Semester 36: Spirit Week, the Fun Run, and final projects!

Last week was Spirit Week, and it consisted of America Monday, Twin Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Thrift Shop Thursday, Flannel Friday, and finally, Sweatpants Saturday. On Monday we decked out in all things red, white, and blue and painted stripes on our faces. During activity we did a 6-mile run in preparation for the Fun Run that coming weekend, and our colorful clothing brought spirit and fun to a seemingly long run. Next was Twin Tuesday, where we dressed up in identical outfits, making it nearly impossible to recognize someone from the back. Wacky Wednesday consisted of as many thrift store clothes we could gather together and mismatch, and Thrift Shop Thursday consisted of much of the same. Flannel Friday made us all reminisce about the square dance the weekend before and Sweatpants Saturday provided a comfy end to a perfect week. But we didn’t stay in our pajamas for long, as that night was coffee house 2.0. This coffee house was even better than the first one, which we didn’t even think was possible! Cabin 4’s rendition of “My Girl” was a fan favorite, as well as Galen’s performance with devil sticks. It finished with a version of “Growing Up” about our time here at HMI and a reminder to make the most of these last 2 weeks!

This Sunday was the Fun Run! And fun it was! We didn’t let the rainy morning get in our way, dressed in our Melanzana hoodies and tutus. We ran TEN miles! At ten THOUSAND feet. Many people finished the race and ran three more miles to say they did a half marathon. Our first place finisher beat the HMIrecord, finishing in 64 minutes. The rest of the semester made their way over the finish line, with every person cheered on and greeted with chocolate milk and bananas. One student carried a 40-pound pack for ten miles, and hiked her way to the finish line. Never would we have thought running could be so much fun, but doing it as an entire semester made it so much easier and enjoyable. Before this the furthest we had run as a group was 6 miles, so the ten miles was a good challenge. After everyone made it back to HMI, we went to the community pool to recover in the hot tub, although everyone was still pretty sore the next day.

With only one week of academics left in the semester, all of the HMI students are hard at work on culminating projects in their classes. In science, we are working on our final labs studying water quality in Leadville’s local watershed. That project will lead into a TEDTalk-style presentation of our results for the class and local policy makers. In English, we are putting together our final portfolios. They will include our best analytical and creative pieces from the semester along with personal reflections on our growth as writers over the past 4 months. The Spanish students are beginning to write final essays about how values, beliefs, and cultural systems are shaped by past experiences using personal examples as well as examples from an article read in class. Finally, we are working hard on our PEEPs (Personal Environmental Ethic Project). They are the culminating project for P&P class and will be a presentation of the environmental ethic we have cultivated throughout our time at HMI. The presentations are on Wednesday and are sure to be engaging and eye-opening for both the students and their peers.

The student representatives and apprentices have been hard at work this week planning fun activities for us to do. Last Tuesday was a Saturday schedule, meaning classes were only in the morning, leaving the afternoon open for students. Apprentice Samuel Friedman planned a special scavenger hunt for all the cabins to participate in. Fourteen envelopes were hidden around campus, and all we had to find them were 14 cryptically worded clues. It was a valiant effort that ended with a 3-way “tie” between Cabins 4, 1, and 2. However, this was highly controversial, with many believing Cabin 4 was the rightful winner. A tie-breaking final clue was given, and Cabin 1 was the winner of the to-be-determined secret prize (our reporters got a leak that suggests it might be pizza). Wednesday was another fun day. With Electivities coming to a close, the period right before lunch was turned into a full semester cook-out, with activities such as bocce ball, knockout, volleyball, wiffle ball, rubber ducky racing, as well as good music and good food. Both of these events were welcome distractions from AP tests being taken by hardworking students. All-in-all yet another amazing week at HMI!

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