** It is with great pleasure I introduce Bennet Bergman, a new guest contributor to Cold Splinters. Bergman attends Deep Springs College in California and will be writing about his life in the Sierras. Stay tuned for more “Notes from Deep Springs” in the coming weeks.**

I live in a valley the size of Manhattan in the Eastern Sierras with fourty-four people and 300 head of cattle. The closest town is an hour away, and there’s not much out here: a small farm, a ranch, and an all-male liberal arts college called Deep Springs, which has been here for almost a century. Twenty-eight students attend. The college is free, so besides classwork each week we put in twenty hours of labor on the ranch as a way of earning our keep.

For the most part this place is student-run. We cook for each other from the garden we keep, we choose all our professors, classmates and course offerings, we fix each other’s cars and cut our own hair. We work hard and eat well. Most of us are twenty-year-old boys and since we live on a ranch, it’s been easy for me to get caught up in playing cowboy. But we still like dancing to the sex-pop of Katy Perry and Ke$ha on Friday nights in the kitchen, and we ride horses when there’s time.


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  1. funkn' gonuts March 27, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    hell yes

  2. Mark Wales March 27, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Looking forward to this! Great idea!

  3. Tents are Hard March 27, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    I’ve driven past Deep Springs many times without ever knowing there was a college down there. I’m looking forward to reading and learning!

  4. Dan March 27, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Very interesting. Just spent 20 minutes on the Deep Springs website. Looking forward to some installments!

  5. NBolton March 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Welcome Bennet, looking forward towards your contributions.

  6. Marion March 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I’ve heard about Deep Springs a few week ago. It made me say “i’d like to be american, and a boy” (yes, i’m a girl, in Paris, can you understand my frustration..?!!). I’m so happy this kind of stuff exists ! And very happy for this contribution, Bennet, tell us stories from Deep Springs !

  7. Tim March 30, 2012 at 7:06 am #


  8. Elia April 5, 2012 at 5:26 am #

    Sounds great! Welcome Bennet.

  9. Scott April 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    William T. Vollman is a DSC alum. That’s how I learned of the institution. The more I’ve discovered about the place, the more I wish I had a boy to aim in that direction.
    Looking forward to reading these reports, Bennett.
    Well done right out of the gate.

  10. Greg April 2, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Bennet is a jerk

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