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razoredsuitcaserazoredsuitcase Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
edited April 2009 in Deep Springs College
Can anyone who attends or who has visited share what it's like attending Deep Springs? What your daily life really is like, etc? Thanks!
Post edited by razoredsuitcase on

Replies to: Lifestyle

  • MwanafunziMwanafunzi Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    Razoredsuitcase:

    While I'm not a current student at Deep Springs, I am a soon-to-be student in DS 08', and I'd be happy to share with you the impressions I've gathered about life at the college from my visit and the words of current/former students.

    If there were ever a single word that best described daily life at DS, I think it would be "grueling." Students wake up sometimes as early as 4:30-5:00am if they are responsible for diary or feed (after 5 or 6 hours of sleep), eat breakfast together at 7:30, and then attend classes until twelve. Classes at DS are, to be sure, not the kind you can zone out of (students are generally very passionate about their studies, in and out of class, which is an aspect of the college that has attracted many great students in recent years- sometimes even moreso than the unmatchedly exotic labor program).

    After lunch at 12:30, students tackle their labor duties. The labor program is diverse, such that while one group of students might get back to the dorms at 6:00pm after a physically exhausting day of baling hay, another guy might lie down to rest on a couch in the BH with his head spinning from 3 hours of Microsoft Excell work in the President's office.

    The whole student body eats dinner at 6:30 or 7:30 (I don't remember exactly), followed by either committee meetings (the student body committees are: Applications, Curriculum, Communications, and Review and Reinvitations), Public Speaking on Tuesday nights, or SB meetings on Fridays. Throw a hundred pages of Tocqeuville or Faulkner on top of that, and you have a pretty accurate picture of daily life at Deep Springs.

    Now, with that said, Deep Springs is an extraordinary place. It demands of its students perhaps more personal responsibilty than any other college in the world, and continues to attract people who are interesting, passionate, and committed to becoming stronger individuals.

    My above take on daily life at DS may not have been exactly what you were looking for... Fortunately, there are at least three other guys who sometimes post here who are going to DS next year. Maybe they can help you out.

    Are you a high school students looking to apply next year?
  • razoredsuitcaserazoredsuitcase Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    I'm not looking to apply, I just found the whole concept of DS really interesting. I don't know of any other college that operates this way. I hear the application process is grueling? So I assume that all the students do pretty much everything together? What about free time and classes?
  • MwanafunziMwanafunzi Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    I think you'll find the best answers to your questions about the application process, downtime, and classes here:

    Deep Springs College: Admissions: The Application Process

    Deep Springs College: Daily Life: Downtime

    Deep Springs College: Academics: The Academic Program

    Also, there's a great video about Deep Springs that a group called California Connected made a few years ago (I believe the students in the video were DS 02' and 03'?). Check it out if you're interested:

    College on the Range - CaliforniaConnected.org

    Good luck with whatever you choose to do in your education.
  • MeugenioMeugenio Registered User Posts: 199 Junior Member
    Hello.

    I am one of the aforementioned CC posters/lurkers.

    I second the notion that the website is much better than us outsiders, however I will delve:

    Regarding the application process:
    Writing the six essays is reasonably tough; tougher than all of the other applications I had to fill out. This being said though, it is not nearly as hard as it used to be. In the past 20 years it has gone from around 14 essays to 10 to 7 to the current 6 (at least from what I have been told [there is much Deep Springs lore, just like any other college]). The visit was more than worth the sweat n' tears.

    One thing that I think is important to note is that the school changes tremendously with the turning of the student body. While interviews in the past may have been two hour drags through the meaning of life, this years interviews were 45 minute proddings of your essays beyond initial scope. With the changing of guard everything from the academics to the interpretation of the ground rules sees new breath.

    Another integral part of the school is the presence of self-governance. I had the opportunity to sit in on an SB meeting, and it was extremely diverse. Jocular pokes toward the induced celibacy were intertwined with serious debate regarding the isolation policy. There was snapping (agreeal), hissing (dissent), and even some yelling/crying. The SB meeting was followed by Christmas (where Michael [in-house rosy cheeked Santa] passed out gifts) and a boojie.

    While Deep Springs may seem extremely radical at first glance (and it is in some regards), it is important to note that it is a college with college students. It is not as absurd at it seems (I myself thought the concept was the most ridiculous educational experiment conceived when I first read about it in Fiskes Guide) and is in most regards quite normal. You have the same awkward liberal arts students, the same wonderful professors, and the same caring administration you find at pretty much all post-secondary institutions. It is just that in this case the students are given a little bit more responsibility.

    Quarpwarp!

    Enjoy your day.
  • HoishiaHoishia Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    What are the opinions students on religion? Are religious people accepted?
  • HoishiaHoishia Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    I wish I could edit my posts on college confidential. Most other forums have that option.
    Anyway,
    What are the opinions "of" students on religion? Are religious people accepted?
  • DSCalumnusDSCalumnus Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Just in case anyone finds this page now over five years since the last post, the "California Connected" 2003 report can now be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ecwgKO5Qk -- the "College on the Range - CaliforniaConnected.org" link no longer connects to this great video piece actually titled "School on the Range" but the YouTube link will be there until the end of time, or at least before that. For a good selection of YouTube videos about Deep Springs College to to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=deep+springs+college. As one such posted video, "Deep Springs College - KOCE TV 04-26-98" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5RxjZqWPQo, quotes from "California Magazine": Only the best and the brightest are invited to attend Deep Springs...only the intrepid few accept.

    And as former Deep Springs College President Randall Reid described the college in 1965: "Creative vision" is a rather trite phrase. It is also, however, a continuing necessity, and Deep Springs makes this necessity inescapably clear. Perhaps that is its unique benefit. At Deep Springs, phrases cannot remain phrases. Theoretical questions relentlessly become real ones, and the issues which are studied in classes appear visibly in the life of the community. They appear over and over. The student learns that a good society or a good character or a good mind is not a “thing” which can be achieved, once and for all, but a perilous balance of unstable elements which is constantly falling apart and constantly having to be created again. Even “creative vision” is not, therefore, a final answer. It is only a condition of the search for answers. Deep Springs invites the student to begin that search.



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