Colorado Rocky Mountain School - Review #2

Colorado Rocky Mountain School
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Lewis & Clark College
Home Town, State (Country) Nashville, TN
Years Attended Boarding School 2
Activities During Boarding School I participated in two productions that my schools drama program put on, The Diary of Anne Frank and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I was a part of girls soccer team, beginning telemark skiing, tennis, intermediate climbing, and yoga. I was also a part of my schools A-Team which is in charge of helping out with prospective students. This could look like giving tours, bringing a shadow to your classes, or helping out in the admissions office.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
It would be easier to discuss two aspects of my school that are not unique, because everything about CRMS sets it apart from other schools. One of my favorite programs that CRMS offers that you can't quite find at any other school is the active and work program. The active program consists of all different levels of climbing, biking, skiing, snowboarding, soccer, tennis, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and yoga. The work-crew program offers activities such as glassblowing, pottery, black smithing, yearbook, bike shop, ski shop, climbing wall building and route setting, gardening, preschool, ranch, and trip planning. At the beginning of each quarter each student will choose and active and a work crew that they want to try out. Every afternoon, after school, students attend the active and work crew that they've chosen. This gives students the chance to work and play along side fellow students and faculty and truly give back to the CRMS and Carbondale community, which is what CRMS is all about. Another aspect of CRMS that sets it apart from other schools is the community focus. Once a week, the entire school gathers for community meeting. This is a time when we get to sit down together and express gratitude, apologies, and talk about our little community. This is what truly makes CRMS so special and what breaks down the barriers between students and faculty, seniors and freshman, and boys and girls. This community mind set makes us all equals, and makes us a large, unusual, caring family.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
Going into boarding school I was an insecure girl who really didn't know much about myself. I prioritized getting people to like me over being myself and over my academics. I used to spend 30 to 40 minutes to find the perfect outfit, straighten my hair, and put on makeup. I didn't want to go into public if I didn't "look my best". Leaving boarding school, I am much more confident, self aware, adventurous, and excited about academics. I feel much less focused on material things and my appearance. I am more confident to be myself and voice my opinions, some would even say that I am outspoken. At the end of each year at CRMS, when I would look back to when I arrived in August I realized how much I had grown and changed. I think that my greatest achievement at CRMS was not only figuring out my passions and who I believe I am, but learning how to be that person no matter what others think.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
I would say to take advantage from all of the opportunities that your school has to offer from the beginning. People always say that, but it's the best piece of advice that I can give to you.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
I think that in the end, the best part about CRMS is the amount of opportunities that students are offered. They offer such a wide variety of sports, arts, classes and extracurriculars. My friends from home were always so jealous of all the cool things that I got to do at CRMS, like going to Mexico to study coastal ecology, taking silversmithing, skiing on school days, or getting to air a radio documentary that I made on the local radio station. I am still amazed by the wonderful things I got to experience and learn, and I will be forever grateful to CRMS.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
For visitors: Make sure you go check out the art adobe and try the glory bowl salad dressing. For incoming students: Take a class with AO before you graduate, try to take geology with Kayo, be on at least one team before you graduate, remember your favorite students and teachers and strive to be like them, find a teacher that you relate with and become great friends with them (that may end up being the best friendship you've had, and they have a ton of great advice), take advantage of college counseling, and lastly, go out of your comfort zone!

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
CRMS is committed to providing a college preparatory education with a unique twist. All of the core and AP classes are offered, but CRMS has unorthodox classes such as Social Justice, Creative Non-Fiction, Eastern or Western Religion Studies, Creative Writing, Geology, Environmental Philosophy and many more. Not only do we have creative classes, but our curriculum includes two programs you won't find at many other schools, interim and senior project. Interim is a time when students and faculty take a week out of the school year to focus on one skill and master it. For example, some of this years offerings included a trip to Mexico to study marine biology and coastal ecology, glassblowing, a trip to Nicaragua to study spanish, tea pot making, digital story telling, robot making, back-country skiing and rescue, enameling, a trip to Santa Fe to study the culture and many more. This is my favorite program that CRMS offers because it gives you the chance to learn a concept or a skill that you wouldn't get to learn in your everyday classes. I went to Mexico, and I could tell you all about the Coastal Ecology in Bahìa de Kino. Senior project is a program for students at the end of their final year to go off into the world and practice all that CRMS as taught us. Seniors organize and carry out a three week project away from school and home. The project prepares seniors for a life beyond CRMS and gives them the chance to put words into action by going out and helping others.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
The athletics program at CRMS is quite different than your typical high school. Students are required to participate in a sport of their choice, which changes every quarter. The offerings include beginning-advanced/team levels of climbing, biking, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, soccer team, cross country, hiking, tennis, yoga, swimming, and canoeing. The school has a great climbing gym, soccer field, kayak pond, tennis courts, and beautiful mountains in our "backyard". You won't find your "typical" high school sports offered, but there are opportunities to join the local public high school's teams, which some students do. However, our climbing team, biking team, kayak team, biking team, and ski teams are very competitive and fun to join!

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
The arts program is perhaps my favorite aspect of CRMS because of the variety of courses offered. Offered courses include blacksmithing, silversmithing, glassblowing, photography, pottery, drawing and painting, music (beginning, intermediate, advanced), and drama. All of the facilities are in great shape and usually open for students of the class and for students wanting to try out the art. The teachers and the school are very committed to helping you get the art you want and helping the student get what they want out of the course. Students can go into any of the arts with any range of experience in the art, and are welcome! At the end of each semester the school holds an art show. This is a time for art students to display their work and show the school what they've been working hard on for the semester. At this time, music students put on a concert for everyone. Concerts and art shows are really fun because you get to see how talented and creative all of your friends and peers are, and you get to show off your own pieces that have taken all semester. The school works hard to offer a wide variety of interesting art classes, and make art an accessible, valued part of school!

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
Each year there are a variety of clubs offered to students, depending on what students want to do. Students are encouraged to start clubs, and faculty is always willing to help out! In the past, club offerings have included knitting club, soccer club, hope for Haiti, face aids, helping at the animal shelter and many more. Clubs meet every Thursday after school in the allotted club time.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
Dorm life at CRMS is really great! There are four boys dorms and three girls dorms. All of the dorms have a living area that includes couches, a TV, a kitchen sink, a refrigerator, a microwave and a kitchen table. Some of the newer dorms have stoves and ovens in the kitchen. All of the dorm rooms are made for two people, but some singles are available. The dorm rooms are pretty spacious and come with a desk, a chair, a bed and mattress, a closet, and some come with a dresser. At the beginning of the year students are assigned a roommate and it is pretty hard to switch throughout the year unless it is a unique situation. Each dorm has a group of faculty dorm parents, one of which will live in a house attached to the dorm. They are in the dorms every school-night during dorm study to enforce studying rules and bedtimes, and on weekend night to lead activities in the dorms. Weekends are pretty fun as a boarding student. The faculty has activities planned throughout the weekend such as movie nights, bowling, hot springs busses, dodgeball, open gym, and other fun activities. Generally school nights have a pretty tight schedule: dorm clean, dorm study, get ready for bed, in rooms, and then lights out. During dorm study students are expected to be studying and being quiet. You can have snacks or read a book if you don't have any homework, but socializing is discouraged during dorm study. After lights out students are expected to be in their rooms, no late night snacks or socializing. There is usually a lot of time in between dinner and dorm study to hang out with friends in the dorm or play frisbee in the quad, it's up to you what happens in that time!

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
The Bar Fork is CRMS's dining hall and central location for students to hang out. It is made up of about twenty round tables and the food is served cafeteria style. The food at CRMS is really impressive. The kitchen staff works hard to make sure we eat delicious, quality food. Most of the vegetables that we eat at CRMS come from our own garden. They also try to get quality meat from local farms which is greatly appreciated by the students. The Barfork serves breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends. Breakfast and brunch usually consist of a wide variety or breakfast foods. They serve everything from cereal and bagels to eggs and bacon. At lunch you have the option between sandwich bar, salad bar, soup bar, or the entree that they've prepared, for example, chicken and tofu stirfry. For dinner they usually cook a main entree, for example, grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, bread, fresh green beans, salad bar, and brownies. The kitchen staff makes a wide variety of meals so that we won't have the same thing too often. They like to make new things, and they are always wanting to know the students input on what they make.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Carbondale is a beautiful, little, mountain town in between Glenwood Springs, CO and Aspen, CO. We have so many great outdoor opportunities since we are sitting at the feet of Mt. Sopris. The town itself has about 6,500 people. When students have breaks from classes they often bike into town to go to one of Carbondale's three great coffee shops to hang out and grab some coffee. Carbondale has a great food scene with about 15 locally owned restaurants. On the weekend, or even for dinner on week nights, students will walk into town to eat dinner at Peppinos, the pizza joint, or at Senior Taco Show, the restaurant with really tasty tacos. On the first Friday of every month all of the restaurants and art shops open for the people of the town to come enjoy. Students often go to this to hang out with friends in town and enjoy the local atmosphere. Another awesome thing about Carbondale is that it is home to 5Point Film Festival. This is one of the most well known outdoor movie festivals. Teachers would take buses of students to enjoy the epic movie screening. Carbondale was a great town to go to school in, and I will definitely miss it next year.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
Social life at CRMS is not like your typical high school. There isn't really a separation between grades. Big groups of students, different grades and genders, will often bike into town together or go to the hot springs together. Everyone is usually very accepting and welcoming of all of their fellow students. I often found myself making new friends in the Barfork at dinner and hanging out there until dorm check. Everyone is always so nice and excited to meet new people, which made it a lot easier to come in as a new student.

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