Semester 38: Prom, Project Day, and What Lies Ahead

This Saturday was prom.  The week began with students being randomly assigned dates, one being the “asker” and the other the “askee.” Each asker was tasked with creating a fun prom-posal to ask their dates to the dance. Prom’s theme this semester was the “Glory Days of Leadville,” and people dressed in all varieties of outfits. Some dressed formal while others wore their craziest flare, including helmets and wolf shirts. The night was a lot of fun. Students helped cook a delicious Thanksgiving feast for dinner with pumpkin pies and snickerdoodles for dessert. Students then finished getting ready for the dance and made the finishing touches to transform Who’s Hall from our dining room to a mine-themed dance floor. After a photoshoot in front of Mount Elbert, students and their dates hurried into Who’s Hall to begin dancing. Who’s Hall was decorated with lanterns, old photographs, and buckets of fake gold. The highlight of the night was playing a game called snowball.  Every time the word “snowball” was called, students had to switch dates and dance with somebody else. It was a great way to interact and have fun with all of the people in the semester. Just as everyone helped set up for prom on Saturday night, the whole community pitched in to help clean up on Sunday morning by unstacking tables and chairs and sweeping the floors. Overall, it was a great event!

Monday was project day! Everyone worked together on tasks all around campus and Leadville to either do some community service or work to make the campus look even more beautiful. From staining decks, to building greenhouses on a local farm, everybody was pitching in. Some of the jobs included: building fences, staining the new cabins, staining the decks, doing landscaping work around campus, fixing up the Frisbee golf course, making soccer goals, working at a local farm, and tons of others.

Over the course of this week, we’ve started having conversations about the difficult truth that seems to be hanging over all of our heads; we’re leaving in a week. With the start of the Going Home series, we’ve began the emotional transition from life at HMI back to life at home. On Tuesday, we held cabin meetings to discuss the months following HMI. Cabins discussed increased independence at home, summer jobs and volunteer opportunities, and our plans for staying in touch once we go our separate ways. The next day, during advisory meetings, we talked about applying what we’ve learned at HMI to our last year of school at home. Topics covered included having good expedition behavior (despite not being on an actual expedition), practicing good communication, and being considerate of the world around us. We then wrote letters reminding our future selves what we want to get out of senior year, and our advisors will mail them to us in September. On Friday, Jess addressed the entire semester during lunch about the inevitability of the fact that the semester is coming to a close. She encouraged us to, even though we have 8 days left together, to deepen friendships, try new things, and to continue building the strong community that we have developed over the last four months. Finally, on Sunday during the afternoon, we began packing up our belongings into boxes and duffels to be shipped home. The semester may be coming to a close, but we are still enjoying the beautiful Leadville spring and each other’s vibrant company.

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