Daily Life

Students often rise before the sun. At 6:00, when the Feedman sets out on the first feed run, the dairy crew is already up, half asleep and milking cows. A Farm Teamer may have been in the tractor baling hay since 4:30. All are especially thankful for the breakfast cook, who's up early preparing the morning's meal.

But they're not the only ones up. Some students pull all-nighters to get committee work done. Others sleep first and wake up excruciatingly early to do class work. At every hour of the day, there are at least a few people awake and discussing their courses, playing chess, or strumming guitars.

Classes are held on weekday mornings (and sometimes weekends) between breakfast and lunch. The CurCom chair writes up a class schedule at the beginning of each term to accommodate the needs of all students. Typically, a student has one or two ninety-minute classes each day.

After classes, the community heads to the Boarding House (BH), summoned by five clangs of the big bell. Conversation at the lunch table ranges from spilt-over class discussions to the merit of videogames to plans for afternoon labor. The General Labor crew meets to work out the day's projects, the Farm Teamers discuss their irrigation schedule, and the cooks plan their dinner.

Soon after lunch the BH crew is hard at work scrubbing pots, the Feed Truck is out on another run, and the rest of the students are scattered about, each with special projects for the afternoon.

Most labor positions entail working from lunch until dinner. This could mean spending an entire day alone in an alfalfa field fixing leaks in irrigation lines, repairing fences and gates with a partner, or working as a group to dig up frozen pipes that need to be repaired and insulated. There are less romantic jobs that entail spending the day in the office or scrubbing toilets in the main building.

By the time the dinner bell rings outside the BH, most people are well worn and ready for a warm meal. Students here become very aware of how much the meals really provide them with energy and sustenance for the day. Over dinner, people also talk about classes, committee work, and labor, but often conversations are frivolous and relaxing.

After dinner, the BH crew is at it again, scrubbing pots and mopping floors. The dinner crowd thins out as some go to play soccer or Ultimate Frisbee and others get started with their committee and class work. Sometimes a group will go out for a labor emergency. If the cows break out of a grazing area, students need to gather them and fix the fence as soon as possible or the cattle could bloat from eating fresh alfalfa and die. Labor emergencies can happen at any time of the day.

On Tuesday nights the community gathers for Public Speaking, which consists of several short (10 min.) speeches, or the occasional lengthy presentations by one or two students. Other special activities happen at night, too. A poetry reading group meets, committees convene, a Bible study group gathers. But for the most part, students are hard at work on the next day's class-work.