Blogs - Summit Semester
September 14, 2010
Great Beginning to a Fresh Start
Welcome to the first blog post of the Semester! So much has happened within the past few days that, for me, life before Semester seems a thing of the past. These past few days have been devoted to orienting us to the Summit rituals and rules as well as giving us opportunities to meet everyone. For the five of us who came a day early, Friday morning was spent helping Nathan, Snow Wolf Lodge’s Property Manager, break up rocks, prevent erosion, and clear out drainage pipes. By Friday evening, everyone had drifted in from various parts of the country. It was awesome to finally have the whole group together. On Saturday morning, we went into Pagosa Springs to see the hot air balloon launch. The vibrant colors of the balloons against the clear blue sky and mountains was gorgeous. A few of us did try to get a ride in a hot air balloon to no avail. Saturday’s main event, though, was the figuring out of rules and values we wanted in place this semester. The rules and values were all student run; all thirty of us sat around a whiteboard arguing out definitions and meanings to words we wanted to define our three months here. The few hours we spent compiling rules and values definitely tested us in the very areas we were putting in place. It was good for me to practice respect for other people’s opinions and charity towards others in speech.
Sunday, we left for church at Grace, an Evangelical Free church that meets at the community center in Pagosa Springs. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect walking in there. For me, it’s always a little weird going to a different church for the first time, but the members and the pastor there were welcoming. Many people came up to shake our hands and express their excitement concerning our part of Summit Semester. Later on that evening, we had our first small group. All the girls piled into the Smith’s house and made collages about ourselves. At first, I was skeptical that a collage could help me get to know some of the other girls, but I was definitely proved wrong. As I sat in Echo Canyon with pajamas on and collage in hand, I got to hear about some of the likes and dislikes, dreams and stories of each girl’s life.
The first class of the semester started on Monday. Eric Smith taught on Christian Life and Thought. We will be reading through the book The Intellectual Life by Sertillanges. I’m really looking forward to learning more about what Sertillanges thinks. I like the emphasis he places on setting apart time for reading and solitary time as well as the importance of having a structure/routine. I think this is especially important for teenagers. We waste so much time on unimportant things such as video games, internet, and even sometimes sleep. There is, of course, a time and a place for all three, but not to the excess most teenagers take it. Monday afternoon we left for a hike up a nearby mountain. Aside from the fact that no matter how many breaths we took there was never enough air, we all made it up and saw the breathtaking view from the top. I can’t believe that this will be my home for the next three months! For me, and I think for many of us, this Semester is a fresh start, and it’s been a great beginning.
Blogger's Bio: A recent high school senior, Sarah is looking for a school where she can “focus on serious academic study, community living, service and independence.” Sarah has been involved in community speaking with the Institute for Cultural Communicators for many years, and she “gets excited making supposedly ‘boring’ subjects interesting and applicable to modern teenagers.” She also teaches piano, speech, and Latin, and repairs violins and cellos. Sarah hopes to someday start a business, travel and teach the Classics.