Semester 35: “What a wild week here at HMI!”

What a wild week here at HMI! To start, it is currently a winter wonderland outside. We woke up this morning to a blanket of fresh powder, followed by shouts of joy from each cabin. Everyone rushed outside to admire the treasure that some students had never seen or felt before. It was quite an experience. Molly Lovett and Lily Esposito nearly fainted at the sight of snow as it has been many, many years since their last encounter with it. Ian Scott and Raegan Hasselbring, the Minnesotans, were jubilant to have a piece of their home back. Aaron Deardorff, our resident lumberjack, took advantage of the winter vibes and constructed a roaring fire for everyone to sit around in the new student lounge or “chill zone.” Jack Saddoff was in denial and trudged through the snow in his flip flops–bold fashion statement, Jack. The snow also came at the perfect time as everyone swapped chores this week. Many new faces were seen shoveling the frosted boardwalks, which ultimately ended in an all-campus snowball fight!

An another note, our first section of Electivities ended this week. Whitney led a great Electivity, which was leather book binding, and took us to City on the Hill so we could fully experience the coffee shop vibes and write in our journals. It was so much fun! We also had Maeve Benz and Sam Bannet Mas revive our souls with some awesome meditation facts. Since the meditation presentation, meditation attendance has been off the charts. Great work Sam and Maeve! Other electivities included extreme workouts, developing an appreciation for the legendary songwriting skills of Bob Dylan, and teaching younger local students about recycling.

This week we have started work on our Human Ecology Project. Yay! Groups of students are tasked with creating a proposal on how to best revitalize Leadville. The proposals vary from a high altitude orchard to the brilliant idea of a limestone water park. On Saturday we went into town to conduct interviews with Leadville community members and see how people feel about Leadville’s community. The intreviews went really well and there were definitely a broad range of opinions and experiences that were shared with us students. Another class highlight was yesterday in Science Margi scheduled an impromptu to Colorado Mountain College, where we got to see their lab and the equipment they use to analyze our water samples.

Everyone get jazzed because…OUR FAMILIES ARE COMING THIS WEEKEND! We are currently prepping discussions in history classes that our families will be taking part in as well as some fantastic song re-writing about the Founding Fathers (which, yes, students will be preforming for their families. Out loud). We have been writing “Letter Poems” in English class (describing what HMI means to us students) that we will then triumphantly share this weekend. Families will be arriving Friday night and we will be having a joyous reunion at Danny’s house before we all scatter throughout Leadville for an evening of eating out at local restaurants. We’ll then return to campus where we’ll have a campfire and sing some good ol’ campfire songs, our beautiful voices ringing throughout the Rocky Mountains.

On Saturday, after parents join us for our AMX(morning exercise). We’re only going on a short walk–so don’t worry parents, we won’t make you go on our usual 6 mile run. We’ll spend the day having classes together, including an engaging P&P class followed by a formal dinner and Semester 35 slideshow. We’ll then leave Saturday night with our parents to enjoy a variety of activities: visiting Denver, Vail, and Aspen; getting a tour of Colorado College; staying around Leadville; and for those students whose parents can’t make it up this weekend, they’ll be adopted by a friend’s family. After all, we’re all basically one giant family here, aren’t we?

After Family Weekend, we’ll bid farewell to our kin until Thanksgiving, and start to get pumped for our third (and final?!) expedition. A huge congratulations to our recently selected SELs (student expedition leaders): Alex Tomb, Julie Mault, Emma Trapani, Daniel Soares, and Sam Bannet Mas. These leaders will have the opportunities to meet with faculty to plan our third expedition and decide groups, then, once out in the field, take on an important leadership role within their group. It will be a lot of responsibility, but noting these awesome SELs can’t handle!

HMI students are feeling very excited for upcoming events, while also enjoying living in the moment. Honestly, who could not be enjoying a beautiful, snowy day such as this?

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