to keep the sound going. We went out into the quad and played so that everyone could hear us. One interesting thing about Chewonki is that everyone can hear you do something like play bagpipes and no one skips a beat. They walk up and ask if they can try.
I (Jake) spent the first session of the morning swing dancing with Marjo and the magnificent Peter Sniffen. I had done swing dancing a couple times before but I had never really known what I was doing. Peter Sniffen, although claiming to have never taught dancing before, was a fantastic teacher for the leaders (typically men, but because of the number of girls, some ladies joined in). We started off by learning the simple rock step and practicing with different partners, first without music and then with it. Once everyone had mastered this step we learned a simple spin for the follower. Although I had a lot of trouble with this one, I eventually learned how to do it without completely losing the rhythm. Then after this, I learned how to do a spin for myself, which, after the first one, was not too difficult. Towards the end, Rachel walked in and was very confused by the array of dancing around her. Finally, I finished up by dipping Leila and Eloise, something I had learned to do last year at Deerfield from my Hall Resident.
I (Hillia) did African Mammals with Thea. She had put together a slide show of pictures she had taken on her trip to Africa and she showed them to us. Apparently, Thea’s brother was charged and spit on by a giraffe. How exciting! It was really interesting and I am glad I went.
For the second session of the morning, both of us (Rachel and Jake) went to a reptile handling session with Keith, one of the instructors of the Traveling Natural History Program. First, we learned about regulations animal ownership and how the Traveling Natural History Program works. Keith gave us some tips about how to give reptile presentations. We all got to handle a Box Turtle (Carolina), a Corn Snake (Ella), and a Bearded Dragon (Ona). At the end of the talk, we all gave presentations on animals of our choosing. I (Rachel) did a presentation about Carolina, a Box Turtle who likes to try and escape her box. I (Jake) had Ella, who was given to Chewonki by a past semester student in 2006. She crawled all over my arm and it reminded me of my middle school advisor, who had a snake in his classroom that would crawl in my shirt.
That night, Dish Crew 3 staged an elaborate murder mystery. I (Rachel) played a Russian woman of questionable history. I (Jake) was a doctor who was married to Francesca, who was a detective. I (Hillia) was a Belgian woman who did not speak English. Throughout the evening, both Katie Perkins, Aidan’s twin sister, and Marjo, Lady Little C, were murdered. As the only doctor of the group, I (Jake) inspected both victims and then stood around doing nothing. At the end we figured out that it was Ben Semmes and Eloise who had killed Katie P. Ben’s motive was that Katie P. had denied his love, and Eloise’s because she was jealous of Katie P. At the time, Ben Semmes and Eloise were eloping. Thea, a maid, killed Marjo because she wanted money. What a fantastic Saturday!
-Hillia Aho, Jake Stammel, & Rachel Tao
Medomak, ME, New York City, NY & New York City, NY