Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's been real 2010!

Decked out in '80s gear on our final teaching day of the quarter
I realize we haven't had any posts this month (minus the profile of Adam...) - so first off, apologies! Secondly, this month has been a whirlwind. I cannot believe we're done! We finished off the quarter with an amazing week of team teaching. We had an unforgettable debrief lunch full of laughs, cries, DELICIOUS food and plenty of surprises - including but not limited to an impromptu "flash dance" for none other than the birthday girl, Ms. Bonnie Anderson. (Here's a link from her own blog capturing a bit of that chaos: ) We said our good-byes with a karaoke-filled, Secret Lover (think: Secret Santa) gift exchange in the Great Hall.

Taking care of business during debrief lunch
Gift Exchange in the Great Hall

Jem-bay and karaoke - what a combo!
I feel so honored :)
Campus is pretty quiet right now. There are a few stragglers awaiting flights and such (including me) - but for the most part, everyone has departed for holiday celebrations and well deserved down-time at other locales.  It will be a couple of weeks of reflecting and recharging - but it will also be a couple of weeks apart from the people whom we have spent three intense months with.

This quarter has been an incredible experience. We have all learned so much about ourselves, teaching, and one another. I am so excited to see what the new year has in store for us!

Warm wishes to all for a family and fun-filled holiday! See y'all in 2011!

*I wrote this entry while I was still on Bainbridge Island. I am now back in Brooklyn enjoying some great times with family and friends. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Get to Know a Grad!

Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of entries that will continue throughout the year. We will feature a different grad every few weeks. Enjoy! -Bonnie
Adam Talamentes. Class of 2011.

Name:  Adam Talamantes

Hometown:  Burbank, CA

Undergraduate University/Degree:
  University of Colorado at Boulder, Ecology and Evolution - emphasis in Mammology

What brought you to IslandWood? 
The ability to teach what I love, learn more science, joining a loving community and the ability continue on to a great university.

What is your favorite thing about IslandWood so far?  How we are all doing what we love.

What is your favorite thing about Bainbridge Island/Seattle/The Puget
Sound so far?
  This area has a lot to offer! So much to do every weekend, art, music, social gatherings, beer fests, etc!

Who would you want to play you in the movie version of your life?
  A young Sean Connery (007 style).

Quick! Someone gave you 100 bagazillion dollars! What do you do with it?

Put a location specific themed aquarium in every high school as a learning resource/reading area. 

Who do you most admire and why?
My fellow grads who want to do what I do and work for the same goals, but in COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAYS!

What do you think you might do after IslandWood?  Setup curriculum for Informal education institutions (Zoos/Aquariums) and help to build their relationships with the local communities! (maybe do some research on the side too)

Shoutout time!  Any awesome organizations that you think deserve to be
Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach California - They do great work their and truly love the creatures they work with!

Final thoughts? The North West has the best beer in the United States, true fact.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving Thanks!

Blair (IslandWood Grad '09! What!!) poses with Ruthie Jane
Bonnie mentioned a little something about snow in the last blog post - which sure was a blast! All of that snow was followed by insane winds - and up until Wednesday during SOP instructors' debrief lunch, IslandWood campus (and all of Kitsap county for some time) was without power! There was much excitement and maybe a wee bit o' worry - but like errthing around here, it only made us closer. Lucky for us, power was back just in time!

We got pretty fancy...(That's native Salal around the pumpkins in case you were wondering.)
Some people missed out on Snowpocalypse 2010, but they were here in spirit. Many more were here in real-life! We had one of our grad's entire family join us from Kansas (Grandma, Mom, Dad, Brother...), a past grad do an amazing job on this year's turkey (Ruthie Jane), and two IslandWood kiddos (staff's kids, not SOP kids...) in our Commons and the Lodge for the Thanksgiving feast! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Emily and Chris some show holiday spirit!

Ashley coddles the cranberry sauce
Words cannot describe. I'll say it again, words cannot describe.

So much family <3
Having fun!

Full bellies, empty plates

Not too full for a Scotcheroo! (Thanks, Christina!)

Words cannot describe. I repeat. Words can. not. describe.

What's Thanksgiving without a little board-game fun!

Plotting against Grandma

Grandma fights back - and wins!

Bubbles blown? Fun had by all!

*Pre Thanksgiving bonus*
Generator on campus = grad sleepover in a kid cabin :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

IslandWood? More like SNOW-landWood!

Snow has come to IslandWood!

It started falling on Sunday and fell all day yesterday.  I thought this place was beautiful before but- let me tell you- with snow, it is more magical than Hogwarts, Narnia and Middle Earth COMBINED!*

The students that are here this week are having a very different type of adventure in the woods.  I am in the middle of a non-teaching week and walked around to take some pictures yesterday. 

Enough talking- check out the winter wonderland that is IslandWood's campus!

Grad Cabin in the Snow!

No Sword Fern was safe from a layer of snowy-goodness.

Narnia. It looks just like Narnia. Right?

Can you see the Bog Tree House through the snow covered Bog?

A tree leans over a trail covered with snow.

It doesn't look like anyone will be sitting in the Chainsaw Chair anytime soon.

Snow Covered Suspension Bridge

View of the Ravine from the Suspension Bridge

The Learning Studios

Just for reference, this tree stump is at least 3 feet taller than me.

It doesn't look like anyone is going to be participating in any campfires in the very near future.
Today, the sun is shining and the snow is becoming a little ice-like.  Things are still very, very beautiful however.  Stay warm out there readers!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All Work and No Play Make Grads Dull Boys and Girls!

Emily, Chris, and Theresa wilin' out on the WA coast!
Amanda and Lin-Z become WA residents (thrilling!)
With so many plates spinning clumsily in the air, one would think that the EEC Grads have no time for extra-curricular fun. I think many of us feel a tinge of guilt when we are out on the town or exploring the vast neighboring wilderness, but we are strong....we get by. We work hard and we play hard. Sometimes saying no kills a little bit of our souls – but that happens too. (We are still responsible, you know...) Today, and later this week, many of us will be heading home or elsewhere to visit friends and family over the holiday break. Some of us will be staying here and celebrating with our more local family – either option being a great one. So, in the spirit of superfunhappytimes, I'm delighted to give you a glimpse into another side of grad life.

Weezer at the 40th annual Bumbershoot Festival
Born Ruffians @ Chop Suey

Music is huge in Seattle. Most people know this. We have taken as much advantage of this fact as possible. Bumbershoot welcomed us into this fine city with old-school headliners such as Weezer, Hole, and Against Me!, not to mention tons of acts rockin' the other stages. Countless talents keep us riding the ferry and spending our cash in the name of sweet dancin' tunes. We are even able to check out some local talents on Bainbridge including bluegrass bands and even DJ Z who keeps it real with the 90's hits we all enjoy reliving. Lucky for us, we also entertain ourselves with the musical talent that is spread thick amongst the grads. 

Theresa, Kathie, Ashley, JP, and Emily before seeing Jack Johnson @ the Gorge

Manu Chao @ the Paramount

Sallie Ford @ Tractor Tavern
Black Keys @ Paramount

Adam, Chris DS, and Ian showing off their Forest Chorus skills at IW's Open Mic Night

Who is the real Clancy?
Halloween was taken to the extreme. Pumpkins were carved. Some people partook in the Rocky Horror tradition with a live show here on Bainbridge. Treats at the Lodge and Commons were shared generously. Most of us celebrated with a rad costume party. Fun was had by all.

Dumbledore and La Roux rock out in the Commons

Gangsta Panda, Lost survivor, Unicorn, Bottle of Champagne

Zombie Snowboarders

Chris has a turn with the unicorn

Birthdays are a mandatory excuse to have fun! Four grads celebrated their special days this week alone! Whether the kitchen makes a delicious cake, or the grads do - a quiet dinner, or a dance party - we show our love :)
Danny celebrates her birthday earlier this month with some delicious Vietnamese food!

Ian gets a cupcake to the head back in September

Emily parties like a Viking!

Marymere Falls with out-of-town friends, Olympic NP
We do go to a “School in the Woods,” therefore it should be no surprise that we like to play in them! Grads can be found hiking around many trails on Bainbridge, including those at IslandWood and the beautiful Grand Forest. Mt. Walker, Mt. Townsend, hot springs, and waterfalls, are some of the beauties we have experienced in Olympic National Park. We've explored the Buckhorn Wilderness outside of the park and even some of the stunning beaches right near our homes. 

Chuck, Montana (Lauren), Priya, and honorary grad Kaiya in the Buckhorn Wilderness

Clarissa, Chris, Emily, and me atop Mt. Townsend, Olympic NP

Standing tall @ the Hoh Rainforest

It's hard to keep up with all of the grads' adventures. Last night, some were off experiencing the epic [almost]ending to Harry Potter, while others were checking out a cabaret show in downtown Seattle! Tonight may call for some contra dancing. Whether we're checking out a farm, shooting some pool, being Seattle tourists, or having some alone time in the mountains or at home with a good book, it's refreshing to be surrounded by such a great group of people who take school and work seriously, but also know how to LIVE! 
Roxann and Kasey (roomies!) and friends @ Theo Chocolate Factory

Theresa, Emily, and Chris in a corn maze!

The Amandas, ready for a cocktail party

Theresa, Chris, and Clarissa ride Emily to victory at an ultimate frisbee tourney in Oregon

Adam makes friends at karaoke

Ali and Cassie show off their putt putt skillz

One of many cooking parties at the Commons (Lemongrass shrimp spring rolls ::drool::)

The Troll under the bridge
An amazing city! (We sure are lucky...)