Six Questions: Claire Rattan


Wednesday, Dec. 7, junior Claire Rattan arrived back in Dallas after participating in the Island School’s 100-day program this past semester in Eleuthera, Bahamas.

How did the school prepare for Hurricane Matthew?

We stopped classes and had a whole day of hurricane preparation, which involved whacking down coconuts, cutting down excess foliage, re-docking kayaks and boats, moving cots, packing up all of our belongings, barricading all the doors and windows. Then, we stayed in the Center for Sustainable Development for three days without showers and with two bathrooms and very limited rations.

Best tanning spots on the island?

Sunset Beach and Fourth Hole, but really anywhere gets good sun. However, I never wasted my time on the island tanning.

From 1-10, how was the 48-hour wilderness solo experience?

If one is amazing, then it was a one. You only get a tarp, an orange, a bagel, a cup of fruit and nut mix and a brick of cheese. Without a watch, I had the amazing opportunity to reflect on the semester, recharge and prioritize the rest of my semester.

How many students were with you each day?

The semester is like an hourglass. You rst start as a large community of 51, then you go on down island trips with 12. Next, you go on expeditions with 8, which culminate in the solo experience. After the solo, you go back to 12 for the rest of the expedition then to the large community with 51 students. Lastly, you have over 100 people on parent’s weekend.

What was the biggest challenge?

It was probably coming to terms with the fact that the people and things at home that you love are going to change during the semester program. But also it’s realizing that you are changing, too. Everything you experience at Eleuthera prepares you to come home and accept those changes.

What did you do in your free time?

Explored the island, went to high rock, snorkeled in the caves, free dived, went out on a panga to watch the sunset, found the banyan tree and went to Harbor Pointe Restaurant!

Maria Harrison – Assistant Features Editor