Every passing second brings me closer to the day that this all ends. It’s inevitable and it’s terrifying. But I remind myself that I’m only a week in, just beginning to unwrap the gift that is the future—and the best part? I get to create the present (both kinds).
I’ve been writing a bunch in my journal, documenting moments I know I’ll want to relive (“When Molly and I got mauled in the pig pen”), things people have said that I want to remember (“Go ‘cross-country looking’ and just observe, because the world is amazing everywhere”), and hilarious cabin memories that should not be disclosed in a blog post.
I’ve been taking pictures, too, and every time I look through the viewfinder I’m flooded with happiness, gratitude, love—I can’t describe it, but it makes me toss my camera to the side and feel so lucky that I’m here now, in this place with these people, able to join in on the action and create the memory that it will become.
Where else can you play Ringette on a frozen pond with your math teacher? Where else do you have a science field trip every week, a walk in the woods for English class, or a Spanish teacher who’s teaching you how to knit a hat?
This is the land of two kids squashed in every armchair, of watching a tree get cut down with a mouthful of snow and calling it a movie and popcorn, the land of places with names like Pineapple Forest and The Nook.
It’s where the sky is bigger, the stars are brighter, it always smells good, and there are twenty kinds of tea to choose from; where my long-lost passion for school has been reignited, and doing homework is a peaceful and fulfilling end to the day. It’s where my new friend from far away said, “You know what I realized? I’ve been laughing a lot here, and I don’t really laugh at home.”
Today is Saturday and my morning started off with a crazy polar bear plunge in the ocean. They had to crack the ice. Since then I’ve tromped miles through the woods with a map and compass playing an epic Chewonki Neck version of “The Amazing Race” (the most fun I’ve had here so far, but that’s hard to say), done my laundry, and jammed on my guitar with other kids and teachers on their guitars/ukuleles/bongos/tambourines…for two hours.
“This place is amazing”—that’s how I started my first letter home. I’m learning so much in so many ways, trying new things (like joining the acapella group, when I’d only ever sung alone), revisiting old joys (reading for pleasure; playing games for fun, not competition), and spending time with people I love deeply after just eleven days together.
I’m getting sick of just sitting at a computer so I’m going to wrap this up. This is the best and most meaningful education I’ve ever gotten, without a doubt. I wake up excited for what’s ahead of me and I go to bed feeling like it was the new best day ever. This place is so special and it’s an experience I wish everyone could have.
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
-Caroline, Newton South High School, MA