Semester 47: Life on Campus

Written by: Iniye, Frankie, Jack M., Ryder, & Simrin

So, you may be wondering what student life is like on campus at HMI! This week, Iniye, Frankie, Jack, Ryder, and Simrin write about chores, academics, cabin life, AMX, and weekend activities!

Chores at HMI are definitely special. After Expedition, each student was assigned a chore. They range from cleaning the library and taking out recycling, to cleaning Who’s Hall or sweeping the board walks. Initially, there were some people upset about getting the bathrooms, but we quickly realized that it didn’t matter. While chores at home can be boring, at HMI they’re lots of fun! Music blasts through the hallways and lots of fun conversations occur. I would say the best part about chores is what they stand for. Chores aren’t about who finishes or gets through their list, it’s about creating a routine that you can stick to and creating a space you can be proud of.

What makes HMI different from my school at home? Well, let me tell you! School at HMI is nothing like a normal school! Interactive classes, engaging teachers, and dedicated students make HMI the best learning environment possible. I’ve never enjoyed school more than I do here, getting to spend all day with amazing teachers and kids learning about things I would’ve never even thought about at my school back home. Students are able to flourish in discussion-style History, English, Spanish, Math and our HMI specific course, Practices and Principles: Ethics of the Natural World. We also become fully immersed in the beautiful environment here in Leadville during our three hour outdoor science classes twice a week! Every science class we get on the bus and spend time really getting to know our new home here in Leadville. Whether it’s visiting Turquoise Lake or exploring East Leadville, Science is always the highlight of my week here. Truly I have never been someone who loved school until I experienced school at HMI. I laugh and learn a little more everyday that I’m here!

We wake up around 6am to get ready for AMX (morning excercise). AMX is basically HMI´’s version of a morning stroll, except the stroll sits at around 10,000ft of elevation and it’s 40 degrees and it’s at 6:30 am. It’s great! Who needs coffee when you have the cold harsh sweat-wicking winds of Leadville, CO. But for real, at first, I was… hesitant. But once it became a habit, I started to enjoy it! Waking up I have been feeling energized and ready to run. We usually run two miles, but starting today we will be running three! I’m super pumped! All the students ran a timed two miles so that we can track our improvement over time. I ran a 14:40, and everyone has already gotten a lot stronger! AMX has had an amazing impact on my time here at HMI, I’ve felt better physically, mentally, as well as emotionally. My favorite moment so far at HMI was actually during a morning run. It was 6:46 am and down the road, in the distance, I saw Mt. Massive with the sunrise. It was a beautiful moment, and one I will never forget. For those of you looking into HMI, I highly recommend making the most out of AMX, because it has added so much to my experience here so far and I can’t wait to keep running.

This past weekend was one of my best memories so far in my HMI experience. After a few engaging classes on Saturday morning, we had some free time to chop some wood. Chopping wood is one of my favorite weekend activities, even though I’m not the best at it. I like it because it is a great emotional outlet, as well as a bonding activity. After that, we all packed up and went a few miles to the beautiful Turquoise Lake for a BBQ! While our teachers generously prepared a delicious grilled meal, we talked, danced, and laughed the night away. After a few hours, we went back to campus for a bonfire. We made smores together and then blasted some more music and danced. After that night, I was exhausted in the best way. Lucky for me, I got to sleep in on Sunday morning, followed by a peaceful Solo. Each Sunday, we head out to our designated Solo spot around the mile loop on campus. We stay there for a few hours silently to recharge and spend time in reflection. After being around people all week, it’s really nice to spend a few hours alone with nature. This weekend was a great time to bond with the community and rest before the next week of school.

Cabin Life at HMI is completely different from anywhere I’ve lived before. I live with five other people, and together my cabin mates and I are responsible for taking care of our home. We chop firewood for the woodstove, clean our cabin, and take care of any of the other maintenance requirements that crop up. Whether we’re staying up late to chat and hang out or waking each other up early for morning runs, we’ve been able to support each other and get closer as the semester goes on. Through chores, expeditions, and late night workouts in the cabin, they’ve helped me power on and made my transition into HMI as seamless as I could’ve hoped. I’ve haven’t felt lonely since the minute I set foot on campus.