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Daily Update March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012

Yesterday, Wednesday Island School students joined Chris Maxey for a free dive even on their sleep-in.  Before the sunrise and in the rain, the divers rode their bikes to Hammerhead Hole, where they stopped to do yoga.  As the sun rose, Maxey led us in the tree pose, where one stands on one foot and sways in the wind.  The relaxing yoga helped us all with our breathing so that we could be more successful at holding our breath.  After a surprising amount of ‘yoga push-ups’, we stepped into the water.  Hammerhead Hole is special because it is about forty feet deep, but only 15 feet off of shore.  In free-diving, one joins with a buddy, and one buddy at a time will hold his breath while he calmly and steadily kicks his way to the bottom.  A few students made their way to the deepest point of the hole.  However, heads turned when Maxey free dove to the bottom, took his fins off, grabbed a rock, and ran along the bottom before coming up for air.  After a good sample of free diving, we biked back to campus to start the day.

After breakfast, we began our third day of classes.  In math class, our teachers pushed us to rethink our responses.  On one question, we debated the nature of a unit.  In art class, we studied photography and the different effects that can be used when taking different pictures.  In the afternoon, I had my first marine ecology class.  After looking over the syllabus, we headed out to the field to take advantage of our nearby marine ecosystems.  We studied the mangroves, in the mangroves; the mudflats, in the mudflats; the intertidal zone, in the intertidal zone.  We are realizing that at The Island School, the concepts we learn each day come from the world around us, our real life classroom. We wrapped up our class by identifying certain species of marine plants, invertebrates, and animals.  This included a ‘touch tank’ type study of many of the species we discussed.  When studying how starfish eject their stomach to digest their food, it was valuable to remember how we had all watched this during an orientation snorkel.

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