Growing up in Maine means the landscape here is familiar. The ocean and pine trees are a part of my home. It’s what I know. Attending Maine Coast Semester as a student from Maine means my relationship with this place is a little different than those of my fellow classmates. Although I spent my childhood exploring the intertidal and working in the blueberry fields, I never could have imagined all I would learn and experience here at Maine Coast Semester. What a great opportunity I have to learn about my home!
When I was first considering coming to Maine Coast Semester, I was worried that I wouldn’t get as much out of the experience. Boy was I wrong. Not only have I had the opportunity to dive deeper into my home landscape, but I now better understand my relationship with the ecosystems I interact with. Now when I see a pine tree, I don’t just know it’s a pine tree, I know what kind of pine, what habitat it thrives in, and how we can positively and negatively affect it. Before coming here, I had spent countless hours playing and getting stuck in the mud flats having little clue to the amount of life just under the surface. Being here has taught me to explore my surroundings and to ask questions!
One of my favorite classes here is Literature and the Land, which has allowed me to develop my creative writing skills and my ability to articulate what I see. In this class, I am also able to find connections and comparisons from my home just up the coast. When I return home at the end of the semester, I am excited to use my observational writing skills to better capture what I see and experience. I hope to share with my teachers at home ways in which they can incorporate learning about the environment into the classroom.
Ultimately, coming here has deepened my love for Maine. I feel more connected to my home, and I realize how much I truly love this wild and lively place.
Inez Furth, Washington Academy, East Machias, ME