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June 29, 2012

Summer Semester Week 1

Summer Semester Week 1

So far there has been one week of Semester for the eight of us students. This week has been so full of activity it is hard to remember anything before it. We arrived Thursday and loaded into our tightly packed cabins. Thursday evening we ate dinner up at 36 Acres, which is alsoour classroom. It is a perfect location nestled in a ravine lined with towering rock faces. We had each other’s names down by the end of dinner and have gotten to know much more about one another since then.

Friday morning was our first “test.” As a group we had to decide on five virtues that we wanted our community to highlight throughout the summer. We first listed around twenty virtues and realized this was obviously not going to be easy. Eventually, we were able to cut the list to the proper number. Our five virtues are humility, peace, respect, discipline/commitment, and honesty. Stemming from those five virtues we formed a list of rules and consequences to guide ourselves with and ensure we stick to the virtues.

Friday afternoon we sat in on a lecture for the Summit Summer Conference students by Dr. Louis Markos. Dr. Markos lectured on C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, specifically The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  It was amazing to listen to him tell the story dramatically, as if it were a stage play. Upon concluding his delivery of the story, he discussed its parallels to Christianity and how Lewis, without a doubt intended them. Later on Friday we had our first small group time and for us guys at least, it was a great time due to our honesty with one another. We had class Saturday with Dr. Markos on The Horse and His Boy and we were astounded at his ability to speak for so long with nothing but his copy of the book.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Other than going to church in the morning, Sunday was largely a free day for us. Most of us spent the afternoon accessing the Internet downtown. Jeff, Gene, and I went for a challenging hike up the Manitou Incline, which is an old railroad that shoots straight up the mountain. We had two more lessons from Dr. Markos on Monday and Tuesday in which he again amazed us with his ability to speak for three hours at a time using just his copies of The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle. We all came away from Markos’ classes ready to read and reread C.S. Lewis till the end of time. I was given an amazing respect for Lewis and was made aware of how intentional he was with every line of every book he wrote.

The eight of us have already begun to form great friendships. This is partially due to our collaboration on grand plans, such as throwing water balloons at the guys going on their “Man Hike”, but largely due to our like-mindedness. We all want to be able to adequately ask and answer the tough questions in our world today. These next six weeks will be uplifting and challenging for all of us. Bring it on!


Joseph Draper


Joseph is from Huntley, Illinois and just graduated from Chamberlin-Hunt Military Academy.  He plans to attend the Citadel this fall and earn a degree in History.  


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  • June 29, 2012 // 02:02 pm //  # 
    Robert Oakley's avatar Robert Oakley

    Glad to hear your first week of Semester went so well Joseph! I know we’ve never met but as a Semester Alumni I just had to introduce myself and mention I use to attend Houston Baptist University where Dr. Markos teaches. He too sparked my love for CS Lewis and his beloved Chronicles—you were very blessed to have him as a faculty member and I can’t help but be slightly jealous.

    May God continue to bless your time at the Summit may your walk with HIm be all the more zealous now and throughout eternity.

    God speed!


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