HomeA Day at Deep Springs

A Day at Deep Springs

A Day at Deep Springs

Townes and Anousha, the college’s milkers, begin their day at 4:30 am when they wake to go milk the cows. They meet in the Boarding House where they run into Sammy, who stayed up all night to work on his essay. After checking how much milk is in the fridge, Anousha and Townes depart for the dairy barn.

When the two milkers return from the dairy barn at 6 am, seven gallons of milk in tow, Rory is already up preparing a breakfast of scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and biscuits and gravy. She cooks for the next hour and a half before serving to the twenty-odd students who made it to breakfast before their classes begin at 8 am.

In poet Sarah Stickney’s course, Contemporary American Short Fiction, the class of eight discusses Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif.” Simultaneously, Linda Weiner leads her class on Euclid through Book One of The Elements. Class ends at 9:30, and at 9:45 a group of first-years depart for horsemanship with the Ranch Manager, Tim. Classes continue throughout the morning until lunch at 12:30 pm—today, burritos and chili.

During the afternoon, many students complete their labor for the day. Fence team drives down to the lake, eight miles across the valley, where they are repairing a fence around the Bog Mound Pasture. Gardeners Mo and Ryn spend the afternoon weeding, turning soil, and setting gopher traps. Schuyler brings bales of alfalfa to the heifers who are waiting to calve at the Lower Ranch. Dinner is at 6—a meal of hamburgers (made from Deep Springs beef), sweet potato fries, salad (from the college’s garden), and chocolate cake (in honor of the student baker’s birthday).

After dinner, students wash the dishes or try to fit some reading in before Public Speaking begins at 8. Seven students give speeches on topics ranging from an argument praising awkwardness to a personal narrative recounting one student’s childhood memories of Vietnam. Public Speaking concludes around 9, after which a handful of students cluster around the fireplace in the Boarding House, discussing their favorite speeches. As the moon rises over the Sierra, Anna and Michel go for a walk, Levi drafts his platform for the upcoming student trustee election, and Townes and Anousha head to sleep, ready to wake up and milk cows the next morning.