‘Interims’ immerse CRMS students into big, wide world around them | PostIndependent.com

‘Interims’ immerse CRMS students into big, wide world around them

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Colorado Rocky Mountain School freshmen, from left, Kim Clarey, JJ Worley, and Hannah Horn get a closer look at one of the many projects being presented by fellow CRMC students on Wednesday afternoon in Carbondale.

CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) students all worked together, a fine-tuned dance, as they set tables with utensils and flatware Wednesday evening as if scripted and practiced over and over again.

The girls are dolled-up in their finest dresses, the boys dressed to the nines, some with goofy ties that barley extend to their bellies.

The evening’s festivities are a biweekly tradition, a formal dinner for the students and faculty to get dressed up, dine together, and enjoy some good conversation. That evening, however, the pre-dinner conversation detailed fantastic trips to places like Paris, France, where students visited several museums and art galleries for two weeks in March. Other students described their time spent in Bahia Magdalena, Mexico, where students swam with sea turtles.

At another table, words could be overheard as another group of students remembered their trip to historical America, visiting such places as Gettysburg, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

These three trips are just a few of the interim projects students took part in this year. And though they may sound more like vacations, for CRMS students it’s a life-learning experience they won’t soon forget.

“It was one of the best trips I’ve had at CRMS,” said junior Holden Greene.

Greene was one of the students who visited Mexico for an opportunity to study the biology and ecology of sea turtles while working with a group trying to preserve them.

“I learned a lot about sea life and how the impacts on marine life can have an impact on everything,” Greene said.

Greene’s group worked with El Grupo Tortuguero: A Sea Turtle Revolution, a volunteer group dedicated to the preservation of the sea turtle.

“The sea turtles were close to being extinct at one time,” Greene said. “This group of fishermen that were helping us were the same fishermen that were catching and selling these sea turtles. It was amazing to see.”

Greene said he grew up near the ocean and has always had an interest and passion for it, and the life that thrives beneath the surface. That’s the importance of these interims; an opportunity for students to get their hands dirty and discover more about a subject that fascinates them. But that’s not all it’s about.

“The overall goal is to allow students to immerse themselves into a subject they are passionate about or are interested in. It makes it a very personal experience for them,” said CRMS director of outdoor and interim programs Darryl Fuller. “Students do so much, there’s not the time to only immerse into one subject. This gives them that opportunity.”

The program has been going for over 20 years, according to Fuller. He’s overseen the program for the last three years that stresses the school’s unique instructional philosophy of “experiential education.”

“The interims are really designed to increase the student’s perception of the world around them,” Fuller said. “They can choose any number of subjects to study, anything from a hobby to a future career choice.”

And some are probably more like vacation than others.

CRMS French teacher, Eileen Leland, took a group of students to Paris to study the French language and to further appreciate the culture as a whole.

“The purpose was to see as many museums and architecture and historical monuments of Paris as we could,” Leland said. “It was an artistic tour.”

And an adventure of a lifetime.

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114


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