Saturday, December 5, 2015

Farm Stay 2, November 30 - December 17, 2015

by Adeline
December 3

I know that some people who are thinking about joining Lake Country School, or the Junior High, but are worried or confused about Farmstay. I have decided to write my blog entry on the day I had yesterday, or a normal day.

7:10 Wake up and go to do Farm Chores. Every morning there are three jobs available: Farm Chores, Breakfast setup, and Breakfast cleanup. We rotate jobs every six days.

7:30 Eat breakfast, so kindly put out by the breakfast setup. Breakfast is usually pretty quiet.

8:30 Math. We have a website that I can go on to get math sheets, score, and take tests on. Dave emails Katie when we need to test. In math class we work on our practice sheets or take tests.

9:30 Morning Meeting. Everyone meets together in the classroom to share the weather, headlines, and announcements. We then have ten minutes to write about a topic, usually from a prompt.

10:00 Occupations. Occupations are extra things that we do around the Land School. Right now we have two occupations, Facilities and Food. Facilities helps make systems at the Land School work better, like repainting the biffies or fixing the floor of the Red Barn. Food cooks lunches and learns about where our food comes from.

12:00 Lunch. Lunch is a fun time, and is usually louder that breakfast. Yesterday we had visitors from EI who were cooking shortbread, so we had lunch with them.  

1:30 Micro Economy. Micro Economy, or Micro Eco, is a class we take in preparation for our winter craft sale. Everyone will make two items, a food and a craft. This sale is also welcome to neighbors, which makes it very big and exciting.

3:30 CEPE. CEPE stands for creative expression, physical expression. Yesterday’s creative expression was talking about the Poetry Blog and figuring out who would write on what day. Guess who was first? Physical expression was a hike, solo sit and run/hike back.

4:30 Daily Chores. Daily chores are different than the morning chore rotation. Everyone gets one chore space to sweep, vacuum and wash. I have the hall, steps and phone booth. I spent my free time after chores playing with a cat we found, and are giving away to a neighbor, and talking on the phone with my sister. Everyone can call home as often as they like, as long as it is less than 15 minutes.

5:20 DIY Dinner. Every Wednesday is a DIY dinner. I teamed up and made a stir-fry, grilled cheese sandwiches, and a Norwegian rice pudding. 

7:00 Study Hall. Study Hall is a time to work on any work you might have.

8:30 Evening Meeting. At evening meeting, everyone gets one minute to tell a story, usually based off of a prompt.

9:30 In wings. This is a time to get pajamas on, brush teeth and get ready for bed. In the boys wing it seems to be the best time for running up and down the hallways. In the girls wing it is a time to talk to the people in the other room.

9:50 Lights out. You can still talk, but should be quite and in beds.

10:00 Goodnight.

Morning Pages
by Kyra
December 4
Every morning on farm stay, we get a chance to reflect in our journals after one of the staff gives us a topic. On Wednesday, December 2nd (our third day of Farm Stay), Donna gave us the topic ‘A sense of place’. To give us some more ideas of what to write about, she asked us some questions: When do you feel most connected to where you are? Who has also spent time in the places you love? How does the environment affect your sense of self? I chose to answer these questions a bit differently then some others on my Farm Stay. Here’s my entry:

Feeling connected to a place, that sense of home, safety, happiness, and belonging, it’s a feeling that can be rare, and it’s a feeling that some people never experience. It’s a sense of place. It’s this certain, hard to explain feeling of peace when you know you are connected to somewhere. It could be more than one, and it doesn’t even have to be your home. There’s this place in Portland, Oregon, the house I used to live in. The house is high above the trees, almost on a cliff. There are two giant windows, and when you look out of them, you can see tall trees below and three mountains in the distance. It’s like you’re in this giant tree house and you can see over the world. I haven’t been back to that house since I moved to Minneapolis, almost three years ago, but I can still remember that feeling. I felt so connected when I was there, and that’s one place I remember feeling safe, peaceful, and happy. I can name many more experiences like this, a sense of place. Many of these experiences happen in nature, in a beautiful place where you can just listen and look at what’s around you. I get this peaceful feeling that can’t really be compared to when I’m around technology and factories and buildings. Only when I get the chance to be outside with wildlife and nature do I get this sense of peace, this sense of home.  

by Sage
December 5

What does home mean?  What does family mean? Those are too questions that I have been trying to answer for a very long time, and now on farmstay, I am able to answer those two questions.  Home means a safe, comfortable place to live or be in with family or friends to live with.  It could be your grandfather’s farm that you visit every weekend or your cabin that you lived in all your life.  It is made up of memories and stories that shape the person you are today. The biggest part of what home means is the people that live inside it.  So if no one lives in your house, or you like no one in your house, your feeling of what home means will change quit a bit.   So what does family really mean? Family is your life.  Without family you won’t know what love means.  You won’t feel protective or safe.  Family can mean friends, cousins or aunts, just whoever you feel safe with, loved and protected by.  They will change your life, and help you through the next big steps that are yet to come.   The difference between home and family are very similar in the way of, to make either family or home to the fullest extend of what it can mean they both have to have a little of the other (meaning that if home means a comfortable and safe place to live in, but your peers that live with you dislike you and you dislike them home will be a little less comfortable and safe).    

Over farmstay the experience with your peers is phenomenal, as they become your family.  A family that you eat with, play with and do just about everything with.  There are six main things that you would notice right away, that specifically could make up your “family”.
Laughter- laughter that fills the room and never stops.
Fun- laughing, talking, making jokes, playing games.  All part of having the fun you want.
Sticking together- working through problems together and never giving up.
Helpfulness- helping each other with homework, chores or making food.
Smiles- always smiling to keep everybody up and going and to keep the moods happy/up.
Tiredness- tired of work, each other and not getting enough sleep.

Farmstay and your home are similar in many ways, but two things that really stick out are:
1) They are always there for you in many ways like making you laugh, and/or helping you out verbally/physically.  
2) You have to make it fun for yourself your parents or peers at farmstay aren’t going to put in the effort to entertain you. 

On the first day of farmstay we are just a bunch of teenagers put together in a house, but by the end we are a COMMUNITY! On farmstay everything becomes your home, the kitchen, dining room, classroom and house itself.  You feel safe and secure. 

Some goals for next year on farmstay are to reach out even more (to everybody), than I did this year and to stay in the present. My one wish for next year, if I am on farmstay 2, is for there to be snow.  

by Ruth
December 5

There’s no place like home. To me there are two main definitions of home. One is the place you are located or living (which is your house). The true definition of home is a place you feel safe and loved. Home is really home when there are memories and you have family. Family also has two definitions to me, one being direct family, which are people with whom you share DNA. The other is people with whom you share an emotional connection, relate to, and love. Here on Farmstay, we have all become a family, everyone feels safe and loved. The Land School has become home, we’ve made memories and a loving family surrounds each of us. I am not going to say that I have loved Farmstay the entire time. At first, I was very tense, stressed and honestly I wanted to go home more than anything. It wasn’t that I was homesick… I didn’t feel safe. I remember on Friday of the first week, I began to open up; everyone around me was kind and open. To me, that was the day we became a family, and finally I felt loved and safe, I’m at home.

Goals for the Next 5-10 Years
by Eloise
December 6

After my school conference, before thanksgiving break, I walked away feeling proud and accomplished. I also walked away seeing how far I’ve come and how much more work there is to do for the future. This year was the first year that I decided to do competition for my dance studio. My schedule was already packed with dance and homework. My parents were worried about me taking on more dancing. They were concerned about me falling behind in my schoolwork and that I would have to drop competition. But here I am, still in dance and doing great in school. This school is built on trust, helpfulness and working together, so when I needed help to achieve my goal these students and staff were always there for me. My dance studio is also about working together as a community to build up the group as a whole and to be on the same level as each other. I wanted to surround myself with people who would lift me up with them and make me stronger. A school conference is in a way like a dance performance. You get to show how much work and effort you’ve put in throughout this period of time. My goal for the next 5-10 years is to keep reaching new heights and to work hard. Like a good family friend say’s “Plan your work, work your plan”.  

by Noah
December 11

Wow! I finally got my energy back! Oh, sorry, just my own thoughts there, but farmstay can be tiring! And I got sick, so… but the important thing is, everything is coming close to a spectacular finish! And not just any finish… the holiday fair!!!! I am really exited for that event, and especially for the food there! Expect buttermilk biscuits, spring rolls, soup of three kinds, pie, scones, cornbread, grilled cheese, and much more! And not to get started on the crafts, but the crafts! Woodburned necklaces, bath salts, cutting boards, wreaths, and local vendors, like Julie Ann, (the guide of class g) and farmer to farmer, an organic coffee co-op. it will be held on Saturday, at the land school, so try to come!!! See ya there!


by Martha
December 14

On this Farmstay we’ve talked a little bit about climate change. It’s an issue that we’re all experiencing first hand because it’s December 14th and there’s no snow. During the first community meeting that we had we discussed the fact that to make a positive impact on the issue we need to give up things that we like and take for granted. One example is taking shorter showers. Turning off lights when we’re not using them. Conserving, re-using and recycling. All of these simple things seem so hard to humans to do in their everyday lives. I think one of the reasons that climate change has become so much of an issue is because many people don’t get to experience how wonderful our world really is. A few nights ago for closing we went outside and laid down on the snow-less ground and looked up at the stars. It felt like I was in a snow globe. You could see a faint outline of the Milky Way and many shooting stars flew overhead. The majority of people living in cities do not experience this very often. They don’t realize that we only have one Earth and if we don’t preserve it, we won’t have a home. It’s not really their fault either; living in cities we barely ever get to see a shooting star or go for a hike in a forest. So how can we change this? How can we preserve our planet and home? Some changes are out of our reach. An average person can’t stop factories from blowing pollution into the air. We can, however, contribute on a small scale. We don’t need to use our cars everyday; we can bike, walk or even take the subway. We also don’t need 15-minute showers. Sure, they might be nicer, but you can get the job done in 5. And there aren’t any imaginary people who use the lights in rooms when we’re not in them. We also can all grow some of our own food. If every person had a small garden, thousands of fuel that would have been used to import some corn from Mexico could be saved. If we all cut down on small things in our lives, we can make millions of lives better for everyone on our planet.   

Cold and Wet
by Anonymous
December 14

Cold and Wet.
Still no snow.
Feels like Summer, it’s Winter though.
Maybe just a little, that might be nice.
I’d be pleased with just some ice.
Waiting yet for this snowy season,
Winter’s crime upon us all, a rainy act of treason.
The forecast tells us tales of storms,
But the temperature is just too warm.
Just the very next morn’,
The sounds of storms,
Patter against our windows.
We laugh, we yell, we shout with gay,
Just to find out the weather’s like May.
We eat our breakfast,
Raining still, 
Eating our toast with little thrill.
But there’s still hope for snow today,
When rain turns into sleet, hooray!
When lunch is called,
We look outside, to find out our land is still bald.
Oh well, no snow, whatever then.
When we look outside right then, 
The sky is colored white again!
We shout, we yell, we laugh with glee,
Guess this means White Christmas,

Morning Pages: Technology
by Theo
December 15

In the 21st century, technology has become a part in most of our lives. There are countless things that technology is used for, which people would never have believed 25 years ago. Technology is a tool when it is used to do something productive, such as researching on the internet and doing schoolwork. It is used as entertainment with video games, youtube, and so much more. There isn’t anything bad about being entertained with technology, but doing so too much isn’t good. On the Farm Stay, we have access to the internet, but it is limited. We are allowed to research information about whatever it is that we are studying, and also write e-mails to our family and friends. We have also been able to stay in touch with the news online as well. It is less than most of us are used to, but it is very easy to adapt to and to also stay away from. In the past few years, technology has been consuming us more and more. If we continue to progress at this rate, who knows what it will be like in 10 years.

by Rylan
December 16

This morning, we had an assignment to write an ode to something or someone we love. Because we are at the Land School, I was inspired to write an ode to nature. We had ten minutes to write, and this is what I came up with:

You are what makes me feel alive,
With an array of creatures and objects,
You dazzle me with your creations.
You are the earth, you are the sky,
You are the fire, air and water,
You are the creator,
Where we come from and where we go,
Each thing, you create with a purpose,
To do something and to be something,
You are a story that keeps unfolding,
You are where we all belong,
 You are life, you are death,
Beginning and end,
You are here,
You are now,
You are joy,
You are happiness,
You are all.

The Land School is a place where I can be connected to the beauty of nature. I have enjoyed my time on Farmstay 2, because I have had more than two weeks to feel connected to the land. I am sad that we are ending farmstay, but I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Photo by Rylan

by Anonymous

On the bus, the wheels go round,
We watch out the windows as snow falls to the ground.
When we arrive, the land school staff are here,
We begin the day with a great big cheer.
We enter the homestead with smiles on our faces,
Drop our stuff off and go find our places.

The rest of the week we get to know the new space,
Soon we are settled and find the right pace.
Every day is different, everything is unique,
We have so much fun in the very first week.
We get used to the chores and all the new things,
But we still have plenty of time to sing.

Every night at closing, we all tell stories,
Just one minute each and that’s the glory.
The days are long and filled with fun,
We laugh and we play until the day is done.

After the first week the snow is all gone.