As always, there was lots going on as we rolled into our last academic week on campus before third expedition!
Last week, we had an extremely meaningful experience in community meeting. After splitting up into single-gender groups, we focused on exploring gender stereotypes. Each group was led through an activity that asked us to reflect on our responses to a number of questions related to gender stereotypes like: do you feel comfortable crying in front of others, or would you expect to see a person of your gender in a higher position of power in a company? Each time we answered “yes” to a question, we were allowed to take an M&M out of a large bowl in the center of our small groups. As we munched on M&Ms or chose not to take one, we began to recognize patterns and social norms that both men and women face daily. Our debrief of this activity resulted in the creation of a community-wide poster suggesting steps toward changing the gender stereotypes we see play out both on and off the HMI campus. It’s currently hanging in Who’s Hall as a reminder for us!
Also during the week, we participated in HMI Spirit Week! The student representatives chose four themes the week before and got all of the students psyched up for the events. Tuesday morning, everyone rolled out of bed and right into the day—Pajama Day! Throughout the day, students and staff could be seen completing chores, classes, activities, and meals accompanied by fuzzy socks and cloud-printed onesies! Twin Day had students dressing alike and striding around campus with their doppelgangers. Thursday brought with it a host of wild haristyles—braids, bows, dreads, dyes, mohawks—anything goes! On Friday, students went all-out for Halloween. The members of the HMI faculty created a “deep web” for students and staff to navigate. We also saw the cast of Orange is the New Black, The Wild Thornberrys, Abraham Lincoln, “nudists on strike” (aka, people who were fully clothed!), Wolverine, and a few stray cats!
The Spirit Week put us in a good mood for our intense Sunday activity, the Fun Run! We’ve been training for the ten-mile run since the beginning of the semester during AMX. For many of us, it was a test of personal endurance—trying to beat a personal best or an estimated time or simply trying to finish. Most of us started with some nerves, but by the time we ran down the (ridiculously long) HMI driveway toward the finish line, we were all smiling! It certainly wasn’t an easy feat—in fact, it was the furthest most of us had ever run—but it was a surprising source of fun! Cheered on by classmates and teachers, running steadily at a pace we’d forged carefully while watching sunrises over the mountains, side-by-side with friends, the run truly felt like a huge sense of accomplishment. Especially at 10,000 feet!
We’ll leave you with that for now, but you can anticipate a pre-expedition check-in coming your way soon!