As part of an in-class activity (assigned by a classmate, Ashley), we were asked to reflect on and articulate our Bread Loaf experience... In about five minutes... Here's what I could pull together!
First and foremost, it's pretty full of hard work in a variety of ways. Although I only have class three hours a day, four days a week, there's a lot of energy, time, and brainpower that goes into the program outside the scheduled class meetings. I find it hard to "put my work away"—even when I'm not actively doing homework, a lot of my conversations or thoughts revolve around problems we're working through in class, or new ideas I've encountered, or observing ways my courses intersect with my own teaching, life, etc.
So much of any community—academic or otherwise—is fundamentally about the people. Bread Loaf is full of amazing people who make the experience so much more engaging, exciting, educational, and generally amazing than it might otherwise be, and it's been the most enriching experience to get to learn and live alongside so many curious, kind people!
A lot of my Bread Loaf experience in Santa Fe has involved getting outdoors. I've always been someone whose emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing are tied to my surroundings, so being in such an expansive, varied, and sunny environment this summer has helped me stay engaged and happy. I also chose some of my courses, like Mexican American Literature, because I hoped that our course materials and content would intersect well with where I am situated regionally. This has definitely been the case, and all the cultural "field trips" and excursions have helped me get even more out of each course than I might have otherwise.