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10 Close To Home, A World Away
Vaill Beach
Mary Conant, Freshman at the Block Island School
My Block Island
Growing up on the island has instilled
in me a deep passion for its natural
environment and for the ocean, whether
it be swimming, surfi ng or sunbathing.
It also has taught me the importance
of community; the togetherness and
camaraderie felt by living in such a
small and close-knit town. Logistically
restricted from the conveniences of
24-hour department stores, fast food
restaurants, malls and movie theaters,
one naturally becomes both resourceful
and creative. There are countless
opportunities that living on Block Island
affords us, which we might not have if
we lived on the mainland. Whether it is
being able to distinguish a bird simply
by its call, receiving the signature
wave from a passing driver, or having
to plan an entire day to the mainland
just for groceries, Block Island offers
us these unique characteristics. Since
childhood, we become hard-wired to be
in touch with nature, value fellowship,
and hold a clear understanding of time
management, advanced planning, and
fl exibility. Being accustomed to this
has taught me to think out of the box
and not be afraid to try new things. I
am comfortable with and look forward
to conversations and sharing time with
adults and peers alike.
Having lived on Block Island for
fourteen years, I have experienced
the frustration of not being able to
see a new movie without going off
island, or missing the boat that could
ruin a whole day. However, those
few occurrences do not compare to
the numerous positive advantages
Block Island offers. For example, all
throughout soccer season this year,
my two friends, Julia Gasner, Fiona
Crawford and I had a schedule we
followed basically every day. We would
leave school and go right to Heinz Field
for practice. Following that, we would
walk to Fresh Pond, have a snack at
our favorite spot along the water's
edge, do our homework, and then
go for a swim. That is just one of the
beautiful experiences and memories
I have, which probably wouldn't exist
if I did not live on Block Island. Living
here provides a perspective rarely
encountered. Block Island is being
dropped off by the school bus at Town
Beach after school in September,
surfboard in one hand, books in the
other. It's an impromptu ice-skating
party on the one day of frozen ice we
may see all winter. My brother Tom
once wrote, "Block Island is huddling
around a bonfi re on a cold winter night,
enjoying the sea spray while your toes
dig into the sand. It's knowing which
types of local plants make a delicious
salad and reciting the names of the
birds fl ying overhead. It is enjoying a
night sky or picturesque landscape
more beautiful than could ever be
portrayed on a movie screen and being
genuinely interested in how you might
help your neighbor." Block Island is
lifelong friendships and the place I will
always call home. I am thankful for all
of the timeless lessons and priceless
values I have learned while growing up
on Block Island.
Mohegan Bluffs
Dinghy Beach
Mary plays varsity soccer, basketball and softball at the Block
Island School.
The Bluffs at Black Rock