Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NHVSP 2011 Update 2

New Hampshire Semester 2011

Second NHVSP Update!

First ski expedtion
The first update seems like yesterday and already, limbs aching from our first daylong ski, I’m typing up the next! Our knives resting in their sheaths, ready to use, and now we await the naming ceremony, in which each one of us will give our knife a special name. Every day, we progress farther towards our goal: to be ready for February, when we start skiing north.

The last day in the workshop was well remembered. It was the day when we finished our handle and used our blades for the first time; cutting the leather for the sheath. We made 13 beautiful sheaths with personal and unique designs. We then each wrote our first NH-VT Semester 2011 Main Lesson Book page, a neatly designed and written page with personal reflections about the meaning of having a self-made knife. As a Waldorf student (in Waldorf education, school books are made in a similar way), I noticed that my fellow students and I were giving more attention and care to the knife project and the page than we would normally have done at school.
Our handmade knives and sheaths

Food dehydration 
Today we went on the first real trial for the navigator (Julian) and trail food manager (Rosa) – a day trip around the area with our skis. Some of us, like myself, carried packs filled with food and extra layers for everyone, getting the feel of skiing with a backpack for the first time. After the huge blizzard yesterday, the snow is very deep (two feet) and powdery - a perfect opportunity to practice our trail-breaking technique for the winter! The first person in line skis as hard as he or she can for 30 seconds to break a trail in the mass of white powder. Then, he or she stands aside and gets in the back of the line, and the next person in line takes over breaking the trail. We also learned about layering and the importance of carrying a warm extra layer with us on the trail, and pulling it out of the pack quickly anytime we stop, before the heat generated by the exercise is gone.

After the night’s break I am back, writing this update while half of the group is busy learning to use the sewing machines and beginning their stuff-sack projects. They are not using scissors to cut the thread; they’re using their handmade knife. Later we will go skiing. We will work more diligently then ever on our skiing skills because Misha told us of the great adventure we will have before we hit the trail. We are going to wake up early, drive to the white mountains, ascend the great peak of the tallest of them, and ski all the way down the glorious slopes of Mt. Washington.
Nimrod leading the pack

The Poet’s Yurt
(Where our poetic creations go)

I like winter
I like cats.
I don’t think cats like winter,
They get lost in the snow.
I wonder if cats like me
As much as I like winter.
I wonder if I would like winter
If I was a cat.
I wonder if liking winter
Has to do with being taller than the
Maybe I should go out west,
And find out.
         -Tobias Yandow

“Standing at the top of the hill, looking down at the snow, the jump, and the box behind. My goal today is to clear the box. Still standing at the top, looking ahead, I can see this jump as a metaphor for the whole Kroka experience. I see the run to the jump as the first three weeks here at Kroka base camp. The jump itself is the scramble to get ready for the expedition. Now I am flying through the air. For a few seconds the world rushes by like it will on the river and trail. And finally the landing. Coming softly back to earth like we will return here, to Kroka. And the final projects we do once we return will be like the final turn I make to slow down and come to a final stop. Sweet!”
-Tim Morse

Ski expert Tim from Maine
“The people I love the best are gone
They walk, leading their lives
I sit, watching mine lead me
That is not to say I love them less
I love them as myself
But that is not enough
Perhaps more
Like stone their feeble minds
In solidarity with my actions
Practice, being held separate
Love, being blind to the both
-Jacob Olsan

Quote of the Trail: “the people I like best, jump into work head first” –Marge Piercy

Julian, triumphant at the bottom of the rock
Sam, one of our many musicians

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