Until Next Time, Summer

By Eleanor Pontikes “Hey, I haven’t seen you in so long! How was your summer?” Amid the nerves and temporary excitement for the first days of school, I heard or was part of this conversation constantly. Besides conversations with friends and teachers, the first couple of classes were often spent doing get-to-know-you activities and going over our summers. Needless to say, the conversations grew hackneyed and less enthusiastic as the week went on; people started to care less about the responses they would get, and summer faded into a distant memory. But some of the responses I heard actually snapped me out of the routine of these conversations and seemed to revive my own summer that I spent backpacking, fly fishing, and climbing in Colorado and Wyoming, which I thought was the best summer/time of my life. Zara Khan worked at the newspaper Streetwise as an intern and worked at the clothing store Zara. Alexa Ramirez went to a writing program out of the New York Times in NYC, learning how to write reviews of food while eating at Michelin star and James Beard Award winning restaurants. Max Norris went to Fiji. Ms. Gallagher spent part of her summer in Washington, DC, even getting to see the annual congressional baseball game. Charlie Moss was a counselor-in-training at Camp Thunderbird and then went on a backpacking trip throughout the East Coast with the guys he had gone to camp with over the years. Another summer to be jealous of is junior Mandy Duncan’s month at the Island School in the Bahamas. She heard about the summer program from a presentation made at assembly during her freshman year from two students who had also done it. Situated on an island called Eleuthera, Mandy learned about ecology and native species through hands-on experiences. The month-long program started off with all the students getting scuba certified and getting accustomed to island life. Not too shabby for a summer school, I’d say. But it wasn’t all fun and games. Besides taking part in ecology and other science classes, all the students have to wake up at six for a morning exercise whether that be a run or swim in the ocean. This is all gearing up for the “monster run” every student has to complete at the end of the program which is made up of a five mile run and a two mile swim. Mandy would “definitely do it again if [she] could, but you can only go to the Island School once.” The highlight of Mandy’s experience was the scuba diving and the lowpoint was saying goodbye to all the people she had met and grew to love over the summer. In the end, the Island school proved to be a rewarding experience as she learned a lot and had fun the whole time. (If you’re interested in the Island School check out their website or find Mandy Duncan and talk to her about it.) After hearing about all these amazing experiences, it’s easy to count down the days until next summer as your first couple of tests get handed back and you stay up late to finish a paper, but unfortunately it’s a bit too early in September for that. Well, who are we kidding? Here’s the official countdown to summer 2017 link: https://days.to/2-june/2017]]>