Semester 31: HMI Homecoming

After returning from an amazing second expedition and cranking out our group gear de-issue, we spent some time back together as a whole community. We started off the weekend with a Lake County High School football game! It was a refreshing welcome and felt good to be back together sharing fun stories from our time apart. Although it was really cold outside, we had a ton of fun!  Fátima is from Leadville and introduced us to some of her friends and helped (along with the cheerleaders) to teach us the Lake County High School cheers. Upon returning to campus, we made hot drinks and had a guitar sing-along in Who’s Hall.

The next night, we pushed the tables in Who’s Hall off to the sides of the room in order to create a dance floor.  Seeing as the Lake County High School game was the homecoming football game, we thought a homecoming dance was in order! We hung up disco balls and lights, and dressed ourselves to the nines for the evening! After students were ready and an impromptu photo shoot was finished, we gathered in Who’s Hall. Some folks came up with some pretty notable outfits including Gavin Ratliff’s and Edward Lew’s sharp suits and Ben Skinner’s flattering sundress. A playlist compiled of student suggestions was the soundtrack to a fantastic night of dancing and fun, which ended, of course, in a community cleanup of Who’s Hall.

We had a great return weekend back to the HMI campus, and we’ve since jumped right back into the swing of things around here.  We hit the ground running right away with classes—we’re looking at our biggest “chunk” of uninterrupted class time for these next four weeks before third expedition.  We’re also really appreciating everything we’ve got on campus—running water, hot showers, meals in Who’s Hall, and falling asleep in our beds to the fires in our cabin woodstoves. We’ve been getting a lot of snow lately—we’re beginning to wonder if Leadville’s in for a wet winter! We went for a four-mile run through a fresh new snow for AMX this week—it was beautiful outside and something we’ll definitely remember.

We’ve had some exciting events happen this week, too!  On Tuesday, Rob’s science classes went to
the Climax Mine outside of Leadville. This mine was once the biggest molybdenum (it took us a while to pronounce it correctly, too) producer in the world, and this was the first time that students have ever been allowed to tour it. We visited on a “Career Day” along with other students from nearby high schools.  We visited the mill and mine in addition to speaking with a variety of employees at Climax. This was a great opportunity for us to get different perspectives from citizens of Leadville, and will help us a ton as we begin a new joint project between P&P and Science on place-based human ecology.

Later in the evening, Danny hosted the fifth “Soup Club” of the semester at his house. This weekly tradition consists of a dinner at Danny’s (new!) house for eight randomly chosen students. It is a fun opportunity to hang out off-campus and talk about whatever HMI questions might be on our minds.  Regular menu items include spaghetti, salad, and Ellie’s (Danny’s wife) homemade brownies with ice cream. We can’t forget about the good stories and endless laughing!

We’ll keep you posted on further developments in our community as we spend the next few weeks here on campus, spending our time in classes and doing awesome activities!

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