Student Journal Entries


by Alex Weston

I belong to the desert

The dry air fills my lungs with each breath I take 

Mountains made of dirt rise higher than i would dare to climb

But I do 

Rising with every step, my hands grasp rocks that are older than I am 

My feet find holds in this earth 



The more I climb the more I understand why I am climbing 

They say it never rains in the desert

I disagree

The sun washes over me like a monsoon storm in august 

As I lay here on this mountain, in this canyon I am reminded of home 

Of the days where I sit outside so long my hair turns the color of corn and my arms the color of raspberries 

The mountains hold me when I do not feel like standing

Red and brown and tall I find solace in their existence 

I have never been one to like outdoor activities

But i belong to the desert

The tall rocks towering with impending risk of falling over 

The tree in my backyard that drops its small rattling leaves in the winter

Blooms green every year in the spring 

I belong to this place 

Where the sky meets the land

Where sunsets stretch for miles and we chase them like they dont 

Where the 4th of july is a fire hazard 

Where my feet find holds



I belong to the desert 

The canyon country of utah is still desert 

But in a different way

Its quieter here

Less traffic, more rocks

I find the quite here 

The spots where the world fades away 

Drifting like tumble weeds out of my view 

Still the rocks here hold me 

As i dance in their shadows

As I swim in the san juan river they tower over 

As I change my name

The desert hold me 

Because for as long as I can remember 

I belong to the desert


Hi all! 

Blogging to you from sunny and windy Utah. We are all sighing with relief as we are through midterms and starting our new academic units. We spent most of midterms in the San Juan mountains, a range of the Rocky Mountains in southwest Colorado. Around midterms the students created and presented an extensive timeline of policy that affected US immigration, wrote their first Land Acknowledgements from their home areas, took a test on important terms from History, created exquisite field journal entries for Science, began drafting their analytical essay assignment for Literature, and participated in an hour-long socratic seminar for Global. The outcomes of Midterm week were pivotal! The teachers had the opportunity to see the students hunker down and focus for hours through the day studying and working on various projects – and the students got the opportunity to reflect on and synthesize so much of the knowledge they have gathered on the program so far. We are all proud of the work they produced, some exemplified here.

Midterms were not just about work and grades though! A couple of favorite parts about recent academics (including midterms of course) from the student’s themselves: 

Bobo says, “My favorite part about midterms was making a snow-person until it fell over in my downtime and frolicking in snow between studying.” 

“My favorite academic moment in the past couple of weeks was at Deer Hill when we were learning and making connections about the Three Pillars of White Supremacy… I feel like I was able to get a strong grasp of what I was learning and in a way I have not had access to in the past. Learning lots of new and good and fun and IMPORTANT things – so many epiphany moments!” – Janelle 

Amelia reflected, “Reading and writing about the novel “Into the Beautiful North,” by author Luis Alberto Urrea challenged me to further analyze relationships between masculinity and power dynamics in both society and the book. I really enjoyed being at the mountain house reading and writing while by the cozy fire, sipping tea and getting into these themes.”

“I loved playing pool by myself and with colleagues as study breaks – also our group got super into chai lattes which we used as motivation to study and my favorite meal was eating quesadillas with extra sharp cheddar and honey!” -Max

“I literally read seven Nancy Drew Books at the Mountain House – interspersed between studying for midterms. Besides being a certified detective, I am now also a better conversationalist due to our socratic seminar!” -Alex (Grace)


And a couple of photos from the last two weeks…