Semester 45: Fun Run, Coffee House, and Final Days on Campus

Written by: Cate O, Molly, & Jeremy

Students of semester 45 finally got to show off their training in the Fun Run this past weekend! Students ran in ninja turtle onesies, tutus, sparkles, and another fun flare from the costume box. Some students tied their hands together and ran the entire race together like so. Another noteworthy duo ran wearing a spoon and fork costume, and they were one of the few who opted to run the three extra miles to round out a half marathon! Semester 45 had great weather for the event (which was on many of their minds considering the cold morning runs prior to this late winter date). The sun was beaming and the students were gleaming!

After the Fun Run Sunday morning, students sunk into some relaxation time. In Who’s Hall, some watched “Free Solo” while others made homemade waffles and fried chicken. Some took naps and cozied up to the wood-burning stove. 

Once students felt like they had some ~chill~ time, they got ready for their final Coffee House. Though students usually have a fun activity Saturday night, and study-hall Sunday night, it was flipped this weekend because of some final assignments due Sunday morning/ Saturday night. So this Sunday, students enjoyed a fun Coffee House night, where some sang acoustic renditions of their favorite songs. One highlight of this was Jacob, the English teacher, singing “Magic in the Hamptons” with Asa. Other students performed dances, sang some more, and one student, Sedi, even sang Opera!  The night was full of cheering, laughing, and some happy tears

In other news, school is finished! Though the past two weeks have been busy and some might say, stressful, the final projects offered some reflective space for Semester 45 students. In P&P, students presented their environmental ethics philosophy—how they think humans should interact with the natural world—and demonstrated it through a creative project. An example of this is a proposal that HMI source their food locally to cut back on their carbon footprint and avoid cross-country travel admissions. Another group collected their waste for a day while attempting to go zero waste, and showed how hard this is, and how reliable people are on disposable goods. Others made videos, paintings, and various other creative projects to express their environmental ethic. Another project that allowed for reflection was the “woven essay” in Liz’s English class. Students were asked to interweave a personal story prior to HMI, a lesson learned at HMI, and elements of the novels/ poems read in class, into an essay. The final product was meant to eloquently weave all these facets of one’s life, in order to gain some sort of takeaway from lessons learned or lessons still to be explored. 

Students are beginning packing and shipping items home. With no class this next week, students will undergo their final reflections surrounding being at HMI. On Monday, took take a trip to Princeton Hot Springs to relax and recover from the Fun Run while enjoying each other’s company for one last outing.

Tuesday, students will go out into the woods, separated, and spend the day “solo,” in order to reflect, journal, and sit with their thoughts in these finals days. The hope of this solo is to get time to oneself and soak in some of HMI’s experiences without the distractions of activities and friends. During solo, students are expected to write their “Full Circle” remarks which they will share to the entire community on Wednesday. They will also have their final advisory dinners off-campus, and share final thoughts there. They will have their final cabin-night Wednesday evening, and Thursday night, students will have one giant sleepover in Who’s Hall (though historically they stay up most of the night baking cookies, watching movies, or just soaking in time with one and other). In these final days, Semester 45 will be busy, but they will take the time to slow down, and process what these past four months have meant to them.