By: Molly Lowell
After four years of college roommates, I was quite excited to finally live on my own. However, since moving to Hawley, I’ve learned to love waking up with 17 other individuals. From community meeting, to carpools, teaching, dinner circle, and cooking, the sense of support and camaraderie is always present. Although we’ve only been a group since mid-October, celebrating this holiday break at home in New Jersey seems eerily quiet.
There is always something to do in Hawley. The majority of my time is dedicated to lesson planning for Hawlemont Elementary with my wonderful teaching partner. In the last month, we have worked with students to design model shelters that withstand extreme weather, used our imaginations to become adventurers and explore winter habitats, discussed endangered species and human impact, and acted out the rotations and revolutions of the earth, sun, and moon. I’m slowly but steadily learning the names of the 127 students I teach and their distinct personalities and interests (there is one Pre-K student who has requested to be called “night ninja”). Out of the many remarkable qualities of Hawlemont, my favorite is their agriculture program. The beginning and end of every Thursday are dedicated to barn chores. The responsibility each student is given and the joy they get from interacting with the cows, sheep, goats, pig, and chickens is incredible. Watching the students’ faces light up as they greet the animals and provide new food and water in each stall is wonderful to witness.
When not preparing for school or serving at my engaging conservation placement with The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), I spend my time playing games, chatting, reading, and laughing uncontrollably. It is wonderful knowing that there’s a very large family to come home to at the end of each day.