Summer Term 2015: Classes, climbing, and catching fish!

This week we enjoyed a wide variety of activities and classes. For our science class, we drove to the nearby town of Frisco to research the effects that pine beetles can have on forests.  For our humanities class, we completed our Humans of Leadville project that helped build our sense place here in Leadville. For our Practices and Principles (P&P) class, we all took the Myers-Briggs personality test and had a conversation about different personality types and the effectiveness of the test. Alongside classes we also went rock climbing or fly fishing and had in-the-field discussions about leadership skills and decision-making styles. We also enjoyed intern activities where Barrett lead a pie making class and provided everyone with a fantastic dessert, Jack gave students the opportunity to play golf on the highest course in the country, Paxton lead “pebble wrestling” and gave students the chance to climb some monster boulders, and Alexa lead a relaxation class and gave students the chance to escape our busy schedules.

During our last week on campus, we completed our final classes. For science we conducted a lab both in Frisco, a town in Colorado at a lower altitude, and at the fish hatchery in Leadville. We studied the pine beetle because it is an indicator species and it shows that climate change is a pressing concern. Especially in Colorado, the pine beetle is becoming a big issue because it is killing large areas of dense forest. For P&P, we took a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. In class, we first choose the personality that we thought fit us best and then we received our actual results later and compared our personality types. In addition, we also received outlines for our final projects. For science and humanities, we have to complete “The Place Where I Live” essay and for P&P we have to complete our “This I Believe” essay. This week, for humanities class, we went into town to complete our project, Humans of Leadville.

At the beginning of this week the Humans of Leadville project was introduced to the HMIstudents. This project was a spinoff of the Human of New York blog, and was a continuation of our sense of place topic for humanities class. The idea of this project was to gain a better understanding of what it means to have a sense of place (or deeper connection) in Leadville, Colorado. We tackled this by interviewing people all over town and asking them numerous questions like, “How long have you lived in Leadville?” and “What are your views on Leadville as a mining town?” The people we met and interviewed ranged from tourists to lifetime residents and frequent visitors. After the interviews, groups created presentations with quotes from each, as well as in depth analyses on each person’s story and how they have come to know and grow as a person in Leadville. In all of the interviews, we found an overall love and passion for the town of Leadville, as well as many similar views on mining. Working on this project helped many of the HMI students develop a deeper connection to the community of Leadville, as well as the places and businesses that thrive in the town.

As we wrap up the second weeks of classes, there is excitement in the air as we prepare for the second expedition. Today, we are spending the day packing our bags and gathering all of the belongings that will be necessary for our eight day adventure! We had a comfortable week filled with fishing, climbing, and classes, but we will all need to step up to the plate for the days to come. For packing, we will need to ration food, meaning that we will need to pack all of the dry food that will be needed for eight days. The rationing consists of oatmeal, hash browns, bagels, and lots of other delicious options! We came to the realization that Summer Term is coming to an end quicker than we anticipated, so the second and final expedition will be the finale to a great Summer Term at HMI. As we do the final preparation for the trip, we all hope that the weather remains beautiful just as it has been for the entire week!


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