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June 16, 2011

Wednesday, June 15 (Session 3, Day 4)

Wednesday, June 15 (Session 3, Day 4)

So, what is faith, and how do I defend it? What do other religions say about life, death, and the human soul? What does a hippie smell like? Where the heck is my plane?! These are just a few of the questions I had when I came to Summit in 2010. I was just sixteen, so I was one of the youngest students in session six. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. A common phrase around here is, “Drinking from the fire hose.” More like drinking from Niagara Falls!

Fast forward a year. I’m now seventeen, out of high school, and much less socially awkward. I understand now that I absorbed much more than I thought. However, I still didn’t get as much as I wanted. So I came back. I remember missing the sense of family that you get here, the hippies that are more than happy to help you get un-lost, and Doc Noebel poking fun at the aforementioned hippies. He’s retiring after this summer, and it’ll be hard to see him go. I understand his desire to retire after fifty or so years, and I wish him the best of luck.

But back to the reason of this blog: to talk about the day. I got up early to take a shower (you have to if you want hot water), listened to Doc talk about other worldviews, ate lunch, and listened to Dr. Kathy McReynolds. Now, I don’t agree with everyone, but I always have a good reason for not doing so. She was talking about “Goodness, Truth, and Beauty,” but that didn’t strike me as the main thrust of her lecture. I saw the main topic as “technology is bad.” I may be very wrong, but it just sounded like tech is the root of all evil. Texting while someone is talking to you is rude, I agree, but that doesn’t make it bad. I’ll have to keep thinking about her message to understand how it relates to goodness, truth, and beauty.

But I refuse to dwell on the negative.

The food’s amazing, even if I don’t always know at first glance what it is. I have made so many friends from around the country and around the world. Staff is always ready for my questions, but if they don’t know the answers, they find them; they don’t just say “I don’t know” and leave it at that. And I don’t just mean the college students; the faculty are that way as well. They go out of their way to make sure I understand what they’re saying.

As I look to the fall and to college, I realize that what I’ve leaned over these two years has better prepared me than any high school could dream of. Summit, hand in hand with my parents, has given be a safe harbor to grow as well as shown me snippets of the world outside my calm waters. Soon, I’ll unfurl my sails, stand at the helm, and chase the horizon to the furthest reaches of reality. Until then, I’ll absorb as much wise counsel as my skull and Summit notebook can hold.

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  • June 16, 2011 // 08:54 am //  # 
    Sarah Welch's avatar Sarah Welch

    Julia, my experience has been almost identical to yours! I attended Summit last summer as a 16-year-old. I just graduated last week, and I plan to go back to session 7 this year to get another drenching from that blasted fire hose. I, too, found myself disagreeing with the speakers much more regularly than I’d expected. Are the other students willing to talk about their opinions on the lectures? I found that those discussions really helped me synthesize the information and articulate my stance on controversial issues. Also, the porch sessions were invaluable for grilling speakers and understanding why they believe what they believe—because the great thing about Summit is that they really do have reasons. And, of course, they count toward the Excellence program… :D

  • June 21, 2011 // 12:37 am //  # 
    smith's avatar smith

    I started homework this morning, and I suck at doing homework at home. Last semester I did fairly well in classes but I did most to all my work at school. I also have some what serious social issues. Where would be ideal locations to do my work outside of home? Places without too much distraction, but also places that will help to open me up socially more ?

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