Monday, January 30, 2006

Sr. High Winter Retreat

Definitly a surprise weekend.

First, a sort of apology for Mim, Rachel, and Sarah for taking off into the blue and leaving you alone to brave the wilds of movie watching without me. Actually, you wouldn't have liked it if I had stayed. There might have been a very angry dana at the theatre without Pride and Prejudice.

Secondly, a bit of the story. As you know, I was not going on this retreat at all because I was going to go to Chill Out the weekend before. That didn't work out and I didn't think much about the retreat until Friday as I got more and more grumpy and moody as the day went on. I made the (happy) mistake of taking Hannah into the church and seeing the people off. It was a good group going and they were having fun before they even left. I was not a happy camper on the way home. A few hours later when Mom got home she asked what was wrong. I started crying and saying that I wished I had decided to go on the retreat. She then said that we could try to see if I could still go, called Joyce, called Shauna, called Dad, and in thirty minutes I was packed and in a suburban with the late group on my way to Lake Champion, NY. I was dazed the rest of the night, it might be the most spontaneous thing I have ever decided to do. I had a pleasant three hour ride up and arrived not twenty minutes after the first buses. The best thing in the world was Amy's and Emily's faces when I walked into the room. I then ran upstairs and saw Hannah. In a few minutes we were in the meeting room with fourhundred students from everywhere in PA, NJ, and NY.

And it was definitly not what we expected. After the third secular song and no worship songs, the speaker came on and we all glanced at eachother wondering what on earth was going on. Afterwards we gathered as people left the meeting room and discussed what exactly was going on. I think we were all in a bit of culture shock. Not what we expected at all. The purpose of the weekend had changed from learning to that of reaching out. As John Good said, "Okay, so all my devotions for the evenings have just been messed up but I'm okay with that because it is usually the weird weekends that God does the most in." To reorient ourselves to our surroundings Christy and Kent pulled out their guitars and most of the hershey students stayed for an extra 30minutes in prayer in worship. It was a wonderful time.

I suppose I should hurry the story along a bit... the next day was lovely. Nothing major happened as a highlight but it was filled with laughter filled moments of playful fun. That is really what happened: we played the whole weekend. Amy and I went for a run/exploration of the camp in the morning to wake up. Breakfast was amazing. I haven't had such a large breakfast since.. since... I don't really know when. We had a snowball fight on the way back to the lodges. Another session and then a game time. I think this was the guys favorite part of the day as they got to attack eachother constantly. Before hand more snowballs were exchanged and snow down backs. I got quite a few people in the face. Hannah Witwer and I did some marvelous double teaming. Anyway, the games were quite clever. Everyone's favorite was when the guys got in a tight huddle and we were supposed to get them to come undone. There was ten minutes of feverish and rather vicious attaching though we were forgiving and let them win... okay... maybe not. We almost got Tim to come off but he yelled and was saved but the heroic efforts of Kent, Jarad, and Luke. Poor Amy ended up under them all somehow and was quite squished. Tim was the anchor for them and they yelled encouragements and exortations to resist continually. Everyone was bruised, battered, and grinning at the end. We then had a fight with flour in which Cindy attached me from behind and got slim all over my face. You think "Oh Cindy, she isn't vicious." You're wrong. Underneath that quiet, kind, sweet outside is a feirce lover of competition. Who knew...

Lunch and then freetime until dinner. It was a very long freetime. Began with Apples to Apples. I did poorly but then so did Tim who seemed to loose every game he played. Went on a walk with Keilah, Hannah W, and Hannah and ran into Cindy and Barb, Mrs Iriana, and Mrs Davidson and walked back to camp with them. Ended up in the game room watching fooseball games and Polish Ping Pong, a game that took up three hours or more. It was rather intense when you got to the end. At somepoint we ambushed PC in the covered bridge, pelting him with snowballs. It was marvelous. Tim got Keilah and Hannah W to cower before him as he threatened to destroy them after they got him with a snowball filled with mayonnaise. Now that was comical... he went over and shook their hands but they were still afraid of him. It was quite funny. Dinner was very enjoyable. Sat with Luke, Megan, Heidi, Megan, Amy, and PC. Luke and Megan were debating on which one of them was prettier and Amy and I chatted some. PC was making... PC jokes which weren't really funny. (side note: each meal had a ritual of a leader being chosen to be pied in the face). PC was chosen to be pied in the face and we all cheered. On another note, the meals were all amazing and delicious. Not camp food at all, more like a restaurant.

More free time when Keilah did her traditional getting sick time. How she always does this is beyond me... Tim and Luke and Megan and jumping dares. Tim won them all. Had another session, a quiet time, and then leader entertainment. That was a bit weird. Two guys used penlights on their noses and had them going in time with these dueling banjos. Tim and Luke had a revelation on what to do with their lives after this. Jarad just shook his head. After this we had another worship time which was even better than the one the night before. I was definitly encouraged about our youth group. Sometimes I get to wondering whether we are really devoted to following God but seeing over 50 people voluntarily staying and worshiping for 45 minutes was awesome. Kent and Christy did a wonderful job leading us. Kent pulled out a Montreal favorite and we jumped around and it was a great time for all of us. Those two times of worship would be my highlights of the weekend.

Afterwards we had an 1.5 hr before bed. We stayed in the meeting room where Tim tried to jump over five people lying horizontally between two steps. Megan tried but almost didn't make it. Heidi declared that Tim wasn't white but must be black because of how he can jump over Jarad. We roled down the steps which was quite fun. Some of us looked at Shauna's pictures and videos from the weekend. It was just a fun hanging out time. Took our time walking back to the lodges and spent some more time outside. Discovered a slice of Narnia and all claimed roles. Amanda was Susan, Kent was Peter, Luke the Witch, Jarad Tumnus, Hannah Lucy, and Tim as the fashion designer (I don't understand either). Tim led the way through the trees after the lamp post and declared there were coats not trees. I fell flat on my face in the snow and Amanda helped me up laughing at my falling out of the wardrobe.

The following morning went by quickly and soon we were racing towards Howard as fast as we could to get the back of the bus, which we did. The ride home was definitly another highlight of the weekend. Heidi declaring "Oh barf," and Jarad and I repeating it. Luke: "Oh bridge. Oh fall. Oh death. Which means, Oh dead." and towards lunch "Oh hungry." Playing telephone. "The natives swear as they enter?" "There are swedish girls on the bus?" "WHAT did you say? The WHAT carpet?" "The wheels on the bus make encheladas sick." "Luke Skywalker got hit by a skyscraper... or is it some dude got killed by a skyscraper..."

Yes the weekend was good. I hung out with people I don't usually hang out with, I got to know people I've known forever a good deal better, and I had a wonderful time away from school and doing things. So thank you to Amy, Emily, Tim, Jarad, Luke, Amanda, Heidi, Hannah W, Hannah R, Keilah, Kent, Megan, Shauna, Christy, and John Good for a splendid time.

And to end, here is our meal song:

Mai-ia-ha ha

Mai-ia-ha ha

Ma-ia-ha ha

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sonnet 1590.356

This sonnet has been removed for reconstruction.

Actually it is turned in now. Your comments were too late. Sorry. Mim, I liked the words too but I was being ridiculously vague for no good reason except that I liked the words. No grade as of yet.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

new seas unpouring...

I have a sonnet I need to write. Desperatly. I always get desperate when I have christian lit assignment due but they always turn out okay. I watched our Box Movie last night with Mim and Abby. Mim deemed it excellent so it must have been comical. My favorite part has to be running into the coffee house and filming with Brad.


I have about three lines of a 14 line sonnet... and pages and pages of notes trying to come together into a lyrical, logical exploration of God. I have fragments of thought floating around but they won't come together in iambic pentameter, much less coherently. Can anyone tell me what I meant when I wrote about a heart being briny? I'm sure I don't know.

We went to see Narnia as a family yesterday. I had a lovely time with them all and passing out the candy in the middle of the film and holding Jen in my lap and hosting Gretchen's head in my shoulder when Aslan died and watching Mom jump at hidden wolves. Isaac's eyes got bright when he saw Peter's sword and shield. We all laughed at the Beavers. "You've been taking second helpings, haven't you Mr. Beaver!" Of course some things that I did not like were reinforced in the second viewing. I wanted more of the melting away of winter to spring and more of the stone coming to life. I wanted Peter to have more confidence and Susan not to be so bossy (a bit premature in her character I thought). The white witch looked like she could have used some real costume design help. They didn't show Aslan leaping over the wall into the Witch's castle. Lucy and Edmund and Mr. Tumnus were superb. I think one of my favorite parts is in the beginning as the credits role for the first time over the children on the train. The music is a beautiful undercurrent of expectation and purpose. The children are simply worried about what their host will be like while the audience receives communication of something bigger going on. I am definitly looking in anticipation for April 4th, the release day for the film onto dvd.

Had a grand time today at quizzing. Andy is the best. sigh... what to do... what to do... Mim, hold me to what I said in the car. I would laugh if we got first in districts. And we could. Just don't let me slack off and I won't let you and we'll make sure Kristyne stays on top of the ftvs and split up the references and maybe... just maybe... laugh. I dream.

Any suggestions on this sonnet would be profoundly welcome. I have a good few lines for a modern poem... wrong assignment. I look to far ahead. My brain is on the next assignment before the first is finished.

Good evening everyone.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Pour New Seas

I think it is time to start another story. A real one. I haven't written a complete tale in a long time.

Can anyone explain how to put a picture in my profile and make links to other webpages? I've read the instructions but I have no idea what URL is or how to write it and put it in the appropriate places.

3.5 lbs of swedish fish... I'd better send it to youth group some night or I'll never find my way out.

And how is everyone? Well? Good? Alive? Breathing? Breathing is always an advantage over the dead man. :-)

Monday, January 09, 2006

these are the days

"and when I run, I feel His pleasure."

Who knew I would be wearing shorts in January? Something has gone quirky with the weather.

this evening we are going to see Isaac play soccer and perhaps convientiantly run into some people. I'm just hoping that what I heard Mom accidently say out loud at the bottom of our stairs with the door open is true.

I like blue jeans. And my red world view shirt. And the feeling after a shower and a lot of water. And having all my homework done with the evening to go shoot the breezes.

Procrastination does not allow any of that.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

And so we begin all over again.

Fifteen more weeks. only... counting down. And a lot of work to do in the mean time. It all starts on Tuesday with sonnets to write and math to conquer and portfolios to make and...

So do I go to NYC or a retreat? I think I made a mistake. A big one.