After dinner we gathered for ice-breaker games and a discussion of the five Conserve School Core Values: Compassion, Honesty, Justice, Respect, and Responsibility. Then it was on to the residence houses for a briefing on important items like What to Do with Burned Microwave Popcorn. (As fast as you can, snatch it out of the microwave, toss it into the oven, slam the door shut, and turn the fan on high. Otherwise, our ultra-sensitive smoke detectors will go off, the fire siren will blare, emergency lights will flash, everyone will evacuate the building, and the Administrator on Duty will come running … all because of your popcorn.) Kidding aside, we go over emergency procedures … tornado drills, fire drills, health emergencies, etc. … right off the bat with students in order to ensure everyone’s safety from the very first day of the semester.
Once emergency procedures were covered, students headed outside for the candlelight ceremony. Tradition dictates that I cannot reveal too much about this important element of Move-In Day. Suffice it to say that the wind was low, so the luminaries burned brightly, and the temperature was perfect — too cold for mosquitoes but warm enough for us. The clouds drifted away just in time for the stars to shine, giving CS5 students a first glimpse of the remarkable night-time sky in the Northwoods, where you can see not only the familiar constellations but also a faint patchwork background of far-away galaxies.
Today, Sunday, students tramped all over campus, learning the ropes: kitchen duties, residence house check-out procedures, recreation center equipment, trail signs, and who lives where. Small groups of students, each led by a Graduate Fellow, explored the trails, toured each of the buildings, discovered where teachers and administrators live, met faculty children and pets, enjoyed home-made treats, and got used to the idea that their school staff members are also their friendly next-door neighbors.
Enjoy the photos! Check back frequently to see more and to read additional CS5 updates.
Mary Anna Thornton, Assistant Head of School