~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS5 student Jessica McDonald. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s 17 learning goals. Jessie is from Sobieski, Wisconsin where she is homeschooled.~
When I first began doing my E-portfolio, I knew this entry would be difficult. How can I explain in a few hundred words what has happened to my life since I arrived here, nervous and excited, on August 18? I will try my best.
When I first arrived at Conserve School, my goal was to deepen my love for the outdoors and become more comfortable in it. I can honestly say I achieved that goal. My affection towards our planet has truly been fostered and cultivated here. Also, I am much more comfortable in the wild now. Field Instruction taught me what I need to know to thrive in the wilderness: how to survive away from civilization and have fun! Reading segments from the book Deep Survival in History class used examples and science to demonstrate what to do if you get lost or hurt miles from help.
Next, I have created life-long friends here. I have become extremely close with everyone here but especially with my Bobcat wing-mates! I have spent hours hanging out with these truly wonderful people, and I will miss them with all my heart. As I write this, wonderful memories are running through my head. Memories such as talking to my roommate, Kelsie, in our bathroom late at night. Failing secret Santa. The water fight. Random dance parties. Whenever I reminisce about these experiences, it reminds just how lucky of a person I really am.
Third, I had a wonderful class room experience. I enjoyed the hands on education methods employed here and I have had so much fun learning so many interesting things. Even math was fun! I loved learning how to throw clay in Ceramics, creating stamps, paper, and jewelry in Earth Art, reading from Endurance while hacking through ice in a rowboat for History, making a wilderness field guide in English, cutting down trees and making maps in science, and sledding in Field Instruction. There are so many fun ways to learn here!
Lastly, Conserve School has made me look to the future. The Colleges and Careers class helped me focus on college and solidify my interest in meteorology. Also, I felt that Conserve had changed me so much for the better that I re-took the SAT, which hopefully will increase my chance for scholarships. In addition, I am now a much more confident person, and I look forward to see how this affects my everyday life when I return home.
In conclusion, Conserve School, was a wonderful, life changing experience. I achieved the goals I had set for myself and am now comfortable in the wilderness. I enjoyed my classes, and learned so much. I made amazing new friends and had wonderful adventures with them. I focused on the future and made steps to ensure its success. After reflecting over what has happened to my life over the last four months, I have come to a simple realization. Coming to Conserve School was the best decision I have ever made.
~Jessie McDonald, Conserve School Semester 5
More photos of Jessie from her semester at Conserve School.