Semester 38: Life on Campus

This past week, we were introduced to apprentice-led activities, which happen every Tuesday and Thursday. Students can sign up for practically anythingfrom bouldering on the rock wall in the East Building to yoga in Stuen Hall to extreme cross country skiing, there’s never a shortage of things to do to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Still, there’s usually a race to sign up for the bouldering activity, which has quickly become a favorite amongst students. Though the snow was not ideal for packing this week during the Snow Sculpture activity with Steph, we found the silver lining and used icy snow bricks to make an awesome fort outside the Barnes Building, complete with a tunnel through a big snowbank and icicles atop the fort wall (to fend off intruders, of course!). We also listened to an eclectic variety of music, including Aron’s choice of Hungarian tunes. During yoga with Emily, we all learned some new poses, and we also learned that we were pretty sore after our expeditionnot totally surprising, considering how much hiking everyone did! Still, we all felt much more relaxed and loose afterwards (especially when we lay down to rest for a couple minutes during the final savasana). Activities change for every period, but bouldering is almost always an option. We have only had two activity periods so far, but we’re all excited to see what’s in store next!

The first academic week of HMI has only just passed, but the classes are already in full swing. With most classes having already finished A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, and multiple essays, academics at HMI are definitely going full throttle. In US History class, using a discussion-based teaching system, students have begun to explore alternative systems of education and how bias can be seen in all forms of history. With textbooks “out the window,” students have been using handmade packets to explore all sides of US history. In science, with a new lab outdoors every Monday, students have been hiking out waist-deep into the snow to study how snow crystals and the snowpack form. In the HMI-only class P&P (Practices and Principles: Ethics in the Natural World), students have been exploring the meaning of wilderness and different perspectives of nature writers. With a bounty of interesting readings every week, and plenty of chances to explore the world around us, we have been given a full dose of the HMI treatment and will continue to until the second expedition in two weeks.

This weekend, after Saturday classes, we split up into four groups: Captain Crunch, Frosted Flakes, Granola, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Each group took turns going into the town of Leadville while the others chopped and restocked wood. Popular spots in town were Melanzana, The Mule Kick, and City on a Hill Coffee Shop. Once we all got back, we split up into groups by our favorite cereal and played Pocket Bonanza. Memorable performances include the reenactment of scenes from Titanic and Talladega Nights. After many grueling rounds, ultimately team Frosted Flakes was victorious. Sunday proved to be much calmer. We had nothing planned and activities varied from homework, to watching movies, to snowball fights in the fresh powdery snow.

In our first full week at HMI, we got to pick an electivity that we will do for half of the semester. In the photography electivity, Andrew taught us that all pictures are unique. When we each picked one of our best photos to show to the group, it was notable that we each had our own beautiful photography styles. At the end of the semester we will have a photography exposition so stay tuned to any news. In cross country skiing, Jess showed us that even though we may have have never been on skis it can be amazing and fun! Although admitedly, it did take a couple of falls and conversations to warm up to it. We skied in the beautiful outdoors with powder and views of the two tallest mountains in Colorado. In math art, we applied math to arts and created beauty from paper and colors. In the future we will blow up fruit using the power of math! For Waste Warriors, we traveled to the local intermediate school and taught the kids how useful recycled materials are by doing a tower building project from recycled items. We learned about the impacts that recycling has on the environment and we will soon visit a recycling plant. Ray, in the dance electivity, showed us how to groove to the Charleston and party to the shuffle. We will work on and improve our dances to perform a mind blowing dance at the HMI talent show. Ray will surely teach us how to slide our way to stardom. Stay tuned for more news on the arts of HMI!

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