Blogs - Summit Semester
October 03, 2011
Good morning, world! What a whirlwind two weeks it’s been! Wait, did I really just say two weeks? Gosh, it actually feels like Semester has been in session for a month now. It’s amazing to me how well everyone is already getting to know each other. We truly will be like a family come December.
I’m not sure where the last blogger left you on Semester updates, so I will pick it up with our fabulous trip to Ouray, CO. For those of you who’ve never been, it involves a death-defying drive along a highway with no guardrails, and no shoulder along the road that anyone would actually be able to use. You know it must be something when they sell t-shirts claiming that “I survived the Million-Dollar Highway” (that’s what it’s called). But along with the fear of simply driving right off the mountainside, it also gives you an overwhelming sense of God’s creativity. Being from a state that doesn’t even think about selling winter clothes in September, I found driving past fresh snow on the ground to be really cool. God put white sand beaches and 14,000 ft mountains in the same country and we get to live here. I think that’s pretty awesome.
As fun as field trips are though, they’re not our main purpose of being here. One very unique thing that Semester does once a week is “solitude time.” Students here have to go out and find their very own spot away from people and we get to sit there for an hour and a half. In the world we live in today, it’s nearly impossible to get 10 minutes alone, much less more than an hour. And then when you do have an hour, I think most of us gravitate towards Facebook or our cell phones or other mindless distractions because we feel the need to always be doing something. But without those things, you actually have the chance to think and talk to God and learn things about yourself and God that you never would have realized otherwise. Plus, sitting in nature for that long provides you with the chance to gain a deeper appreciation for it (I was visited by an elk this morning)! Since we’ve only done this twice so far, I still find myself twiddling my thumbs when I think I’ve run out of things to think about. But come December, I have a feeling solitude time will be one of the things I most treasure about the Summit Semester program.
One last thing I would like you to know about is work crews. Along with growing spiritually and academically, Semester also wants students to grow in their work ethic. This involves work crews. Basically, all 31 students get split up and put onto a variety of different projects. Some people might be assigned to help the cooks fix dinner, or sand a wall, or clean the lodge, or fix potholes in the road. I never thought I would be re-gravelling a road and baking six piecrusts in the same week, considering the fact I’ve never done anything related to either of those activities. So far, I’ve actually found it to be fun. You get to know the people on your crew really well when you’re shoveling gravel for 3 hours. And apparently, I can actually operate a food processor (but mom, please don’t get too many ideas for when I get home)!
So far, I think Summit Semester is definitely awesome and an experience that is unique among all other programs of its kind. I can’t wait to see what the following three months are going to bring. Perhaps in three months we will have discovered that we don’t actually like each other at all, Dr. Bauman’s goal really is to humiliate everyone in class, and risking our lives to find cell phone service is no longer quite as thrilling as it was the first time. But I doubt it. I think it will be quite the other way around (well, maybe not the cell phone part). Signing out for now, Maggie McKneely.
A lover of music, history, and the outdoors, Maggie comes to Summit with a “passion to stand up for her beliefs, and lead others to know the truth.” She is an Irish dancer, and lover of musical theatre. She plans to pursue an Associate of Arts degree at a local community college before transferring to a four-year degree program in one of her major interests of musical theater, history, or nature conservation.