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October 12, 2010

Preparing for the Valley

Preparing for the Valley

Writing a summary or a snapshot of what life has been like at Summit Semester these past four weeks is certainly an exercise in being concise. So much has happened and is happening, both in the external realm of activities such as classes (of course), volleyball, roadtrips, camping, and what is more, in the internal realm of processing what we are learning. A page or so is hardly sufficient to describe it all, but perhaps this snapshot will add a few more insights into what life is like here at Summit Semester.


This is the first week that I have truly had to remind myself that this is not my permanent home. The other day, while we were coming home from a roadtrip, some of us were discussing how crazy it is that we naturally talk of Snow Wolf Lodge as “going back home.” I have become accustomed to our daily life here in every aspect, and I am enjoying it immensely. The days are full. I like to get up in the mornings and go running if I’m not too tired from a late night. It is absolutely beautiful here. Being from Wisconsin, I think it will be an adjustment for me when I no longer see the majestic Rockies rising in the background of every landscape.


During spare moments, I am usually trying to progress in my reading schedule. I am used to reading quite a bit, as are many others here, but I think the most difficult part arises with balancing our time. It’s only three months, after all, and with so many activities, things to discuss, and people to get to know, I continually am learning more about self-discipline and prioritizing. I love the fact that all of us here are reading the same material, hearing the same lectures, and consequently struggling through the same questions. We rarely come to decisive conclusions, because the issues are seldom clear-cut. The important thing is we are wrestling with them—and most of the time enjoying the learning process. As Dr. Bauman said in one of his lectures, “You don’t have to have exhaustive knowledge to have true knowledge.” I think that is what we are finding out; most of us are just beginning on our journey to learn well, but truth (both capital T and lowercase t) is there if we know how to seek for it. Dr. Bauman is an expert in teaching us how to seek for it. I am both enjoying and being challenged by his classes. English Literature is especially exciting and extremely interesting for me being an English major. A few days ago when we talked about John Milton and his calling to write a great English epic, Dr. Bauman applied that to us and how we should strive to discern what is our vocation and how we can be the best at it. It was both an exciting and a humbling thought.


I think the best thing (broadly speaking) about Summit Semester is the amalgamation of potentially monumental ideas with ordinary, routine life. I love that we get to discuss, argue, and question each other about what we are learning in the midst of staining the deck, making bread on work crew, perhaps in our small groups, or at meals. It brings to mind that passage in Deuteronomy (which we are reading) that says, “And thou shalt teach them [God’s commands] diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Of course, our discussions here are often broader than God’s commands and we are not teaching them to our children, but the basic concept of thinking, learning, and sharing things as we progress through our day applies to life at Summit Semester as well.


It’s crazy to think of all the things we have already done here, and exciting to think of what’s in store for the weeks ahead, which is what we discussed today. New speakers, a harvest party, and a 5k race are a few of our upcoming events. Never have I been a part of a community that has combined so much fun with so much serious learning. It really is a mountain peak, a summit, and I think we all are continually striving to make what we learn here (academically, socially, and spiritually) something that we can and will take with us when we descend back down into the valley. 

Blogger's Bio: After finishing her Bachelors of Arts in English in twelve months through Thomas Edison University, Roni is considering law school at Pepperdine University next fall.  “I believe fervently that my generation has a significant opportunity and challenge to impact the world in whatever profession God has called us to for His glory.” Roni enjoys running and writing, and has written several novels and a collection of poems.

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  • October 15, 2010 // 11:11 am //  # 
    jean olson's avatar jean olson

    Oh Roni,
      Thank you for that snapshot of the summit experience!  Oooh, how we would love to be there…in the “amalgamation of potentially monumental ideas within ordinary, routine life”!  So glad that you’re thoroughly enjoying your time there-and learning so much-and loving our Savior more. The Deut. verse sums up our homeschooling philosophy, doesn’t it?  You like the mountains, eh?  I don’t think Dad will move to CO—the fishing thing, you know wink  Hello from everyone here.

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