Semester 38: Ski Week, Math Class, and a Prank!

Last Saturday night, we danced. This was not your average high school dance. This was dancing to the music of Aha, Bon Jovi, Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson, and the Talking Heads while dressed in our best 80’s ski attire. All of this of course was done in order to get pumped for Ski Week. For those not accustomed to doing the cabbage patch, the MCHammer dance, or the moonwalk, we had the holy grail of extreme ski movies, the Blizzard of AHHH’s, on repeat throughout the entire night. While everyone danced in their neon onesies and matching headbands, Who’s Hall was filled with great music by DJ Austin, who provided us with the classics, as well as more urban contemporary sounds. Everybody had a great time on campus spending time with each other and letting loose after a busy week of school.

Today there was a discussion about how great the math classes are here at HMI. In some classes you could spend 55 minutes getting lectured, and the minutes could last hours. But in HMI math classes those minutes are some of the most exciting of the day. Math class at HMI starts by doing a really interesting problem, and then after a couple minutes you go into groups and discuss how you solved the problem. It’s really fun to see how each person in the group can solve the problem differently. After you talk about the problem you’re given a worksheet and asked to try and solve it in your group. In  some other math classes it’s very competitive but here at HMI everyone seems to come together and try to solve the problems as a group. Once we all finish the worksheets we come together and talk about the problems we had trouble with. Each student receives the help that he or she needs and no one is afraid to ask questions because there is no judgment present. Some of us feel like we are usually not great math students, but at HMI we feel like we are excelling. We find ourselves being engaged throughout the math class where in the past perhaps we would just watch the clock. We love having a renewed appreciation for math!

This past Sunday was the first day of Ski Week. During Ski Week we get to go skiing every day in preparation for 2nd expedition! Some students will be learning how to telemark ski, while some will be getting accustomed to being on skis for the first time. On Sunday we left from the HMI campus at 9:00. When we arrived at Ski Cooper we got our lift tickets then split into groups based on previous downhill ski level and experience. First we adjusted all of our tele-gear, then practiced falling in powder and getting up. After we got the basics, we headed up the two person chairlift. We did a quick run down the hill alpine style to see what it’s like to do that on  tele-skis, then we started learning the basics and did some drills. By the end of the day most of the groups had begun to master what they had been working on, whether it was the basics of the telemark turn or making “pizza” turns. It was so much fun that by the end of the day, every person was beyond stoked for the upcoming week.

AMX (early morning exercise) is an everyday occurrence. However, this week we were informed that we would have to run five miles rather than the usual two to three. Understandably, we had some mixed emotions; some of us were visibly scared, others were overcome with anxiety, and a select few were excited for the opportunity to double our normal mileage. We were told that this five-mile run was an HMI tradition that we would all continue. Due to the length of the run, we would all depart together at 7:00 AM, dressed warmly. The only reason we wouldn’t run would be if the temperature dropped below zero degrees Fahrenheit. So, obediently, at 7:00 AM. we all trudged out of our cabins to Who’s Hall. But, to our surprise, when we walked through the doors, all of the members of Cabin 1 were dressed in plaid button downs, ripped jeans, and cowboy boots. As we deliriously walked into Who’s Hall and looked around at the decorations fit for a hoedown we were greeted with a “Howdy y’all!!!” Before we knew it we were randomly paired with another student and were sacheting through the hall. We danced the “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and “Hoedown Throwdown” lead by our resident Southerners. After we were thoroughly tired, we had a family-style meal of chicken and waffles. After a while, the reality finally set in that the traditional five-mile run to the railroad tracks was a prank. Anything would have been better than the five-mile run, but no one was expecting to be greeted with Southern hospitality at 7:00 AM!

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