Essay - Callie Anderson

Callie Anderson, of Arete 2009, has been studying in Switzerland and traveling since graduating from Drake. Her essay tells of an early grasp of extended arête, how it defines and expands a lifetime of challenges.

Photos - Callie about to ride on a camel, standing on the remains of the Temple of Hera below Mycenae, and observing the tombstones at Galipoli

Bill Taylor

After spending the last three months in the sun, water and on an island with a population as large as Drake High I have begun to put all the pieces together. Sometimes I look out of the classroom door here to the blue horizon and try to see where the water meets the sky. My tests often include wearing my mask, snorkel and fins to identify mangrove and seagrass organisms, coral reefs and reef fish. My reports include duck diving 10-20 feet below the water to lay a transect and count the number of Queen Conch or measure seagrass heights. And my directed research project which I have spent the past two weeks working on consists of conducting surveys around the community and with the fishers to determine the possible market for lionfish, as well as collecting the fish in nets and learning how to fillet them. I can honestly say that each experience in the field has clarified and expanded my knowledge on what was presented to me in a powerpoint in the classroom that I gaze out the door to see the endless Caribbean sea. I have a very familiar feeling and i have realized that it is similar to my Arete experiences, three years ago. From the Olympic festivities in Olympia, to the streets of Istanbul and the Hagia Sophia, to the early morning Parthenon readings and wandering the streets of Rome, to the "Madinas" and rough roads of Tunisia, to the silence of the Sahara and the screams at a street soccer game in Tunis, to the "Ring", to the wooden bunkers and cells at Mauthausen to a quiet night full of thought and not words, to the snowy Matterhorn, to the ancient university and the infamous birthday dance, together we have experienced the greatest classrooms in the world. And this learning has not stopped. It has continued to the dark streets of Poland, the castles of Ireland, the Croatian coast and Serbian war ruins, the Slovanian Alps, the Rhine River and now the torn village of South Caicos, the caves of Middle Caicos and the massive tourism on Provo. Living and learning in the greatest classrooms in the world did not stop when Arete 2009 landed back in San Francisco, but it simply started. And now as the pieces fall into place I have found the connection between our sunday meetings and 5 week adventure to what happened after and to what will continue to happen in the greatest classrooms of the world.

Callie Anderson
May 2012