A piece of writing from Semester 56 Parent Weekend evening program where a few students chose to share aloud pieces of their writing from the semester.
These days I can barely think back to Opening Day, when none of us knew each other yet and we held on to small talks as our ways of survival. I remember walking into the strong scent of skunk in Binnacle, one I would become so familiar with and accustomed to, and I felt the burning awkwardness in the air as I said hi to Sienna and Sydney, who were already stashing boxes and containers under their beds. These days I can barely think back to my expectations of Chewonki before I came, thinking of it as an escape from my home school. And these days what I often think about instead is how capable each and every one of us has become, when we ran the half marathon in seventy-degree weather, when we woke up at three am to check on the sheep, when we jumped into the freezing ocean on Saturday mornings, when we canoed rapids and hiked mountains. These days I think about how we have learned to live together in a cabin despite our differences, to cook dinner and brunch together, to sing around the fire together, to run together, to eat together and to grow together. These days I hear myself referring to Chewonki as OUR place rather than MINE. One day Maggie asked me if I wanted to go home and as I walked down those steps leading to lower field I felt my edges and discomfort slowly melting away. These days feel so short, yet even spring break felt so incredibly long ago. These days I’ve come to the realization that this place is not an escape. It’s not a substitute, or a refuge. It’s home. When I applied for semester school two years ago a senior told me that my reason shouldn’t be to take a break from regular school. I didn’t understand why back then but now I do. These days I found myself laughing more, singing more, and eating more truffles like nobody’s watching. These days I’ve learned to accept the attachment I’ve developed for this place and its people, and to hold on to that feeling, of immense gratitude and clarity, fresh from the past four months.
-Grace, Concord Academy, CHINA