This week at HMI started off strong with projects in our science and humanities classes. The humanities classes went to downtown Leadville in groups to interview residents about their perspectives on the town. The project was called “Humans of Leadville,” based off the “Humans of New York” series by Brandon Stanton. After, we organized the data and created presentations discussing the themes we discovered and presented them to the class. We shared the different stories we heard and conversations we had with the Leadvillans that we interviewed. It gave us a new perspective on the town and its relationship with its history.
In science, we went into San Isabel National Forest and partook in a lab where we observed conifer and aspen forests to see the toll that climate change has had on them. We specifically learned about pine beetles and how the winters are no longer cold enough to kill them, so the beetles have been feeding on trees and killing them. Then, we went back to class and worked on our final projects. Our final assignment was to write a grant proposal which allowed us to combine everything we learned about climate change and mining in Leadville.
In P&P, we learned about our MBTI personality type and wrote a reflection about what we learned about ourselves and how we can apply that to becoming better leaders. This activity was interesting in its applicability to everything we do at HMI as students and leaders.
On Wednesday and Friday the activity groups went to go rock climbing and fly fishing again. The climbing group hiked up to natural rock walls and practiced climbing, with a beautiful view of Turquoise Lake. We were accompanied by our experienced instructors and their majestic dogs, who taught us the basics of climbing safely. There were different climbing options of varying difficulty where we were climbing. While there, we practiced tying knots, belaying each other, and applying different climbing techniques depending on the different rocks. The fly fishing group learned the basics of fly fishing and caught many fish on Wednesday. We fished in crystal clear waters, and the weather was perfect. On Friday, however, we got caught in the rain! Because of the rain we wrapped up fishing early and walked to the fish hatchery and learned about the trout that we were fishing for.
On Wednesday night, HMI welcomed Randy to campus, who led us in a square dance! Students dressed up in Western gear to participate in the event, which featured mind-blowing, gluten-free brownies by Gavin. Everyone had a blast!
Friday night, the student reps organized an awesome “coffee house” talent show. We snacked on popcorn and hot chocolate and watched the students and faculty perform. Highlights included some awesome musical performances, Pablo’s rapping, cabin performances, a dramatic reading of Dr. Seuss, hula hooping with Libbey, and Scotty and Joe’s wonderful poetry. The night finished off with a high-energy dance party!
Finally, on Saturday we began to prepare for our second expedition! In the morning we learned our expedition groups, sorted food rations, discussed the routes that we would be hiking and packed our packs. All of the expedition groups are going to be able to incorporate their new climbing and fishing skills on a layover day, as well as attempt to summit a 14,000 foot mountain. Overall, we are all so excited for second expedition and the adventures that lie ahead!