Semester 40: “The typical HMI magic”

Today marks the third day of “Magic May” and as each student is getting reacquainted with residential life here at HMI after time in the canyons, classes are beginning to pick up as well. The science curriculum has turned away from studying the snowpack in Leadville and has begun to focus on the diverse water history surrounding this area of Colorado. Last Saturday the science classes did a lab analyzing the water from the Arkansas River watershed that begins right here in Leadville. In English, some classes have been studying Terry Tempest Williams’ work Refuge, which is the compelling story of a mother and daughter’s relationship through the tribulations of cancer. The other classes have been reading Siddhartha written by Hermann Hesse, which focuses on the spiritual journey of a man who is looking to find himself. History classes have been focusing on the post-World War II time period, specifically the relations of the government to the American citizens, and have recently read texts from the likes of Ta Nehisi Coates, Herbert Marcuse, James Baldwin, and others. Practice and Principles has been centered on land ethics in the Bears Ears national monument, which we spent third expedition in. As we work into “Magic May” students are excited to dive deeper into readings and ideas that have been presented to us throughout the semester.

This past Saturday the HMI students spent the beginning of the day in classes before traveling south to the town of Salida. While in Salida we had a picnic next to the Arkansas River and explored town, where many students discovered a vibrant area with different niches for all interests such as a popular diner, a thrift shop, a guitar store, and more. After picnicking we traveled just out of town to a local bowling alley, where students competed avidly for the rest of the night. After a rowdy night out of town the group spent Sunday relaxing and recharging on campus. Students completed work and spent two hours of the day in our “Solo Spots,” independent spaces dedicated to each student where we spend alone time without any technology in order to reset for the coming week.

Although we have been getting back into the routine of academics, we still are finding ways to get outside: for example, running 6 miles for AMX and playing ping-pong ball on the back porch. The business of this weekend is making people excited to prepare for Neewalloh (Half birthday of Halloween) and the square dance that is happening after SAT on Saturday. Students have been working hard studying, and Anna is running an SAT study group before study hall. The news of “promposal” week coming up has made people antsy and trying to think of creative ways to ask their peers to this amazing event!

The end of the semester seems to be approaching faster and faster, and the idea that our days are so numbered seem to be settling into all our minds. Our first full week back on campus since expedition was unsurprisingly filled with work, fun, and the typical HMI magic. Students have been debating over the best reusable energy sources for science, cranking out history papers, and watching the film Into the Wild. It wasn’t all work, however: fun trips to the community field and the aquatic center were a blast for all the students. Here’s to a great last three weeks of HMI!

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