First off, I just want to say this term has been crazy. I had an amazing internship, and I had a few projects that didn’t turn out quite as I expected. I gained maturity and competence in more than one field, and I learned more about what makes me tick, and how I can alter that to allow me to meet my goals.
I completed multiple learning plans this term, as my original project did not turn out the way I was expecting, and I ended up on a slightly different path than I usually would. I am not yet excellent at making plans and sticking to them. I prefer to start off doing something and see where it leads me. However, it is necessary to be able to finish tasks in a time based manner, which is something I struggled with this term. I tend to think of things in a very broad way, and often times the projects I come up with are not set in stone or easily evaluated by a community partner. For example, this term I had three project ideas. The first one was to bring a European film I was very interested in to the US. However, I did not foresee that it was going to take more time than I had, and the filmmakers were not prepared to take things so fast. After that, I had a project where I didn’t really write a plan. I simply started out head on. Once I had gotten into it, I decided to write up a plan, however it was a little delayed. This was the project relating to semester schools. In my defense, I was on a very short time frame as the admissions directors needed the applications done as soon as possible. The semester school project ended up being the most successful and influential project, as I got accepted and will be attending Maine Coast Semester at Chewonki in the fall! Finally, my project on making money also did not have a designated end point, as it is ongoing until I need to use the money to pay for my tuition to semester school. I did have clear goals for each project though. I made it into semester school, I know exactly how much money I need to make and I have more experience with finances and different potential options on how to create a lucrative business. However, I think I could work on figuring out my learning goal before I start the project. I often jump headlong into things without thinking about what I can learn, and maybe I would be able to accomplish something bigger or more helpful for the community in the grand scheme of things.
On the topic of community, I also had an internship this term. I worked at Crow’s Path, an outdoor learning center for elementary age kids. It was different than anything I had experienced before in many ways. I never got to have school outdoors, and I had never worked with kids in a leadership position either, aside from the occasional babysitting gig. Even though I have been interested in the outdoors for many years, I never quite reached the level of immersive learning that I participated in during my LTI. For the first several weeks, I was so in awe of being in the woods and watching all of these new activities take place that it was hard to step into that mentor role. However, during my midpoint meeting Sophie gave me some suggestions that helped me to push myself into a role I had never taken on. I learned how to be mature and responsible, and how to take care of myself and others in nature. I also gained a lot of practice being in the outdoors. This is especially useful as I am very interested in backpacking and outdoor education in general. Although I know that there are always areas in which I can improve, I definitely believe that this was a valuable internship for me to have. As well as having an amazing and sometimes super silly time, I now have useful skills and good connections that will last far beyond my sophomore year.
Connections are one of the most important parts of life to me and I am very interested in each individual in BP. Ever since the beginning of fall term, I think most of us have connected well. However, as time has worn on, I know that is has been easy to get tired of seeing the same people every single day. I have experienced this. I am quick to stop giving people the benefit of the doubt when I get tired of them and I know that it is not always deserving. Nevertheless, I try to bring positivity and enthusiasm to our group every day. I have a strong work ethic, and I hope that people who witness me in a work environment are able to use me as a role model. However, I also have a strong will. I prefer to do things my own way, without always paying close regard to rules, guidelines, or plans. Sometimes I will put my own needs before those of others in the group, and not always realise what kind of influence I have. This has caused some issues in the past, but I try to be upfront about what it is that I need. I know that if I am going to be in a self directed learning program, I really do have to direct my own learning and use whatever means I have in my power to succeed at the goals I put in place for myself. Although I am trying to reach my own goals, I also try to speak up for the group when I recognise that something is not working for more than one member of BP. Next term is Service Learning Term, so I hope that the group working skills I have developed so far will be useful, and I hope that I will be able to use techniques that I learn there to contribute positively to the community at Chewonki in fall term of 2017.
My goals for next term include working well in a group, creating a meaningful change for bees, and working with partners who are obviously passionate about what it is that they’re doing. I hope that I can learn even more about what it is that I want to pursue in the future and I hope that SLT will allow me to spend more time in nature and explore different aspects of the natural world.