Colorado College’s holiday video this year features a poem written by English Professor Jane Hilberry and read by four students, Kendall Bentsen ’14, Doron Mitchell ’14, Jorge Rivera ’14, and Mari Gades ’14.
Hilberry’s poem (see below), titled “Block Four, Late: Students Lean into Doors,” evokes what it is like to be a student writing a paper or studying for an exam. “You’re completely steeped, sodden with studying, so that you forget the actual world until something—like the icy air—brings you back. And reminds you how small your knowledge ultimately is,” she says.
The video was shot at various locations on campus, and included four predawn attempts to get the sunrise on Pikes Peak, as well as two canceled attempts because of weather. The sunrise footage ultimately was shot from the roof of Shove Memorial Chapel.
CC Video and Digital Media Specialist Arielle Mari ’12 made the video, with production assistance by Ben Grund '14, Robert Mahaffie '15, Will Sardinsky '17, and Demetria Humphries '13, and original music by Wesley Brandt '14 and Zach Bellows '14.
Mari said the production process is similar to the Block Plan: a lot of creativity and total immersion. “I wanted to capture the sense of being back at CC during fourth week of the block. It’s late in the block, and it’s also right before a holiday break. There’s a feeling on campus then that’s not like anything else.
“I wanted to capture the nostalgia, the magic, the wonder and peace and intimacy of campus at that time,” Mari said.
The video illustrates the feelings captured in Hilberry’s poem. “It is fantastic to work with Jane (Hilberry),” Mari said. “The poem portrays a concrete thing that happens at CC. I feel very really fortunate to take that and work with it.”
Even if it did mean getting up at 4:30 a.m. and lugging her video equipment up the 112 steps to the top of Shove Chapel!
Block Four, Late: Students Lean into Doors
A soccer player leaves the locker room,
her hair soaked, presses through
an outer door streaked with steam.
Outside, cold air spikes her hair with ice.
She passes the library, lit stacks,
where a sleepy student tries to write,
but the words slide into dream. The letters
have holes in them. He can step through.
The math major, after solving
the equation, getting the stubborn
numbers to slide into place,
now chooses a diagonal path
across the snowy quad, toward friends
raucous in the kitchen, a thudding beat.
And the last one out of Palmer Hall,
having mastered all
she can master of non-tariff barriers,
highly separable commodities,
market forces and exit strategies,
eans her shoulder into the massive
door, pushes until it gives.
on the wide steps, the sharp air
reminds her where she is.
She glances toward the peak:
new snow, a preternatural glow
as if soaked in stored light,
and below: the dark stone
that holds everything