Hello all! What a week it has been here at HMI. While we always do many exciting activities outside of the campus, it’s good to reflect on the moments here within the bounds of campus that bring us together. This past week has been extra busy as we are in the thick of school. While many of us anxiously await the arrival of second expedition, we are finding ways to keep entertained here in the midst of papers and assignments. One popular activity has been the climbing wall, where students venture to perfect their bouldering skills and prowess. The keepers of the wall have been hard at work creating new, difficult routes in the room for us to try out. Climbing during free periods or before dinner is a great way to get a quick workout in while having fun and chilling with friends. Aside from physical activities, we have immersed ourselves in a “music zone.” Everywhere you go on campus you’ll see students plucking strings, hitting keys or simply belting the songs they want to sing.
It has been another long week of academics. Tuesday is “Humanities Monday,” and so we kicked the second day of the week off with history and English. In history we narrowed in on the causes of slavery and how racism was intentionally created by the wealthy to separate poor white servants from black slaves. We talked about ranches in English for the sole purpose of preparing us for the square dance on Saturday. We are continuing to enjoy ourselves in math and in Practices and Principles (P&P) we continued our debate on whether or not meat is ethical. In science class, we counted bugs by the riverbed, which connects to mine drainage from Leadville’s old mines.
Imagine yourself on a typical Thursday, as the sun sleeps upon the mountains of Leadville and the Aspens begin their maturity of marigold and burning embers. Imagine, the gentle drowsiness that perches upon the air like clouds, how you’ve settled into the routine of classes. You’ve just entered Who’s Hall when suddenly you hear the excited squeals of several students: “THERE’S A PIG!” Dust swirls into the air as you sprint outside into the parking lot, your eyes desperately searching for the small, bubblegum body. And when you see it, your heart stops, saltwater threatens to stain your cheeks and you become somebody else entirely; your tongue loses the shape of words, your mouth is useless except to gape. Crouching, you find yourself enamored by this three week old creature. How can it exist so simply, so perfectly? How is this real? How have I eaten this? As Felicia, the newly named love of your life, totters towards you, a silent vow imbeds itself in your skin, sewing and stitching itself into the lining of your hands. Beneath your feet it whispers it will never eat meat again. Along your back it crawls, murmuring that it shall never touch a piece of sausage, a hamburger. And as she nuzzles at your fingers, you must reconsider everything you’ve ever thought to be true.
We awoke on Saturday feeling a newfound sense of resignation for school on Saturday, yet the image of the weekend sat in our minds. After a highly successful intellectual discourse concerning Brokeback Mountain in English and witches in American History, I remembered that only a few hours away we were to gather for a square dance! An excursion to town permitted a frantic search for jeans and flannels. That evening, we donned our new garments and shared excitement to let loose in the HMI parking lot. Starting off, a sense of nervousness hung over the group, but by the time of the first dance, playfulness had pervaded the group and our bodies moved with our attitudes. Overall, the night was carefree and enjoyable and ended as all great nights do, with a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.