Semester 45: Project Day, Science Lab, and Mini Golf!

PosWritten by: Molly, Maddy, Lucy, Lily, & Claire

After a second week of being at HMI, students have adjusted and become comfortable on campus, turning their cabins into second homes. Students always have a place to go and relax or spend time with cabin mates. From stoking the fire in the middle of the night to loud dance parties, nothing is quite like cabin life. The students of Semester 45 have gotten the chance to form unique relationships with one another within their time in the cabin. Through bonding over their tiredness on early mornings, or getting competitive in late-night card games, students have become more like family through cabin life. Students will always have seven other people to make them laugh, smile, and lend helping hands and hugs. After long days at HMI, students get to come back to a warm cabin, a comfy bed, and best friends.

AMX continued throughout the second week on campus as students adjusted to running at high altitude. On Monday, the students were introduced to the trails behind campus, which was a nice change compared to the road. Since it was a new route, many students briefly got lost and ran either too much or too little. On Wednesday, the students were tasked with their first 3 mile run. It was no obstacle for Semester 45 as each student accomplished the run. Friday’s AMX got moved to Saturday for the arrival of a HMI marketing film crew. On Saturday, the students completed a 3 mile run past Beaver Pond to the “No Dumping Sign” while photos were taken. The morning was filled with high spirits and peers enjoying the presence of each other on their run. The second week of AMX at HMI introduced the students to new trails and further pushed Semester 45 to increase their mileage. 

This week was full of fun assignments and projects! Due to Project Day on Friday, Science was moved to Wednesday. The students went to the east side of Leadville to observe and pH test bodies of water that had been affected by acid mine drainage. This lab tied into the one on Saturday, when everyone went to the Arkansas River to sample macroinvertebrates, which are used to tell how polluted a body of water is. In order to catch them, some students had to get in the water and kick the ground to stir up sediment into a net. Afterward, they sorted and observed the macroinvertebrates that they caught. Aside from the riveting science labs, students have also had to make presentations on the flora and fauna of Colorado, as well as scientists who do not fit the traditional mold of what many people view scientists to be. This is not the only class with presentations, however. There have been Tuesday Newsday presentations in History where a student discusses a current event, as well as mathematician presentations. All the students were tasked with completing a math synthesis, where they figured out patterns in the area and perimeter of various shapes. Another fun assignment was in Practices and Principles: Ethics of the Natural World, where there was a debate over factory farming. After completing the readings for the debate, many students thought deeply about the ethics of the food they eat, with some even becoming vegetarian after learning where some meat comes from. All in all, it was another great week of academics at HMI.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays give students an opportunity to let loose and enjoy some fun tech-free time and activities. Apprentices are responsible for choosing and hosting these activities, which gives the students some time to get to know their apprentices better. This past Wednesday, a small group of HMI students learned how to play Ultimate Frisbee with apprentice Jesse. After about thirty minutes of fumbling the disc and tripping over uneven ground, the kids felt a little more confident in their frisbee skill and were ready to move into a scrimmage. The soccer pitch was filled with the sounds of laughter and students calling for a pass, and by the end of the activity period, the kids had gone from frisbee novices to total professionals. As they all gathered to guzzle down water and towel off sweat, smiles were present on every single face. Activity blocks provide a great chance for students to take their mind off of schoolwork for a little while, while also strengthening their bonds with each other.

After Saturday classes, students of Semester 45 loaded up the buses to go to Salida, a town about an hour away. This trip was their first real time off-campus and everyone was excited to see more of Colorado. During the ride, students blasted a combination of throwbacks and current music. After a long week, some students took the time to nap and reenergize for the night. One bus left 30 minutes early and picked up pizza in Salida. At a park and playground, Semester 45 met up to eat and hangout. After finishing eating the pizza, students played with Joni (a faculty member’s dog), ran around, and played games on the grass and playground. Students then hopped back on board the buses and got ready to play mini-golf. HMI rented out the entire course, just for the students. Students got into groups of 4 to play the 18 holes and all took photos with their group before starting to put. Some groups had intense and competitive matches while others tried trick shots. No matter how they swung their clubs, all the kids had a blast. Students finished off the night in Salida with Oreos in the parking lot and tons of laughter. Students then climbed back onto the buses for a mellow ride back to campus.