Winterim/Immersion Blog 2018

Welcome to the 2018 blog for Dawson's Winterim and Immersion programs. Posts are added as received, so scroll down to check in on groups of interest. Dates are the date posted to the blog, not necessarily the date the activity took place. Note: Some groups send information more frequently than others; keep checking in periodically to see the latest. 
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Spain Immersion 4.16.18

Aliza Fassett:
Leaving Spain was such a bittersweet moment. While I definitely missed my family and friends, I had such an incredible month. I learned so much Spanish and really feel like I achieved all my goals, and even learned some things I wasn’t expecting. If I could talk to myself 4 weeks ago, I would have told myself not to be so anxious, because I really had nothing to be worried about. I would have just reassured myself that everything would really fall into place and that I would come away with a strong grasp on a second language and some great new friends- whether they were from another country, state, or even my own school. I’m really looking forward to having my exchange here in boulder- we formed a really good friendship and I can’t wait to show her just as good of a time In Colorado as she showed me in Spain! I also think I will be able to get a better and more well rounded view of American culture from outside input. I had such an amazing time in Spain and I am so thankful for everyone who made my trip absolutely fantastic.

Alex Dunbar:
Looking back on my time in Spain I am so glad I went and I will have memories of the trip that will be with me forever. Looking back I would recommend to myself to be even more outgoing when speaking Spanish and not to be worried to make mistakes. When speaking I was so caught up in it sounding right and making sense that I did not try to incorporate much new vocab, which I wish I had done. Other than that I am happy with how my trip went and would not change anything else. I am excited for the exchanges to come on Friday and I can’t wait to show them Colorado. I hope that my exchange is happy here and gets the most of their experience by always speaking English and enjoying every moment in Colorado. 

Estasia McGlothlin:
I had a wonderful time exploring/taking in the beauty of Spain, and the people there. If I could recommend something to myself four weeks ago it would be to really cherish every moment, because time flew by so quickly (as they say..time flies when you’re having fun). As for when my host sister comes to Colorado, I hope to give her an amazing experience just as her family gave to me! I want my host sister to love this experience and keep thinking it was worth it to do the exchange even though she will be missing feria!!!

Ryan Oliver:
Now that I have returned home I have started to think about my full experience in Spain. Looking back I would say that I did everything that I wanted, and more. I feel that I accomplished every goal I set for myself, such as improving my Spanish and learning more about myself. However now I am also thinking about hosting. When Ignacio is in Colorado I want to make his stay as comfortable as possible and a fun as possible. I will show him Colorado and all the fun things to do, as well as all the great food to eat. Overall I had a great trip to Spain and am now excited to make Ignacio's trip good as well. 

Rio Sueyoshi:
If I could talk to myself 4 weeks ago, I probably wouldn’t say anything to be honest other than to be more careful with my wallet outside the metro. I’d also tell myself to not get as nervous as I was and to just look forward to the experience because great things are coming. Once Luis arrives, I want him to experience the difference between Spain and Colorado and for him to simply just enjoy his time here. I also want to make sure we form a stronger friendship so that we will stay in touch after the whole exchange program is over. I also want him to enjoy the experience of not having 2 other younger siblings to deal with the whole time (not in a bad way!)

Bella DeFrancia:
My time in Spain far exceeded what I could ever asked for. I think I did a good job accomplishing all my goals and more. I am confident that my Spanish conversational skills improved and I connected with my host family a lot more than I originally expected. I am thrilled to say that I learned a lot about Spanish culture and even about myself. The one thing I would tell myself four weeks ago would be that time goes by so fast. It’s over before you know it, so take advantage of every moment. I am excited for the next month with my exchange in Colorado and I know that we will continue to grow closer! 

Liam Keeley:
If I could talk to myself four weeks ago, I would tell myself that nothing I do in Spain really matters. I think I could have put myself out a little more, and that is my only regret, although it is not very big because I didn’t do a terrible job either.  Considering that my exchange student is coming very soon, I am thinking that I want him to get a feel of what American life is like. My family and I are going to Minnesota, and I think that is a good chance to show what life is like outside of New York and Denver.  Also I want to go skiing, because that is a large part of life in Colorado.
Alexandra Altamirano:
If I could talk to my 4 weeks ago self. I would tell myself not to worry about anything. That everything is going to be great and that this experience would change my life. Thanks to this experience I am the first person in my family to travel to Spain and my family is really proud that I’m doing something different. I hope my exchange student can have the same experience I did. I want her to feel like she’s home. I just want her to have a fun time!

Spain Immersion 4.4.18

Bella DeFrancia:
This past week has been very interesting. Because of Semana Santa, Sevilla has been packed with people from all over the world. My host sister and I went into the city everyday to watch precessions and they were so beautiful. The precessions in the night were my favorite because the candles were so pretty. On Friday we woke up at 2 am to go watch them. I think that I have been successful in my original goals to improve my Spanish and connect with my host family. I am happy to say that I have also made many new friends and learned a lot about myself. Leaving on Thursday will be bittersweet. As I look forward to seeing all my friends and family back home, I know that I will miss everyone I have made connections with here.
Aliza Fassett:
This last week in Spain has been really special. I got to tour more of Sevilla and am finally starting to know my way around a little sliver of the city that I live in. Semana Santa was a really special experience - to see such a rich, historical, and spiritual tradition come to life was really really special. My assumptions about the culture have remained pretty similar, but I was surprised at the mass amount of turnout for the religious processions. Seeing the more spiritual side of the culture has been awesome. My favorite moments have included seeing the incredible historical sights in Sevilla such as the catedral, eating fantastic food in the city square, and the processions of semana santa. This has been such a special trip, and I’m excited to see Cadiz before we leave to get a little bit more of Spain. 
Rio Sueyoshi:
My favorite moment is definitely going to all small village called Pedro Bernardo outside of Madrid. It was so beautiful and made me thought that I want to live there in the future. I’m not joking when I say it seemed like one of those magical places that show up in movies or books. In comparison to the first week and now, my Spanish speaking has improved drastically in certain aspects such as the indirect objects, the progressive, preterite and imperfect. I expected to fail a lot speaking which my expectations were met. I’ve made so many mistakes that I realize after I say it and fix it. I’ve made a LOT of Spanish friends which I wasn’t expected to be honest, but I’m very happy I did as I’m facetiming and texting them even outside of school which is a very cool experience. With the few days we have left, I really just want to take in everything that happens and really take in Spain as a country so that I can leave loving this country. 
Estasia McGlothlin:
I would say that one of my favorite moments so far was actually heading out to Portugal with my host family this past week over Semana Santa. We stayed in a beautiful, small beach town called Sagres. Here we were able to walk everywhere, go surfing and enjoy the beautiful seaside views (we even found and explored a super cool old abandoned hotel)! My experience has stayed the same I would say, I have felt right at home here in Spain…from the beginning to the end. I think that the most important thing to do before I leave Spain in a couple days is to just enjoy the little time that I have left with my host family! 
Alex Dunbar:
The past few weeks in Spain have gone by so quickly and I can’t believe that we go home on Thursday. I have had many great experiences during my time in Spain that I will remember for a long time. I will forever remember getting second in a futbol tournament, watching the holy week processions, and walking through downtown Seville at night. Spain has met all of my expectations so far and continues to blow me away every day as I visit new places and see new things. When we arrived in Spain I was very nervous and tentative, but now I feel comfortable and I have finally gotten into the groove of things. In the days before we leave I really just want to be as outgoing as possible and make the most of the experience. 
Ryan Oliver:
This week was Semana Santa in Spain, and me and my host family traveled to Valencia. In Valencia we met up with Ignacio's Grandma and Uncle. When there we also got to see many of the processions and I even got to walk in one. The processions were very grand and beautiful. It was an experience like none other and I am glad to have seen it. When in Valencia we went on a hike, this was a  great experience because we could see all the way to the ocean when on top of the mountain. We also traveled to Cadiz and got to enjoy the beautiful beach. I'm going to miss this country so much!
Liam Keeley:
My favorite moments in Spain have just been the beach we visited in Maraga (definitely not how the province name is spelled), having actual conversations with people in Spanish, and hanging out in the city.  People in Spain only really go to the city to hang out; they don’t have sleepovers or parties in their houses, and everything is just in the streets which I think is fairly different from Colorado. I feel very similar to my first week, but I am definitely more comfortable with my Spanish, and I have learned a lot of new words, or words for things that I knew but are different in Spain.  Also life here feels much more distant from Colorado then it did my first week, which is really weird, but I am used to that now. I feel like I accomplished the majority of what I wanted from Spain, but as I only recently fixed my computer and I have been fairly busy, I need to catch up on my school work in my last several days in Spain. Also I want to continue speaking Spanish as much as I can.
Alex Altamirano:
My favorite moment about Spain has to be when we went to Sevilla to celebrate Semana Santa. It was an amazing experience. When I first got to Sevilla I was a little scared, thinking my host family isn’t  going to like me or that I wasn’t going to make any friends. Now I feel more comfortable talking to people and getting to know them too. I did all the things I wanted to do during my time in Sevilla. I not going to lie but I’m going to miss Sevilla. A lot!


On our last day of Winterim, Cooking & Culture returned to Harvest of Hope in Boulder. On our first day of Winterim, we had prepared bagged lunches and donated over 150 pounds of food. Today, we helped in a different way: we bagged dog food (pets need help too!) and cleaned and prepped donated shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion bottles for hygiene packages. 

We also presented our culminating projects - each group researched and shared information on a dish specific to a region or culture. We learned about the origins, history, and cultural significance of torta caprese, fondue, fried rice, mooncakes, and gyros. After our Winterim, we're all going home with new knowledge, awareness, cooking skills, and recipes!

Spain Immersion 3.24.18

Alexandra Dunbar:
Since arriving in Spain I have grown to love the culture and people more and more each day. I feel that I have done a good job achieving my goals as I have met many new people, made a lot of new friends, and fully immersed myself in the culture. I also feel that I have met my language goal, but I would like to talk in Spanish more than I have been doing. I would also like to try and talk for longer and attempt to talk more with teachers at the school by asking more questions in class. For the next two weeks, my goals are to continue to immerse myself in the culture and to focus on all my goals. I am going to try and enjoy every moment here in Spain because I know it is going to be over before I know it.
Estasia McGlothlin:
So far I have been LOVING Spain! It is such a beautiful country (despite the excessive amounts of jamon and meat in general). I wouldn’t say that my impressions of Spanish people or the Spanish culture have changed much or at all since the beginning of the trip, and I am still having a very difficult time with the “kissing both sides of your face” while greeting one-another. I feel like I am doing pretty well with my original goals, I have multiple times been the only American student in scenarios such as hanging out after school and while it is intimidating, a very great experience and has caused me to make even more friends at EIS! With my last two week here I am hoping to learn more about the religious aspects of Spain such as the holiday/holy week of “Semana Santa”. I feel so at home here! 
Aliza Fassett:
My time so far in Spain has been really wonderful. This week, I fell into a better rhythm with my family and day to day life, and I’m now really used to living in Sevilla. I’ve been working on my language skills all the time at home, and am seeing lots of improvements with my understating of both conversational Spanish and what teachers are saying in classes/lectures. My host sister and I have been getting along really well- I feel so lucky to have her! I’ve been loving the culture, and have started to feel much more at home. In the last two weeks, I hope to really see more of Sevilla and explore the parts I haven’t yet, and really cement Spanish as my go-to language when I’m having conversations with other Spanish people instead of totally relying on English as a default when I don’t completely understanding everything that’s being said. This trip has been really great so far, and I’m excited to see what the final weeks have to offer! 
Ryan Oliver:
Now that I have been in Spain for over 2 weeks I have truly experienced the normal life here. The small cultural differences throughout the day, such as the constant eating or the love for soccer has truly been created an amazing experience. My largest goals when coming to spain were to improve my Spanish and learn more about myself. I can gladly way that I have truly improved my Spanish, although I can improve more, and I have learned many valuable thing about myself. I am hopeful about completing my goals as the trip goes on.
Alexandra Altamirano:
The longer I stay in Spain I noticed that people are so outgoing and they what to do stuff, unless its raining, which I found funny because I don’t really care if it’s raining I just want to go outside. Also the more I stay in Spain I meet more people, make new friends and understand the different meanings for words I already knew. And I’m looking forward to Semana Santa, which starts in 2 days! I’m really excited for everything I am going to do with my host family this week! 
Bella DeFrancia:
As we approach our last two weeks in Spain, I notice that time is flying by. I feel like we were in Madrid just yesterday! This coming week is Semana Santa (Holy Week) and I look forward to learning all about the traditions that take place in Sevilla. Every year hundreds of people dress up and walk all the way from their churches to the Cathedral. Another thing I am looking forward to is spending more time with my host family this week because we don’t have school. My original goals I set were to improve my Spanish and establish a good friendship with my host sister. I think that I have already completed these goals, but I think that they will continue to grow. I have also learned a lot about myself and my fellow exchange students in the time I have been here. Honestly, I have been having so much fun and I haven’t been homesick once. Now that I have gotten into a good routine here, Sevilla has started to feel like a second home.
Rio Sueyoshi:
My impressions of Spain seem to get better and better by the day. I love my family and I’ve made a lot of friends here so far, and they’re all really nice.
I feel that I am on track of meeting everyone of my goals so far.
I am hoping to see a bit of Semana Santa before I return. 
Liam Keeley:
I never really thought of Spanish people as very different than any other people.  It is true that have different customs, but in the end they are not very different from Americans.  The major difference is their tidiness. They generally wear nicer clothes (I have seen very few people wearing joggers or sweatpants), and in all the houses I have been to everything is very tidy and well kept.  As far as my goals go, they are going well. I am speaking spanish, and meeting a variety of Spanish people. I am not being too independent (not really at all), but that has not really come up, so I think it was an unrealistic goal.  For the next several days I want to continue what I am doing.

Marine Biology 3.24.18


As the Bahamian sun rose over the majestic blue-green water, the Bahamas Winterim group awoke for yet another early morning wake-up call. We were all abuzz with excitement as we got ready in the bike shed. Today was the day we would finally be SCUBA diving. Those doing the Discover SCUBA were briefed on safety and what we would be doing. Because of the windy weather and choppy water, we weren’t able to dive in the usual area. But we still enjoyed a dive looking at the ocean floor and avoiding being stung by jellyfish. 

After the excitement of getting to dive, we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon out on a sandbar. We played in the sun, explored the shallow water, and learned about “ooids”(the small particles that accumulate to form the sandbar). Several members continued to develop a nice tan while others transformed into lobsters. The day cumulated in dinner at a local restaurant, “Sharril’s”. We all enjoyed lots of fried food and finally got to eat the lionfish we had been learning about all week. Going out to dinner was a great bonding experience, and we all appreciated the conversation we had without the distraction of our phones. 

Friday morning for our morning exercise was jumping off High Rock. After returning from high rock, the group split in two for working in the aquaponics. One half worked with the fish while the other worked with the plants, then switched. On the plant side the groups were harvesting lettuce and planting seeds. On the fish side one group caught and determined the sex of the tilapia and the other group checked for eggs and fed them. We had a lesson on sea turtles from one of the resident researchers. She talked about her research and some of the new technologies being used for sea turtle research. Following our lesson on sea turtles, we went to a pink sand beach to learn about plastic pollution in the oceans. After learning about how much plastic effects the entire food chain, the teachers put up a reward for whoever brought back the most garbage from the beach. Between the 16 of us we left the beach for the night with a pick-up truck worth of debris to take back to the Island School. 

After sorting all of the trash we packed our bags in preparation for our early morning and out last activity of our stay, the bonfire. That evening we walked to the beach and lit a fire. Our leaders explained their favorite way for reducing plastic around a camp fire. We made our s’mores out of homemade chocolate chip cookies and roasted marshmallows. We rounded out the night with a rose, bud, thorn share out and proceeded to prepare for out early morning.
  • Quin Ramos and Olivia Spencer

Food, Glorious Food 3.23.18

This week, the Food, Glorious Food! Winterim group spent most of our time cooking (both at the Stir It Up cooking school in Boulder and at Dawson) and eating (most excitingly at The Kitchen and the Dushanbe Teahouse), although we also explored where the food we eat comes from and how it is prepared. On Thursday, we went to Three Leaf Farm in Lafayette. They supply food to lots of restaurants in the Boulder area, including the Dushanbe Teahouse. They showed us herbs they grow for the Teahouse and different plants that are wild that are actually good for your health. Then we went to the Dushanbe Teahouse and learned that the restaurant was originally built in Tajikistan without any power tools. Then they took it down and sent it to Boulder, where it was rebuilt. After eating (and sampling many different kinds of tea), we took a break in Boulder’s Central Park before going to Celestial Seasonings. When we got there we tried even more tea and then bought tea—a LOT of tea! On Friday, we made Chinese food at Stir It Up, stir fry as well as a mochi cake with blueberries (all gluten free foods). We tried eating our entire meal with chopsticks…but only two people didn’t use a fork by the end of the meal. We also worked really hard to create our own cookbook. We all made our own recipes to put into the cookbook, which we are calling Moist: recipes for a dry Colorado.
   - written by Sydney Javes:

Britain 3.23.18

Last day in Scotland today. We began at Edinburgh Castle which has been a seat of power as some kind of fortress or castle for over 7000 years. Then we walked slowly down the Royal Mile, stopping in St. Giles’ Cathedral, a particularly lovely, intimate, and peaceful place. At the end of the Royal Mile is Holyrood Palace, where Mary, Queen of Scots probably had her husband murdered, and where Queen Elizabeth conducts official Scottish business. The kids had some time to shop, and then we had tea at The Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book. And we are just now back from a wonderful Scottish dinner close to the castle. Sunnier skies today.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Scottish nationalist party happened to be protesting at the parliament. Lots of kilts and singing—very cool.

Costa Rica 3.23.18

Final moments of a memorable trip to Costa Rica!

Today we started out at the hotel and left around 7:30. We hit the road towards the Manuel Antonio Park and the beach. We saw lots of cool animals. Sloths, lizards, and more! Once we got to the beach the group immediately ran in the water. We body surfed, read, and played 500. Once out of the water we discover the amount of sunburns that we had developed. Then we went to the other side of the park to see if the waves were better and got even more sunburned. After more body surfing we began to walk back to the entrance of the park; but then in front of us was a wild pack of monkeys!! The group soon moved on and loaded the bus back up. Ronny, our bus driver, surprised us with agua de pipa (coconut) and Jess with refrescas of all different flavors. While on the bus Ronny and Jess spotted crocodiles so the group got out and ran over to sneak a peak!! We then headed to the souvenir shop for our final gifts for our families. 
-written by Issy

New Orleans 3.22.18

An incredible last full day here in New Orleans! The weather was unbelievable and we had many great experiences starting with a visit to the famous district donuts and a wonderful tour in the Garden District and Lafayette Cemetery. Following a ride back on the streetcar we had our amazing cooking class which was set up just for us. We were divided into four groups and each team made jambalaya, shrimp Creole, and a - to die for - bread pudding! We, of course got to eat all of these amazing creations at the end. There were lots of smiles and laughter throughout the 3 1/2 hours we were there. Then, this evening we made our way over to snug Harbor Jazz club. There was a mixup in the night our tickets had been issued, so we did not get to see Ellis Marsalis as originally planned - he is playing tomorrow night! However, something even cooler happened and we got to hear one of the top woman saxophonists in the country – Jane Burnett.  And her band was all female Musicians from Cuba. Wow, what a fantastic experience and a great opportunity for the kids to hear a whole different style and musical influence that is growing today around the world. 

New York 3.22.18

Out the door at 7:30, and we caught a train downtown. We took a quick stop at Zucker’s bagels for a traditional breakfast bagel,( or oatmeal, soup, or what every else they wanted. There was so much). We then walked down to the 9/11 memorial. After we went up one World Trade Center. We then had lunch in the business district and then off to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island. For dinner we ate just above Chinatown and little Italy.  We decided to call it an early evening, and got back to the hotel at 8:45. But don’t worry, we still tracked close to 9 miles today. Just a little higher then our average of 7.5 miles. We are so happy with everyone. They are wonderful traveling companions, and have been so open to all we have taken on.
Dwight and Sarena.

Lower School 3.22.18

Today the Lower School spent the day at the Arvada Center.  We spent some time exploring the Sculpture Garden and enjoyed a performance of Seussical.  We split into groups for some workshops after the show.  Some of us created Paper Landscapes, some created Chilean Rainsticks, and the rest of us created artwork inspired by Starry Night.  It was another terrific day!  We're looking forward to wrapping up our Winterim 2018 experience with a day spent on campus reflecting and creating!

Glassblowing 3.22.18 Part 2

First Day of making: Paper Weight
         To start the day Dee taught us about “Pararegons”. A pararegon is something that frames something else. Some examples of this are a door frame, a picture frame, and a border. Dee chose to teach us this aspect of art because we were making paper weights. We were then taught how to enter and exit the bench where we would work with the glass. To make the paper weights we heated a few chunks of colored glass. We heated them because if it was cold it wouldn’t have stuck to the molten glass. Once it was stuck onto the molten glass it was spun in the glory hole to melt the large chunks. At this point we would carry it to the bench and use large tweezers to pull and shape the glass.
            Once the colored glass was in a form we liked Angelo dipped the colored glass back into the pot of clear, molten glass. This is where the idea of a pararegon came in. The twisted, colored glass was what was being framed and the clear glass surrounding it was the frame. After it had been dipped and blocked to cool the outside and smooth it we used squeezed the edges of the paper weight to make it fall off the pole. You don’t realize how hard something like this is gonna be until you have to do all the little things. Especially getting in and out of the bench.
   - Sage Roschko

Civil Rights 3.22.18

The Civil Rights Winterim has had an amazing week in Alabama.  We spent our last day in Birmingham visiting the 16th Street Baptist Church, meeting with foot soldier Carolyn McKinstry, and touring the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  Earlier in the week we learned about the movement for voting rights in Selma.  Highlights of our time there included the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge and the Brown Chapel AME Church.  It's been an impactful week.  We've met a number of inspiring local experts and activists and seen many landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement.

Cooking & Culture 3.22.18

On our penultimate day of Winterim, Cooking & Culture returned to Stir It Up to learn about Indian cuisine. We chopped veggies and measured spices to make chana masala and saag. We learned about different doughs (flatbread and pastry) by making garlic & goat cheese naan and a chai cream pie. We've enjoyed our time at Stir It Up, and appreciated the opportunity to learn to prepare many different foods!

Britain 3.22.18

Huge day today! Went to the northern edge of the Roman Empire at Hadrian’s Wall, where there are the ruins of a Roman fort. From there to Bambugh Castle, an amazing place overlooking the North Sea. From there, we could see the island where the Vikings first raided what would become Great Britain. It is also where St. Cuthbert, patron saint of northern England had his priory.

Costa Rica 3.22.18

Day 5: 
We stayed the night with our host families. We ate breakfast with them, and then continued our service project. We started working at 8:00 AM and stopped at 10:00 AM. We finished our expected work, and put our handprints in the concrete. We went to the festival de deportes (sports festival). It was a fundraiser for the school. We played games with the local children. Our host families bought us lunch there. Then, we went back to the school, and did a reflective journal entry as mindfulness. We got questions to interview our families, so we could learn more about their culture. We went home to get ready for a 5:00 soccer game. We split up into two teams: gringos vs Ticos. The Ticos won. We ordered lunch for tomorrow, and returned to our homes. We had a final dinner with our host families, and went to bed.
   -  By Emma and Juliette 

Day 6:
     Today we woke up to the last day with our host families. We scarfed down a large breakfast in preparation for the exciting journey that we were about to embark on. We then walked with our families down to the plaza where the bus would pick us up. We took our time saying goodbye, taking some final pictures and making plans to stay in touch. We got on the bus and waved one last time to our host families as we drove off. It was a sad moment, but at the same time we couldn’t hold back our excitement for the beach. 
     The drive was relatively short compared to the previous drive out from San Juan. When we arrived at the hotel restaurant we packed and got ready for the beach. We got back in the bus and drove to the restaurant where we would be eating lunch. It was American style and served things like burgers and fries. We took our time eating, enjoying the taste of the food and talking with one another. We got in the bus once again and drove to the beach where we would be taking our surf lessons. After a quick explanation about swimming boundaries and riptides from guide, we jumped out of the bus and ran to the beach where instructors were waiting. They showed us the proper ways to stand up and balance on the surfboard and after that we brought our boards into the water. It took several failed attempts before we were able to stand up on the board, but by the end of the day, we had greatly improved. After a long day of surfing and swimming, we drove back to the hotel only to go swimming once again in the hotel’s pool. It was quite fun. We had chicken fights and races. We then went back to our rooms to shower and prepare for dinner. There was no need to take the bus there because the restaurant was in walking distance of the hotel. There was a choice of three dishes for dinner: Ceviche, a dish with chopped fish and a variation of coleslaw; Casado, which means marriage in Spanish, was a dish with a little bit of everything: egg, rice, beans, meat, etc; and Salad. After dinner we were all exhausted and went straight to bed after a long day. 
   - Written by Silas.

Glassblowing 3.22.18

    We started the day by studying the use of line, specifically long, continuous lines, throughout art history. A plethora of cultures have utilized these lines in their fashion, often complimented by long, billowing folds and “ruffles”. Drawing inspiration off of these, we made cups that flared at the mouth and had a wave- like ruffle.
    We began by utilizing the blow and cap technique to form a bubble, then proceeded to add color and layers of glass, slowly forming the shape of the cup. Once the cup was finished, some of us added extra glass to the lip, called a lip wrap, which added sharp, colored lines to contrast the ruffles which followed. To form the ruffles at the top, we spun the glass while swinging it in a pendulum-like motion, which added ruffles while preventing the cup from flattening or imploding. The finished products turned out great, and the use of lines and “waves” was very apparent and effective. 
        ~ Finn Jones

    On Wednesday, we began the day with a lesson about one of the greatest glass blowers of our time: Dale Chihuly. His bowl collection is composed of non functional pieces of art. What I mean by this is that you can’t put cereal is his bowls because they have other smaller pieces of art inside of them. After this inspiring lesson, we began to make the bowls.
    Angelo started off our pieces by gathering some glass out of the furnace. After letting it cool for a minute and shaping the glass with a block we blew and capped a bubble inside of the glass blob. From there, Angelo gathered more glass on top of the original blob and again shaped it with the block, handed the pole back to us, and let us use the marker table to cool and shape the top part of the glass. After that, we made a jack line in the glass so we could unattach it from the pole. We then added a foot using a small glass blob and shaped it to look like a hockey puck. After breaking the jack line, we put a lip wrap on the piece using colored glass mixed with clear glass. We then shaped the lip using the jacks, gravity, and centrifugal force to shape and straighten the top of the final piece.
        - Ari Goldstein

Marine Biology in Bahamas 3.22.18

Tuesday morning, we woke up and completed the “run-swim”, which included running over parts of the island, swimming through the cuts, and doing exercises in between. After breakfast, we snorkeled a dive site called “The Cage”. This site was created by the Cape Eleuthera Institute when they were researching sustainable aquaculture methods. This was an amazing experience because of the sheer size of the aquaculture cage that was around 70 feet tall. This activity was followed by lunch, which was proceeded by mangrove ecology. We learned about the importance of mangroves and the different types supporting the ecosystem that we as humans are currently endangering. Our day concluded with a team-building activity, where we successfully ended with a silly activity and a record-breaking time. 

On Wednesday, we started our morning by snorkeling “The Saddle”. This used to be a reef, but areas of it were dug out for cruise ships. However, the reef has begun to rebuild itself on the edges of the holes that were dug out. We ended up finding a mollusk bigger than our hands! After breakfast, we hopped in vans to explore down the island (which is North of the Island School). Our first stop on our adventure was at a cave system that was created by ocean erosion. Now the sea level is lower than it was when the cavern was created, so we were able to explore and see all of the nocturnal life that called it home. Another part of our exciting adventure was to the ruins of a resort that had been abandoned after being hit by two hurricanes. It was amazing how much the nature around the resort had taken over in only 25 years. Are adventured continued to take us to a important tree in Bahamian culture the had survived for an estimated 150-200 years, and a pink sand beach created by the erosion of red algae. Our final stop on our down island adventure was at a 600-foot-deep ocean hole. This was created when the ocean water eroded the limestone in that makes up the majority of the island. The night ended with an interesting documentary which portrayed the affects that humans are influencing on the earth and the animals on earth. It described on how if we did not change our ways many species would soon be extinct.
  • Alexa Rinard, Beau Reavey, Pierre Berdou, Molly Percival, Ashley Fisher

Glassblowing 3.21.18

An update, courtesy participant Wyeth Thompson:

For our third day of glassblowing we made vases. The process to make the vases was fairly similar to the process of making the drinking glasses, however this time we used another layer of glass. We started out by laying out our color to roll into the vase. I used black red and yellow.

Like when we created the drinking glasses, we used the blow pipe to create the inner shape of the piece. 
I used a swinging technique to create a ruffled lip. Here is a picture with our two instructors, Angelo and Dee, and a photo of my final result before it went in the kiln.

Aliens Among Us 3.21.18

Our Aliens explorers are on the road, encountering all kinds of life forms and strange new worlds...

Mapping the Mountains 3.21.18

Mapping the Mountains had a ton of fun on our last full day at Snow Mountain Ranch! We spent the morning learning about the basic needs of survival and then competed to see who could build the best snow shelter! One group went for comfort - they had 3 couches - while the other groups went for a more practical cave approach. One group fit 4 people in their shelter! We also had one final afternoon cross country skiing, which many students described as their favorite part of the day because of all the games and adventures we had out there! Heading back to Dawson tomorrow!

Fly Fishing 3.21.18

Day 7
Some slept in while others used the time to fish the ranch's spring fed pond one more time.  We had a hearty pancake and bacon breakfast, before cleaning up our ranch home and going food shopping in Salida.  Then it was off to NM! 
We arrived this beautiful evening in Navajo Dam, NM after a gorgeous drive from Salida through the San Luis Valley, over Wolf Creek Pass and down the San Juan RIver from its headwaters.  We checked in with our guides, Fisheads, and bought our NM fishing licenses so that we'll be ready for an 8am start tomorrow morning.  Our house is working out great and the kids prepared a delicious spaghetti and meatball dinner followed by fresh baked cookies!  The evening ended with another event in our ongoing Trout Master competition; a sequence of tests of fishing skill and knowledge, as well as display of good expedition behavior.  Tonight we had our own NCAA bracket for the competition, only we were tying knots.  The finals were blind-folded!
Day 8
Fantastic Day on the River!  Beautiful scenery and lots of action from 8am to 4:30pm.  We collectively caught about 300 fish ranging in size from 12" to 26" (browns, rainbows, and cutbows).  If you don't know what a cutbow is, please, please ask our fly fisherman.

Back at our house we enjoyed a delicious stir fry meal, celebrated with "rainbow" sherbet and played our final Trout Master Quiz!  Who will be our final three Trout Masters?  It's been a close competition...
We also had a few boys tonight try their hand at cooking trout in different ways for their Winterim Project.  Different seasonings and different methods.  Very interesting stuff...remember that they're "itch'n" to get into the kitchen when they get home.

New Orleans 3.21.18

Day 3 focused on the darker history of this area but still managed to be a ton of fun. In the morning, we toured the Evergreen Plantation with a truly phenomenal guide who brought the unusual history of the place alive and captured the students’ attention. The kids loved that the location has been used in many films and shows, and the details about the (supposedly) “more humane” version of slavery practiced there were very interesting and thought-provoking. Ask your students about it if you get the chance once we come home!

After sharing 5 giant muffalatto sandwiches lunch en plein aire for lunch, we toured the Voodoo Museum and the Museum of Death. Both were deemed pretty creepy!

Dinner at the Gumbo Shop was a hit, and our nighttime Macabre Tour gave everyone goosebumps and increased our understanding of the complex history and wild characters that are such a big part of this special town.

We raised our spirits afterwards with beignets and gelato to round out the night, and are excited for a very full day ahead tomorrow!

Adventure Leadership 3.21.18

Here we are, on our last night at Stone Canyon for the 6th graders! We just returned from our campfire night, where the kids shared their bunk cheers, and we listened to stories and songs as we ate s'mores. The highlight of the day for most kids was zip lining! Every single person was brave enough to try, and we got some great pictures to share with you.  When kids weren't zip lining, they were participating in the classes they hadn't taken yet-- fire ecology, aerodynamics, archery, and energy/windpower. A new class today was called Balloon Rescue, where students were given the challenge to build a device to protect a water balloon from a 20-foot drop and then market their product to their peers using the "Shark Tank" model. 
Tomorrow, after the 6th grade leaves, the Adventure Leaders will stay for an extra night with Ms. Yelvington and Ms. Schedler, and will get to do more fun activities together. We have been so impressed with the Adventure Leaders, and all of the care they have shown the 6th graders. Watching the bond between them is heartwarming. 

New York City 3.21.18

Nothing like spring in NYC, except spring in NYC with 5” of snow. It was really an amazing day. Everyone was awesome. We went to stardust diner where the wait staff took turns singing to us and served food. And they could really sing. A great way to start the day. We then went to the MOMA until 1. We then went to Chelsea market for food and some shopping. We came back to the hotel and rested or explored time square until 5:30. Due the weather, the Apollo needed to cancel the show, so we found another show and restaurant to go to in midtown. We saw Avenue Q. Tons of laughs.

Bright Lights, Big City 3.21.18

During our second week on the "Bright Lights Big City" winterim, we've honed and expanded skills introduced last week.  We've had three dance classes at Streetside Studios so far this week, building on our hip-hop skills and practicing routines that we will perform on Friday.  In addition, we capped it off with some salsa instruction - what fun!  We've also expanded our improv acting skills with another class at Denver's Bovine Metropolis Theater, and met with professional actors and theater designers at Denver's Curious Theater to learn more about their experience working in this field.  Not to be missed, we visited the Denver Art Museum's Degas exhibit, where fittingly, several paintings and sculptures of dancers were on display.  On Thursday we'll rehearse our dance pieces and visit the Denver Performing Arts Center for a backstage tour and an evening show.  Students are doing a great job engaging with each of our varied experiences and reflecting on what they've learned in their journals during our daily writing sessions.  

Bahamas / Scuba MS 3.21.18

While today was a sunny day, there was a pronounced wind. Wind creates surface waves. Surface waves bounce nice boats around. We dove under the waves to get to the calm water

Two dives today… Shark Arena and James Bond wreck! There were probably 40 sharks today. We are getting more familiar with the sharks. Reefs and Nurses. We can identify some of them by their nicknames. One is called Joker. She is a common sight at that dive spot apparently. After 30 minutes of shark lasering at shark arena, we ventured together to the wall. The wall is a 6000 foot drop off. We peered over it into the darkness. Cool! We had specific instructions to not go down the wall. Our buoyancy control allowed us to hover over the edge for a good bit. We are really skilled.

When we came back up, the boat was rocking! When we transitioned from one dive spot to another, some of the students started to get queasy. I can’t blame them. I was really impressed that some students chose to not dive on the second site. I was also impressed by the people who realized that the calm water is below. After a little reshuffling of dive buddies, James Bond Wreck. It is in two of the James Bond movies. Apparently, it is famous! The wreck itself was huge. We did not go inside. We recognize that it is now beginning of a new coral reef. There were fish everywhere! That is why we get our fish identification service at that spot. We had the students count and identify fish for the international database. We saw angelfish, squirrel fish, a barracuda, and thousands of others. To say it was colorful is an understatement.

After that, we came home to the hotel, had a great dinner together, and uploaded our information. We also filled out our dive books. There are a lot of students who are impressed by their entries into their own dive logs. Overall, today was a fantastic day! Tomorrow we will dive in the morning. And then we begin our 24 hour pre-flight zone. We cannot dive in that zone. Therefore, we will have a fun activity tomorrow afternoon.

Lower School 3.21.18

Lower School had another great day today! On Wednesday 3/21 the Lower School students visited eco-cycle and the Thorne Nature Center.  At eco-cycle the students learned about what is able to get recycled and what is not, and they toured the facility.  At Thorne, the students collaborated with one another as they went on a nature scavenger hunt.  There was lots of time for reflecting on what we've experienced and learned so far during Winterim 2018.  The students are using the journals they created at the beginning of the week to record their thoughts and their wonderings.  The fun continues tomorrow!

Cooking & Culture 3.21.18

On Wednesday, Cooking & Culture studied the difference between Mexican and Spanish tortillas. We visited La Tortilleria de las Americas in Longmont to see the process of making Mexican corn and flour tortillas. At Dawson, Mr. Lewis led us in making our own Spanish tortillas. We also had lunch out at La Mariposa in Longmont, where we enjoyed fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, tamal, caldo de cameron, and more.

Washington D.C. 3.21.18 Part 2

A little snow (ok, more than a little) may have shut down a fair bit of Washington D.C., but did it slow down our intrepid group? No!
"The snow was coming down all day and the museums were initially closed, but we found one - the National Museum of American History, was open for business!  We then walked down the Mall to visit the Washington Monument, the WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Memorials.  A busy (and chilly and windy) day but great to be in DC with the unexpected snow!"

Maker Madness 3.21.18

Today, the students really dove in to their individual projects. Each of them is making great strides on fairly complex prototypes. Bennett is working on a working model chair lift. Annika is designing an Arduino-controlled LED chandelier constructed out of wood dowels, custom 3D printed connectors, and hand sewn fabric panels. Mae is working on a large scale laser cut pendulum. Rowan is designing a laser cut acrylic trapezoidal pyramid that will create display capable of displaying images as if they are floating in space like a hologram. These are some amazing projects that the students are excited to share with the Dawson community!

Britain 3.21.18

Hello, everyone. Here’s the story from today. We began at Doune Castle, a 14th century castle that remains pretty much the same today as it was seven hundred years ago. Fun because you can climb around in the spiral staircases and narrow corridors that are worn down by knights and ladies of long ago. The castle features in Monty Python, Game of Thrones, and Outlander.

After that we good a beautiful drive though The Trossachs to Loch Lomond and then on to Stirling Castle, which has been besieged eight times and is where Mary, Queen of Scots was crowned.

South African food tonight and Hadrian’s Wall tomorrow.
A chilly, rainy day didn't dampen the spirits of the Washington D.C. group! They were thrilled to be able to visit and tour The White House, followed by a trip to the Newseum, and interactive museum that traces the evolution of communication and media.

World Religions 3.21.18

Monday our group focused on Buddhism.  After learning a little about the religion at Dawson, we headed off to Boulder to spend the day at the Shambhala Center.  There we learned more about meditation and enlightenment, and practiced various different forms of meditation.  We were lead in our practice by Tracy Suchocki who was a wonderful teacher and answered many of our questions.  On Tuesday we explored Islam and learned about the Qu’ran and its teachings.  We then headed to Masjid Ikhlas where we were greeted by the Imam, ShesAdeen Ben-Masaud, and the sisters of the islamic center.  The Imam sat with us for 2 hours answering our questions and clarifying common misconceptions about Islam. Tomorrow we head to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to see the exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Should be a fun day!

Fly Fishing 3.20.18

Day Five
We headed out on the Arkansas River with Arkangler Guides for some excellent early spring nymph fly fishing.  Our first full day of fishing tested our skills and a hot tub and a tasty Burrito Dinner made for a perfect end to the day.

Day 6
We visited the Mt. Shavano Colorado State Fish Hatchery in the morning and learned about the major effort to stock our streams with trout and defeat Whirling disease.  The afternoon was spent fishing our ranch's own section of the Arkansas River, tying flies, and cooking burgers and hand-cut fries!

Aliens Among Us 3.20.18

The search for Extraterrestrial life took to the road Monday morning as the group departed Dawson at 8:00 am. After traveling the much of the length of I-25 the group ended up at the Colorado Alligator farm to discuss exobiology and how species may survive in extreme and harsh conditions. After everyone returned to the bus without any bite injuries or stolen eggs, we then journeyed onto Sand Dunes National Park in New Mexico where we surveyed this incredible geological formation, considered environments of different planets, and did some filming for the projects. Our journey then took us down to Taos where we stopped at the Rio Grande Gorge for a brief star-finding session but the cold temps quickly drove us to our residences for the evening; a pair of earthships. An earthship is a passive-energy efficient style home that is heated primarily via the sun’s rays and an extremely tight air seal that could resemble some future residences on different planets or worlds.

The following morning we departed Taos for southern New Mexico, stopping in Española to get an excellent Tex-New-Mex meal from
El Parasol.  Although we have had our fair share of time in the minibus this trip, we have spent it wisely, watching many essential extraterrestrial films on a projector screen including: Men-In-Black, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Invaders from Mars.  In the afternoon we arrived in Roswell, New Mexico, one of the most important alien-aware cultures in the United States. We will revisit Roswell tomorrow, but a brief stop there allowed us to finish our drive down to Carlsbad New Mexico in the evening. To this point, many a shooting-star has been witnessed, and many other alien-believers encountered, but without full proof of extraterrestrial life to be had, the journey and the search will continue tomorrow!

New Orleans 3.20.18

We kicked off Day 2 with a windy and wild tour of the bayous. While on the boat we were lucky to see a bald eagle and little blue heron, many turtles and snakes, a small alligator, adorable baby raccoons, and a very hungry mama wild boar and her baby boar! We had a blast and learned a lot about this unique ecosystem

After a delicious lunch of po’boy sandwiches, we toured Congo Square and then took in the Presbytere Museum’s exhibits on Hurricane Katrina and Mardi Gras.

This evening we heard a ton of great jazz, both at La Maison and on the street in the French Quarter. Our group busted a move with the best of them and we rewarded them for a day well spent with coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde tonight.

Tomorrow, we head to a plantation tour and then will learn about voodoo and the macabre side of NOLA.

Mapping the Mountains 3.20.18

The Mapping the Mountains crew had another awesome day at Snow Mountain Ranch! We spent our morning learning about compasses and topo maps. When then traversed the cold tundra (literally!) to test out our skills - we passed! After some warm ramen for lunch, we headed out cross country skiing. With fresh powder on the trails, we spent time taking observations and sketching the route as we prepare for our final project. We ended the night with a bunch of group games - and some seriously intense rounds of sardines!

5th Grade at Keystone 3.20.18

At Keystone Science Center

6th Grade Adventure Leadership 3.20.18

We have made it through another full day of learning, laughing, and adventuring! The morning consisted of classes on energy usage, animal survival skills, and outdoor skills. In energy usage, kids discussed the importance of our carbon footprint, and had a design challenge to see who could produce the most effective windmill with wooden dowels and construction paper. The animal survival skills class was an excellent addition to the ecosystems unit the class did in science during the first trimester, as we discussed food webs, food chains, and animal adaptations. The outdoor skills class taught the kids the importance of "leave no trace" and taught us how to be good citizens when we are in the natural world. The most exciting part of the day was the high ropes challenge course! All students tried at least one challenge, physical, mental, or social. We were impressed with the bravery and the willingness to try something that was new or outside of their comfort zone. By dinnertime, we began to see a lot of yawning faces! We ended the day with some night activities, where kids learned how to use their night vision to investigate the world around them. We are expecting (hoping) that tonight we have some sound sleepers!

Food, Glorious Food MS 3.20.18

During our first day of Winterim we went to the Stir It Up cooking school. We got to experience the bold taste of European foods. We got to prepare a full course meal that consisted of turkey meatball star soup, Yorkshire pudding that is served fresh with the soup, and German plum cake. We learned about smart cooking techniques and alternative cooking oils. After we came back from Stir It Up we explored healthy and delicious food choices. We learned a lot about protein and calcium intakes. Did you know some of the most prestigious athletes are herbivores, such as Tom Brady, a famous NFL quarter back; Torre Washington, a body builder; and Kendrick Farris an Olympic weightlifter? You may think that meat is the best protein source, but plants actually have tons of protein and calcium! We also learned that in a few years “Clean Meat” may become widely available. Cells from animals are being used to generate meat directly! All in all, our first day as master chefs was an exhilarating and unique experience.     
  - Eva Amin, 7th Grade

Maker Madness 3.20.18

Today, the Maker Madness group began the day working on their individual projects designing prototypes for the future Innovation Center.  Mid-morning, we headed up to Loveland, to tour the Lulzbot factory where they manufacture their popular line of Taz 3D printers. The students got to see the how Lulzbot uses their 3D printers to produce parts for their printers. They have a cluster of around 150 printers working 24/7 to keep up with demand. One of the students favorite parts of the tour was seeing the materials room with many sample prints made with a variety of types of filament. They really liked seeing the giant Roctopus that serves as Lulzbot’s official mascot. In the afternoon, the students returned to Dawson to continue work on their prototypes.

Lower School 3.20.18

Lower School students visited the Jewish Community Center's Milk and Honey Farm and Sawhill Ponds Wildlife Preserve today.  At the JCC, students learned a bit about the working farm there including interacting with the goats and making their own, personal lip balm from beeswax.  At Sawhill Ponds, students investigated their surroundings and learned a bit about the history of the area.  It was a bit chilly out and about today, but it sure was fun!

Cooking & Culture 3.20.18

On Tuesday the Cooking & Culture Winterim was back at Stir It Up cooking school learning all about Japanese cuisine. We made and enjoyed shiitake mushroom miso soup, vegetable sushi, veggie garnishes, and green tea ice cream. 

Scuba in Bahamas /MS 3.20.18

Today was another fantastic, unbelievable, bucket list day! This morning we dove with the sharks. We dove at a place called shark arena which is located south of the island. Our boat ride took about 30 minutes to get us there. There were some small swells on top of the water. Fun! When we enter the water, there was a look of hesitation on some of our students faces. But… That changed in about 30 seconds once they were in the water. It became excitement!

Our students descended to about 40 feet deep. We kneeled on the sandy bottom of the ocean. Everyone was together in a group. And Caribbean Reeves sharks approached slowly. These gentle creatures were curious about us. They swim around us for about 45 minutes. There were males and females. We even saw a very, very pregnant female. Our students had their lasers and video cameras ready. We filmed the 20 or so sharks from six positions. The data we collected is invaluable in assisting knowledge about reef health and oceanic trends.

As we got back on the boat, there was excitement and electricity! Everyone wanted to go down again! More! More! More! But, to get to Clearer water is, we transitioned to aNother diving spot. This time we had a fantastic dive where we only saw two sharks. Funny… The students felt that was anti-climactic from the shark perspective. Their diving skills are really sharp. They are no longer focusing on there personal habits. Now they are investigating the world around them. Excellent!

We came back to the dock for lunch. At lunch the students were presented with an opportunity to ask our shark specialist, Mickey, any and every question about sharks. They did not disappoint. For about one hour they peppered her with questions. They were fascinating. She, as always, answered them perfectly. She is incredible!

We then came back to the hotel for the afternoon. We got a quick reef dive from the beach at our hotel. As always, that was glorious. The students are now extremely interested in collecting trash to help clean up our beach.

After that we analyzed our footage. Because of their capabilities in science class, they already knew the program that Mickey wanted to use. They were lightning quick in their analysis of their videos. She was amazed. She has never had any students do the things they were doing today. Normally, it takes years to process the data. It took us two hours. She was floored by their efficiency.

Dinner… Pizza… Happy! Very happy. Then a quick pool party. I think we woke up other hotel guests! Fun!

Britain 3.20.18

Huge two day’s worth of reporting! Yesterday began with the Tower of London. Sarah was very excited to see Devereaux Tower. The wind almost blew us away, but we loved seeing that piece of history. From there, we raced to St. Paul’s Cathedral and all the way up the steps to the very top of the dome, where the sun came out briefly for us. Then we caught our breath and went on to Westminster Abbey, resting place of Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, and many other icons of British culture.

We were able to watch a fascinating debate on tariffs and customs as they pertain to Brexit in the House of Commons. One member actually told another to shut up and sit down. We could have stayed there much longer. From there to a Turkish dinner and then Mama Mia, where there was singing and dancing in the aisles.

Today, we overcame the biggest challenge of the trip so far by getting ourselves and all our luggage on the tube during rush hour and getting to Kong’s Cross, where we boarded the train for York. The Jorvik Viking Center at York was a disappointment, but everyone loved the city, particularly the Shambles, which was the model for Diagon Alley, and York Minster was spectacular. Did you know that Emperor Constantine of Christian fame was probably made emperor in York?

We are exhausted and happy in Edinburgh now. More soon.

China Immersion 3.20.18

Arrived in Chongqing: Full day! Culture class, welcome ceremony, Beijing opera mask painting, lunch on campus, then a few free hours to look through a historic district full of shops. 

Costa Rica 3.20.18

Day 3
Written by Lorna & Bryce
Waterfall/host family
Today we did many things. First we woke up in our Junglalows to the sound of monkeys. We then went to to breakfast in the main building. For breakfast we had pancakes, fresh fruit, coffee, and juice. After breakfast we drove for 40 minutes to get to the start of our hike. It was very hot and we were thirsty. We began our hike on a excited note. Halfway through our hike we saw a spider the size of our hands! We saw Walking trees, vines, and luscious jungle! After a long hot and sweaty hike we took a turn to see a beautiful waterfall. Immediately we all went up awe. We then threw our bags down and jumped into the water. The water was cold, but refreshing after a long hot hike. When we were in the water we saw fish and climbed rocks to jump off and land in the water. After a couple hours of fun we had a good lunch. After lunch, we packed up and hiked to the the waterfall above us. Once we got there we had 20 minute solo where we were mindful about the nature around us. We hiked back down to find our hidden water. Afterwards we got back on the bus and drove to a town called San Salvador. Here we got ice cream and met with our families. We were shown our rooms and got ready for the fiesta at the school. During the fiesta we met the villages kids and played games with them. We danced, broke piñatas, and bonded with our families. Which led us up to a great night with our host families!
Day 4: 
Today was the first full day in the host village and doing our service project. The work at the school included: practicing our Spanish with the students at the school and working with cement to make a walkway for the school. Both jobs were challenging in their own ways. The students spoke a different type of Spanish from our classroom Spanish and did not understand any of our “Spanglish” so we had to adapt and learn how to speak like the natives. The physical labor was strenuous and demanding. It was an extremely humid and hot day which made the work all the more difficult. By the end of the day, we were all sweaty and tired, but it was worth it because we got to see our hard work come to life in a sturdy walkway for the students.
Today we visited a furntiture company. The owners of the business gave us a tour. The tour showed us the process of furniture making. Starting with harvesting the trees to finished products such as kitchen cabinets and chairs that were ready to sell or ship. The family that owned the business had animals and grew crops. They gave us some sugar cane to try. It was delectable, especially after a hard days work at school.
     -Helen and Silas 

Glassblowing 3.20.18

Students like senior Jack Shams are getting a hands-on experience of this unique art!

Washington D.C. 3.20.18

Action-packed Day 1 started with a visit to the Capitol, followed by the Holocaust Museum, and ended with a tour of iconic monuments by night.

New York 3.20.18

A great first day in nyc. All parts of our travels were seamless. From the flight to the bus to the train, all went well. We spent a little time getting lunch and exploring Times Square, then we went to the Top of the Rock where we took in all the views. We stopped by the ice rink and then went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We just got back from a late dinner, and everyone is of to sleep. A great first day, and I think everyone will sleep well tonight.

Mapping the Mountains 3.19.18

Our group arrived at Snow Mountain Ranch and jumped right into cross country skiing! Students described it as tough, exhilarating, fun, and hilarious. Teachers described it as entertaining! We are heading back out for some skiing tomorrow after learning about how to use topo maps and compasses.

Cooking & Culture 3.19.18

On Monday, the Cooking & Culture Winterim experimented with French desserts. We prepared mousse au chocolat and crêpes - with plenty of toppings! We also enjoyed lunch out at Brasserie Ten Ten, where we tried different traditional French dishes such as bouillabaisse, moules à la marinière, steak-frites, haricots verts, and more.

Bahamas / Middle School 3.19.18

We did our first two dives this morning. The weather was fantastic. No waves. Blue sky. Blue water! Sunscreen on!

Our first dive was at a place called BBC. There was a wrecked boat at about 30 feet. It was resting in some sand. This was a perfect place to begin our day of experience in the Bahamas because it allowed us to have a focused point when we go.The first thing that happened was a beautiful ray swim underneath us on the sandy bottom. That electrified everyone! Fantastic! Our dive was great. Our students did a fantastic job. They really know their stuff. There was not any equalization issues. We got out of the water after about an hour. Actually, the students wanted to go longer but our boat captain wanted to go to a better place.

But… It was our second dive that really knocked the socks off everyone. We did a giant stride entry into the water at a location known as Hollywood bowl. We dropped into a school of yellow snapper. Maybe there was 2000 of them. All directions. Completely beautiful. Additionally, there were Bermuda chub fish, Sergeant Major fish, and a whole host of other beautiful read fish. Because our students had already perfected their diving technique, they felt right at home at about 20 feet. That is when we saw our first Caribbean reef shark. It swim unmenacingly with us for about 25 seconds. Beautiful! It was about 3 1/2 feet long. Absolutely gorgeous. The students, to a person, really enjoyed that experience. They seemed to want other sharks to look at. It was the perfect way to introduce our activities. We saw two spotted eagle rays. One of them breached the water! Unbelievable! They are majestic.

This afternoon, we returned to the hotel for a little bit of rest before snorkeling to a wreath off our beach. There we saw squid, angel fish, parrot fish, an eel, a scorpion fish, and a bunch of wrasse. I think we stayed in the water for about 2 1/2 hours there. Blown away! The colors! The abundance! It was like swimming in an aquarium.

After dinner, we really got down to business. We entered information into our dive logs. Also we finished our wreck diving certification class. The students really wanted to talk about deep diving with Mark. He was happy to tell stories about his experiences and stories of world records. He is a fountain of knowledge! Dr. Mickey took over at that point . She gave a wonderful introduction to the lasers and devices that we will use underwater tomorrow. The students are fully energized to do this! They are chomping at the bit to get back in the water.

New Orleans 3.19.18

A great first day in New Orleans starting with the step into 80 degree humid weather. We started with a wander through the French Quarter, a stop at Jackson Square and a much needed and wonderful meal at Emeril’s NOLA cafe. Then the real kickoff at the oldest and longest running music venue in the country- Preservation Hall! Amazing group in a room that is exuding music and history from it’s walls. In at a decent hour, ready to recharge for day two!

Ancient Peoples 3.19.18

This morning we had a fantastic experience visiting Aztec Ruins National Monument. We learned a lot about the Ancestral Puebloans and their incredible buildings. We also help out with clearing an area of native plants and  adding leaf compost to the heritage garden at the park. We wrapped up our trip by becoming “not-so-junior-junior rangers”. After lunch we drove down to Chaco Canyon and visited several amazing kiva pueblos and looked at petroglyphs. We finished the long day with dinner at a local restaurant in Farmington. This evening we are preparing for our journey northward tomorrow. 
We will be camping for the next couple of nights, and I will not be able to send an email. We will be back with a quick note on Thursday when we are back in wifi land.

Architecture 3.19.18

On Friday, we spent the day exploring 3 sites in Denver. We had a nice lunch at Cap City Grill and returned with sketches from each location. Today, we saw an example precedent study and learned to use Adobe Illustrator to create on of our chosen building. We then broke into two groups to plan a design of two on-campus spaces. Tomorrow will be a studio day, learning SketchUp to create a 3D form of our spaces, completing and sharing our precedent documents and design ideas.

Marine Biology 3.19.18

We started out the morning bright and early with a swim test and a practice snorkel, where we saw our first lionfish, an invasive species we have been learning about. After breakfast, our first activity was touring the campus and learning about how the institute maintains a sustainable relationship with the environment and the resources used. We found it especially fascinating how they use aquaponics to produce a large amount of food used in the salad bar daily, all fertilized by fish. Following lunch was a lesson on coral reef ecology, and a hands-on experience snorkeling in two of the local coral reefs. We got to visit one of CEI’s nurseries, seeing firsthand how reefs regrow and how they are able to support entire ecosystems. We returned for some dinner and down-time, giving us time to recoup before an evening full of learning about the invasive lionfish in more depth. We had a brief presentation about the effects lionfish have on reefs, connecting our new knowledge from the day, and closing out the day with a dissection. 
      It’s been a great day! Looking forward to more water time tomorrow!
-Emily Arnow, Winter Mesko-Eby, Molly Percival 

Lower School 3.19.18

The first day of Lower School Winterim found us rotating through a number of activities to get us ready for three days of field trips.  Our theme is Think Globally, Act Locally.  We learned a lot about what it takes to feed Dawson every day while we toured the kitchen and helped Miss Ashley with some food prep.  Folks from Boulder County Parks and Open Space led us through a series of activities using a large map of Boulder County.  We collaborated on a found art sculpture inspired by Louise Nevelson, known for her assemblages.  We took some time to reflect while walking the labyrinth and spent some time writing in our Winterim Reflection Journals. 

Maker Madness 3.19.18

Maker Madness 2018 is off to a great start. The group started off the morning visualizing the architectural model for the future Innovation Center using Dawson’s HTC Vive VR computer. Using a tool called Prospect VR, the students were able to virtually place themselves in the lobby of the building and walk around. This gave them a great perspective for the projects they were getting ready to build.

The group then headed to CU Boulder’s ATLAS-Roser building to meet with on of their instructors, Danny Rankin, about his work in their BTU (Blow Things Up) Lab. Danny showed the students a variety of installation project in the lab and talked with them about their plans for projects for our future Innovation Center. He gave them lots of advice like how to make their projects stand the test of time (hint: documentation of the project from start to finish). The students enjoyed seeing  the projects in the lobby of ATLAS and got to see what kinds of projects undergraduate and graduate students were working on, like this LED sculpture.
After lunch and shopping for materials at McGuckins, the group finished their adventures at SparkFun Electronics in Niwot. The students enjoyed exploring various projects and installations in the lobby. Then we headed back to Dawson to being prototyping our projects for the future Innovation Center.

Texas Colleges 3.19.18

We are here and had a great first day. The weather in Dallas is beautiful; we made it from the airport to SMU with just enough time for lunch at In-n-Out Burger. Our tour of SMU was excellent, and we were able to meet up with a Dawson alum from 2017, Ellie Beeck. We will also tweet photos from our @DawsonSchoolCC twitter account.

Fly Fishing 3.19.18

Day Three
It was time to put our skills to the test for a day of Fly Fishing @ Sylvan Dale Resort with Rocky Mountain Anglers.  Despite up to 60mph winds, we managed to catch over thirty rainbow trout.
Day Four
We hit the road for Salida, Colorado and arrived at our home for the next three days: Stoney Springs Ranch.

Civil Rights 3.19.18

The Civil Rights Winterim has had a great start to its trip in Alabama.  We began Monday with a visit to the Civil Rights Memorial at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery and then continued on to the Rosa Parks Museum, Alabama state museum, and Alabama state capitol.  We've also found time for some delicious Southern food!  We're looking forward to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in the morning, and then we head to Selma Tuesday afternoon.

Glassblowing 3.19.18

From participant Mark Saito:  On Thursday
 we watched Angelo work. He was commissioned to make large plates for Netflix. The first half of the day we learned about art history and pareregons from Dee. A pareregon is essentially a border around a piece of art or something similar that emphasizes the main piece. After that, we watched Dee and Angelo work to make the colors for the plates.

After lunch they began creating the actual plate. They melted a large piece of glass to the colored glass to begin the plate. It is amazing how quick they must work to prevent the glass from solidifying and possibly cracking. The grand finale was when Angelo and Dee span the molten glass, similar to a pizza, in order to make the plate shape. It is important to note they only have one chance, and if they mess up they have to restart from the very beginning. Thankfully, they succeeded and finished without a hitch

Bright Lights, Big City 3.19.18

We've had an action-packed first three days on the Bright Lights, Big City winterim.  With the goal of exposing students to a wide variety of visual and performing arts in Denver and Boulder, we've visited numerous artists and art venues.  We've practiced a hip-hop routine at Streetside Studios in Boulder, tried out our playwriting skills at the Curious Theater, learned improv techniques at the Bovine Metropolis Theater, toured two museums with curators and docents (Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and Denver Art Museum), met with a clothing designer, browsed art galleries in Denver's Santa Fe district, and taken in a play at a local Denver theater.   Phew!  All this in three days!  During our second week, we'll return to several of these venues to hone our skills in anticipation of a final performance for parents and others at Dawson on Friday.  We're having a blast! 

Fly Fishing 3.18.18

Day 1
We headed out to St. Vrain Creek and met with Kristin Cannon, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer.  We learned about fisheries management and the Flood of 2013 and conducted a stream survey of biological and physical measurements. After seeing the insects that lived in the stream, it was time to try our hand ay fly tying at Rocky Mountain Anglers.

Day Two
In the morning it was a fly fishing intro at Rocky Mountain Anglers followed by a stop at Liley Fisheries in Boulder see their trout operation and pick up fish for our afternoon dissection.  We learned first hand the biological adaptations of these incredible fish.

Costa Rica 3.18.18

Day 1:
We arrived at the airport at 6:50am and our plane arrived in Houston at 1:30. During our four hour layover everyone was having a blast! Some of us played football and some went off in little groups to explore. We also did a group activity to familiarize ourselves with how it might be to be in Costa Rica. So then we boarded our flight at about five or maybe 6 o’clock. During our three hour flight we did a lot in our group. We played a ton of card games, we chatted a lot, and finally some of us slept on the flight. When we arrived we all stepped off the plane in a sigh of relief with an “Ahhhhh” once we all felt the humidity in the air brush past our faces. Once we all met up at the gate, we went through customs and it was very quick and immigration was long but quick when it thinned out. As soon as we got off of the airport we got onto the bus and went through the city and to our hotel. As soon as we got to the hotel dropped our stuff in our rooms, ate, and went to bed. 
    - written by Sam & Sean
Blog day 2:
We woke up in San Jose. Had a delicious breakfast of fruit and good juice, some beans and eggs. We took a 5 hour bus ride to our jungalows stopping on the way for snacks. We stopped for a hike at a really cool trail to stretch our legs. Once at the jungalows we took a tour of a nearby coffee farm. There we made empanadas and drank coffee. We played a game where Bejar got us all soaked from a wet towel. After that we had a yummy dinner of pasta. After dinner we made a circle and shared facts about us. We then had the option to go to a bonfire or just get ready for bed. That was our second day.
  - written by Margaret and Mia

Bahamas / Middle School 3.18.18

Good evening! We made it! We made it! We made it!

This place is beautiful. The color of the water is extraordinary. We snorkeled and swim for about three hours this afternoon. Our hotel is located 20 feet from a beautiful white sand beach. Our flights were smooth this morning. We flew into Miami without incident. There was a boring layover in Miami. Our puddle jumper over to Nassau was beautiful in the morning sunshine. The customs checkpoint was smooth.

We had a great lunch when we arrived. We ate right here at the hotel. Then we passed out our diving equipment. Then we walked in flip-flops to the beach. The water was so, so, so, comfortable! We applied sunscreen liberally. Dinner tonight was a fantastic spaghetti and meatballs supper. After that, Dr. Mickey started to talk about our science for the week. The students were bubbling with energy!

But… After a long day of travel, we just got them off to bed. They were ready. Tomorrow is a big day. We will be doing our first dive of the week tomorrow around 10 AM. We are so excited!

Washington D.C. 3.18.18

D.C. crew has arrived safe and sound, now full of Italian food and hitting the hay to gear up for a full day tomorrow!

Aliens Among Us 3.18.18

Doug Wilson, the Colorado lead investigator for an international UFO sightings investigation network (MUFON), came to talk to us about both his work and his own personal experiences.  He leads a team of investigators to verify the authenticity of Colorado sightings (about 70 per month) and explain the sightings if they can. His investigation work in this area sounds tedious and exacting. He was personally drawn to this work because of a major sighting that he witnessed (with others) when he was only a teenager.  He found our students to be very bright and thought they asked excellent questions. In the afternoon, we started work on our films.  Some of us tested out the fancy telescope.  

Britain 3.18.18

Had a great day today.  Still snowing, windy, and freezing, but the kids kept calm and carried on.  Today, we started with the Churchill War Rooms, where Winston Churchill and his war cabinet lived and worked for several years during WWII.  That was a highlight of the day for many of the students.  From there, we walked up the Mall to Buckingham Palace.  Daffodils against the snow were lovely.  Then we caught up with the London St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Trafalgar Square, a very exciting affair, especially for Shelby, who appreciated the Irish dancing.  On to the Imperial War Museum across the Thames.  That museum houses remarkable exhibits on WWI, WWII, and the Holocaust.  Several of of us cried there.  We finished up with crepes and dinner with Ollie Housen, who came out to join us. Overall, put eight miles on our feet and feel great.
Favorite quote of the day, from Winston, of course.  Someone says to him, “I’d rather vote for the devil than for you sir.”  And Winston replies, “I understand, sir, but if your friend happens not to run, I hope I can count on your vote."

China Immersion 3.18.18

Today we took the subway to two different stops. First we went to a traditional arts and antiques district and then we visited the trendy 798 arts district with its modern galleries and design studios. Along the way we had lunch at a popular food court so the kids could sample some things they hadn’t tried yet. Many of their dreams were fulfilled when the found a stall selling the cotton candy flowers they found online before the trip!

Ancient Peoples 3.18.18

On the road to New Mexico!

Evening update: We have had a long drive through prairie, desert and mountain snowstorm (Wolf Creek Pass). Fueled by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, lots of fruit and snacks, the students climbed up the Great Sand Dunes and slid down. The wind was fierce, but that made the sand dunes a more exciting excursion. The bus ride was uneventful and fun. We are in a lovely new hotel in Aztec, NM, looking forward to tomorrow’s continued adventures.

Britain 3.17.18

We arrived in a snowy and windy London this morning.  After dropping our things at the hotel, we spent a couple of hours at the British Museum.  Highlights there were the Rosetta stone and Viking artifacts, among many other treats.  Then delicious Indian food tonight (it wasn’t really this red in there).  The kids are exhausted and all asked to bed before 8:30.  Everyone is well.

China Immersion 3.17.18

China Day 6:
Today was a cold day with snow and low temperatures, but the kids plowed through. We hit the Forbidden City, made dumplings, had a bicycle rickshaw tour of a Hutong, saw the drum tower, and ended the day with an acrobat show. We are all spent!

Start It Up 3.16.18

The Start It Up Winterim has been working hard on getting their businesses underway and working on a business plan for their shark tank next Friday. Today we visited two different local businesses in Longmont, Ice Box Knitting and Georgia Boys BBQ where we got tours of the locations and got to meet with the owners. The students have amazing ideas and are really working hard!

Cooking & Culture 3.16.18

On Friday
, Cooking & Culture explored Middle Eastern cuisine. We ate lunch at Ali Baba Grill in Boulder - students sampled traditional dishes such as hummus, baba ghanouj, falafel, lebkeh, shawarma, kabobs, and more! At Dawson, Mr. Lewis shared his knowledge and experience of making challah. We mixed, kneaded, braided, and baked. The result was delicious! 

Comparative World Religions 3.16.18

Our winterim has gotten off to a great start.  After spending the first day tackling some important questions such as "What is religion?" and what do people mean when they ask "Do you believe in God?”, we started immersing ourselves into a couple of specific religions.  Thursday saw us explore Judaism and meet with Rabbi Green from Har HaShem.  On Friday we visited Father Bob at Immaculate Conception as we learned about Christianity and Catholicism, ending the day by exploring the question of, "What makes something a religion versus a cult?”  Next week we will be looking into Buddhism and Islam, and we will be taking a visit to Denver to see the Dead Sea Scrolls before beginning work on our Final Project.  It should continue to be a very interesting and fun learning experience.

Landscape Photography 3.16.18

The History of National Parks and Landscape Photography Winterim spent the day at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Federal Wildlife Preserve capturing images of prairie landscapes and wildlife. Students photographed a bison herd by the roadside.

Ancient Peoples 3.16.18

The Ancient Peoples Winterim was out and about this week! Here, they were visiting the CU Boulder museum where, after meeting the triceratops, they had a great presentation about ancestral Puebloans and Clovis people in the region - shown here viewing Clovis artifacts found in the Boulder region.

China Immersion 3.16.18

China Day 3
We drove out to the Great Wall this morning and got to walk along it for awhile, followed by a toboggan ride down the mountain to get back to the bus. This afternoon we visited the Summer Palace back here in Beijing. We are having a relaxing night at the hotel tonight to try to get our energy back after a long day!  

China Day 4
We went out to one of the historical villages outside of Beijing today. It has been the setting for quite a few movies due to its picturesque settings. We took a hike, had a farm style lunch, and lots of time on the bus.

Aliens Among Us 3.16.18

Day 2 - In the morning, the Aliens Among Us Winterim group welcomed Jenna Lincoln, author of The Protector Project and The People’s Champion, to campus for a session on recognizing tropes, character development, and world-building in science fiction writing. When not working on the third novel in her trilogy (to be released this June), Mrs. Lincoln works with students and adults in the greater Denver area to help them achieve their own novel and short-story writing goals.  Mrs. Lincoln worked all morning with the group to help students develop, edit, and revise their scripts for their upcoming short-film projects. We are very lucky and grateful to have had Mrs Lincoln visit and work with us this morning and broaden our extraterrestrial science-fiction writing skill set.

In the afternoon we had another distinguished guest, Dr. Amanda Hendrix, come discuss her work with the Cassini Investigatory Spacecraft. Dr. Hendrix is a senior scientist with the Planetary Science Institute and has participated in numerous mission studies specifically of the planet Saturn and its moons. The Cassini Spacecraft has helped to convince many in the scientific community that Saturn’s moon Titan may be the best location in our solar system for future human settlers due to its thick atmosphere, resources, some Earth-like surroundings and even seasons. Many thanks to Dr. Hendrix for her engaging and fascinating session!

Spain Immersion 3.16.18

Snapshots from the Spain Immersion crew - having a great time with new host friends in their host country! Student updates:

Bella DeFrancia:
My time so far in Spain has been such an amazing experience and has far exceeded my expectations. I can already tell that my Spanish has improved after only a week from spending time with my host family. Everything here is just great. The food is delicious, I could not have asked for a better host family, and Sevilla is such a great city. Today we walked around the city center after school, and the architecture is so cool. I also have gotten to know many of my host sister Paula’s friends, and everyone has welcomed me and the other American students with open arms.

Ryan Oliver:
Spain has been an incredible experience so far. When we first arrived in Madrid I was shocked by the size of the city and all the obvious culture differences. Spain offers many amazing things like the great food (jamón) and the Spanish language. Speaking Spanish has been difficult but after many conversations with my host family in Spanish, I can already see that I am improving. I am surprised and pleased with how nice and welcoming everyone has been to me and my friends. With a host family that could not be better I know that I will continue to have a great trip full of growth and learning. 

Alexandra Dunbar:
Life here in Spain is very different than life in America. First off, they have accents different then the accent we learn Spanish in. They will often drop letters in words and turn the “c’s” into “th’s.” They are also on a very different schedule here. They eat lunch around 2:30 and do not eat dinner until 10:30ish. The main food group here is bread and I don’t think they know what vegan is. They are also very family oriented and enjoy to do everything together as a family. The people here also get really into soccer. At the soccer game that we went to, they filled the whole stadium easily and everyone knew the chants and cheers, even kids who were no older than seven. After being here for only a week I feel like my Spanish has improved a lot. I am able to understand what my host parents and teachers say. I have also gained Spanish conversational skills and I am now able to carry out a normal conversation in Spanish. I have also learned lots of new fundamental vocab words in Spanish after working with five years old in the lower school classrooms. Overall, Spain is a beautiful country and I am looking forward to the next three weeks in Seville!

Aliza Fassett:
My first week is Spain has been really great. Madrid was super fun- I loved visiting all the historical sights and the modern ones: Madrid is such a beautiful city! When I arrived in Sevilla, my host family welcomed me with open arms, kindness, and lots of food. The Andalusian culture is really interesting- every one here talks over each other (and a lot), so I felt very at home. The only difficult aspect I’ve found so far was understanding the heavy accent that some people have-they drop letters all together! All in all, the language barrier hasn’t been much of a problem, and I really feel like I’m falling into a good rhythm with my Spanish and learning a lot. It’s been a little difficult adjusting to the long school days, but school has been fine and serves as a great place for me to meet new people and soak up more Spanish. I’m really excited to see what lies ahead, and am feeling very lucky with the hospitality of my host family and opportunity to spend time here in Sevilla.

My time in Spain so far has been wonderful. I am so happy to be learning about another culture! I think that the best way to learn is through experience, and that’s exactly what this trip has been letting me do! Last time that I was in Spain I did not understand enough Spanish to truly hear or differentiate the different accents. Now, I am starting to learn about the differences between Spanish from Spain versus other countries, and even the differences in accents within the various surrounding towns and villages. The accent from Sevilla sounds different than the accent from Madrid (the Sevillian accent is more difficult for me to understand because of the way that they chop out letters and emphasize the “th”). The Cadiz accent is a very emphasized version of the accent from Sevilla in terms of the “th” sound, and they will sometimes use the use of the “th” sound incorrectly because of the way that they emphasize it. I find this very interesting because I love learning about Spanish and I am currently very into Narcos so I find it cool to compare the Colombian Spainish to that of the different accents of Spain.  Amando la vida aquí en Sevilla:) 

Alexandra Altamirano:
My time in here is amazing. I love it!  The days are a little rainy, I was really expected for sunny days and nice weather. My host family is amazing. They are really nice and caring. I am starting to miss Colorado and my family, but I’ll be home soon. 

Rio Sueyoshi:
My first reaction to Spain is that it’s just very different from the United States in a lot of ways. When I first came, I don’t remember me actually feeling like it was that different. I wasn’t expecting the daily schedule to be so different from what we’re used to. I was obviously surprised when I got pickpocketed  because it never actually hit me that things like that actually happen in the real world. I’ve succeeded in meeting a few of my goals that I announced at the school like making new friends. I’ve also failed a lot at speaking and listening which is actually a very good thing.

College Visits 3.15.18

Dawson's College Visit group researched and heard from speakers on Wednesday before heading out to visit area institutions. Thursday the group enjoyed bluebird weather for tours of University of Colorado at Boulder and Naropa University; on Friday, they head to Fort Collins to tour Colorado State University. For more updates, visit DawsonCollegeOffice Twitter feed, @DawsonSchoolCC.

New Orleans 3.15.18

NOLA winterim is off to a great start in the first two days of our prep time. Yesterday we had great discussions around some video segments on music, history of the city and the people, commerce, race and a brainstorm of many topics to touch on this and next week. I was so impressed with the thoughtfulness of these students and their discussions. We also saw a thought provoking, incredible video called Faubourg Treme that talks about the Treme district of New Orleans back in the 1800s through today. This included the part of history rarely discussed - the 10 year period towards the end of the 1800’s when Treme people led the first African American uprising in the USA which led to a 10 year period of full integration and equal rights for all and how it was scuttled at the time.
Today was a wonderful field trip to the Blair Caldwell library in Five Points. Highlights of today:
* Librarian Terry Nelson showed us through many artifacts from the  first African American jazz musicians and promoters in Denver in early 1900’s. She shared many stories of that time in Denver and how jazz musicians were influential in changes.
* Incredible permanent exhibit on the third floor of the history of African American influence in Denver
* Great photos from the promo folder of Leroy Jones who promoted artists like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Billy Holiday and more.
* A short walking tour up Welton street looking at historic buildings from that period.
* Getting our taste buds going with lunch at Bayou Bob’s restaurant downtown!
* Most of a video on Katrina including the visuals on the storm, how the Levees failed and more
Tomorrow - a rare opportunity to get a private New Orleans music history class from Professor Brad Goode at CU Boulder.
More updates around the corner!

Bahamas Marine Science 3.15.18

The Dawson Marine Science Winterim started the day with a exciting talk by Dawson alumni Caroline Hobbs '12, who taught the group about coral biology and discussed her current coral research. Her passion for coral brought the subject alive as we learned about coral formation, reproduction and epigenetics. We spent the afternoon observing, sketching and identifying marine life at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver. We were all mesmerized by the marine life and the opportunity to view and observe so closely.
Here are a few photos from our visit!

Glassblowing 3.15.18

From participant Jack Shams: Our first day in Ambrosia's Glass Shop was a big learning day. We met Angelo Ambrosia who is the owner of the studio and also met his long time assistant, Dee. Angelo has been glass blowing for 14 years which is a relatively short time in such a hard form of art, but his incredible pieces make it seem as if he has been working with glass his entire life. His assistant, Dee, has been helping Angelo with his projects as well as apprenticing him in order to perfect his personal craft. The two showed us their studio which is almost entirely homemade. The kids, ovens, and heat box that holds the glass were all made by Angelo. He said, “I had to make them because nobody knows how to fix them so building them yourself is the best way to maintain them”. It was fun and very informative to spend the first day of Winterim in the shop. The entire group and I are excited to get our hands dirty and start blowing glass along side Angelo and Dee.


Today the Cooking & Culture Winterim went to Stir It Up cooking school in Boulder to learn to make Thai cuisine: spring rolls with peanut sauce, coconut curry, and coconut sorbet. Students measured ingredients, chopped and sliced vegetables, prepped sauces, and assembled spring rolls - and did some tasting, of course!


On day 1, we distributed drawing and construction tools to begin. Lisa Kistner led us through a brief survey of architecure and design, from square one to the modern day. After lunch, we spent time sketching a cube and a chair (outside), and then we reviewed some famous structures. Students viewed a video about Daniel Liebskind's Holocaust Museum in Berlin, and then finished the day by researching a famous structure that they intend to study further.
On day 2, we surveyed more building styles and reviewed examples of orthographic vs persepctive drawing, including floorplans, elevations and sections. We then did a a sample orthographic sketch based on our initials. After lunch, we sketched a number of sites across campus and then brought our favorite buildings to a discussion on architectural analysis.

We head to Denver tomorrow to explore the Denver Federal Center, Denver Art Museum and Clifford Still Museum.

Aliens Among Us 3.15.18

Fiske Planetarium

“Aliens Among Us” has begun their search for extraterrestrial life. Mr. Nickerson kicked the day of with discussion of conditions that could lead to the existence of life outside of all the carbon based life-forms on Earth. The group then traveled to CU-Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium for a screening of two short films. The first,  Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity,seeks to visualize and image “what Einstein's equations predict about what really happens inside black holes”. The second, We are Stars, looks to “answer some of the biggest questions of all time.. What are we made of? Where did it all come from?”. The day ended with a brief writing session as students began to imagine their own short-film to create while traveling through Colorado and New Mexico.

China Immersion 3.15.18

Big day Wednesday, with a trip to the National Museum in the morning, which is right next to Tiananmen Square (though that is closed right now). The afternoon took us to the Temple of Heaven. This was all topped off by a dinner of Peking Duck and a Kung Fu show. Everyone is pretty beat!

China Immersion 3.13.18

Our China immersion group has arrived!

Day 1:
We had a full day exploring our neighborhood here in Beijing, including a trip to the Lama Temple and a walk through a park to see the historical sights inside. It was a mellow evening in the hotel for everyone to recover from the jet lag a little before we pick up speed tomorrow.
Day 2 started at the Beijing Zoo to see the pandas and some of their friends. Then we were off for a huge lunch, a walk through Beihai Park, and a trip to one of the major shopping districts and the attached snack street. 

Spain Immersion 3.9.18

Immersion Days 2 & 3 in Madrid!


Reflections from our immersion students who've recently arrived in Spain:

Estasia McGlothlin:
One of my main goals for this trip is to simply enjoy myself and take in the beauty/culture of Spain. I have a love for traveling and I want to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity. I want to improve my Spanish and really immerse myself into the Spanish culture. I do not have too many worries or fears for this trip, I am so unbelievably excited to get to see my friends that go to EIS since I haven’t seen them in person for about 2 years! I am so thankful to have this opportunity. I want to appreciate every little moment of this trip, because I know how fast time will fly!
Ryan Oliver:
My goals for my time in Spain are to speak more spanish than I am comfortable with. I am hoping that this will make my experience easier in the long run and I my Spanish will get much better. I also want to meet as many people as possible so that my trip feels less like a trip and more like a 2nd home. Overall I don't have any huge fears; However I am slightly afraid to speak a lot of Spanish. This will most likely be my biggest struggle and it will take a lot of work. But I know it will benefit me in the end. In general I am happy to be here and am ready to meet my family. 

Aliza Fassett:
I have a few hopes and goals for this trip, but one of the biggest is to really improve my Spanish. I think being around the language non-stop and having my host parents not knowing English, I hope that I get lots of practice with speaking Spanish on a day-to-day, conversational level. Another hope I have is that I will be able to really step outside my comfort zone and experience a big change with a totally positive point of view. Staying positive is something I really want to focus on so that I will spend my brief time in Spain wisely. The main worries I have for the trip have a lot to do with missing home and school-I’m a little worried about getting behind in school, and a little more worried about leaving all my friends back home and spending a big chunk of time without them. I plan on achieving my goals by soaking up everything my family and Spain have to offer, and really taking everything as a new opportunity and learning experience. I am going to speak Spanish as much as I can for the next month, and really strive towards my goals of becoming a better speaker. Similarly to how I plan on achieving my goals, I’ll really be doing my best to roll with everything that happens and jump at everything I get to do and really take some risks so that I can truly make the best of this month. 

Rio Sueyoshi:
My hopes are that I come back knowing I completely immersed myself into the culture and into this new experience. My goal is to stay engaged with the Spanish people and try and stay away from my school buddies as much as possible. I plan on achieving these by being responsible for my own actions and talk in Spanish as much as possible. My worry for this trip is staying on top of my school work while being fully immersed into the culture. I want to make the most out of this by doing all of the “cliche” things like getting along with my host family, making new friends at the school, talking in Spanish, and just enjoying my time there.
Liam Keeley:
While in Spain I want to really experience Spanish culture, and not just see it.  I don’t want to be a tourist and just visit all the historical buildings, or the museums, but I want to really become a part of the culture.  Another goal I have is to become practically fluent in Spanish. I think that if I really immerse myself, I should be able to say whatever I want, and understand anything anyone else says, even if it is in a thick Spanish accent.  Although experiencing Spanish culture and improving my language skills are high priorities for me, most of all I just want be independent. I am really looking forward to being able to make my own decisions more than usual. How much fun I have in Spain really has no limit, and I think as long as I do my best to immerse myself, speak almost only in Spanish (which I think I can do), and be independent I have nothing to fear.
Alex Dunbar:
I am very excited to go to Spain and I hope that I become a better Spanish speaker, make new friends from a different country and become a more confident person. I plan to achieve these goals by immersing myself in the culture and trying my best to always speak Spanish when I can. I will also try to be as friendly as I can at school and try to meet as many new people as I can. While at school I also want to pay as much attention as I can and try to understand everything the teacher is saying. I also want to try new things whenever I can and overall make the most of my experience while I’m there. One of my biggest fears is that I will not make the most of my experience and regret that I did not speak enough Spanish or truly immerse myself in the culture. I am most nervous to meet my host sister and her family in person, I just hope everything goes well. I also just want to have fun on the trip and not take a single moment for granted.             
Bella DeFrancia:
My main goal for the next month is to improve my Spanish speaking skills while enjoying what the culture of Sevilla has to offer. I plan to achieve this goal by speaking in Spanish with my host family and other people I meet along this adventure. Although I think it will be uncomfortable at first, I think that after a couple of days of being immersed, speaking will become much more natural. I am nervous about living with another family for a month and am fearful about the communication aspect. However I think that it will be a fantastic experience if I jump in with both feet. In order to make the most of the trip, I think that I need to dive right in and be open to learning and trying new things. 
Alexandra Altamirano:
My goals for this trip are to speak more Spanish than I already do and to make new friends. I’m afraid of not getting along with my host family. I’m planning to talk to my host family in Spanish as soon as I meet them. I am really excited to be staying in a new place and having to experience a new culture. I really want to improve my Spanish even though it's my first language but really excited there are no words to describe how I feel right now!!!