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September 27, 2012

The Student, the Fish, and Agassi

The Student, the Fish, and Agassi


Well, it’s been nearly two weeks here at Summit, and we’ve done so many exciting things. Our first days were filled with getting-to-know you games and the start of bi-weekly “work crews”—which involve staining Echo Canyon Guest Lodge, cleaning the buildings, cooking, and digging ditches.  

And we’ve begun classes. On Monday and Tuesday we were blessed to have Dr. Jeff Myers as our teacher. He spoke on wisdom, informing us of the difference between the Greek and Hebrew views on the topic. In addition, we learned about mentoring and how to help others solve problems by asking them questions. It is truly an extremely effective process, and I encourage you to read his book Cultivate if you’d like to learn more!

Dr. Myers also spoke about the Ten-Year Rule, which states that “It takes ten years to become a technical master of a subject, and ten more years to make an extraordinary contribution”. He went on to tell us that there are actually shortcuts to the Ten-Year Rule, what those shortcuts are, and how to maximize our potential for success. 

On Wednesday morning, we bade goodbye to Dr. Myers, and, despite the fact that Dr. Bauman (insert frightened gasp here) was arriving that night, we set out on a three-plus-mile hike, all the way up to the cross overlooking Snow Wolf Lodge. This cross was placed by the original Semester students (class of 2006), and we spent a very pleasant morning enjoying the scenery along the trail up to the landmark. We arrived back at the lodge in time for a delicious lunch, and then set out for our silence and solitude time. This involves setting out for various outdoor locations, which each of us have selected, and spending an hour and a half alone with God. We read the Bible, pray, enjoy His creation; it’s truly a worthwhile experience!

After silence and solitude time, we had a free afternoon. Some people studied, or biked, or played ping-pong or foosball, or even napped. Afterwards, we had dinner, during which we were informed that Dr. Bauman’s flight had been delayed, and therefore class would be starting at eight o’clock instead of seven.

And so, at eight o’clock, we all found ourselves at our desks in Echo Canyon Guest Lodge, our books open and pencils out, our computers at the ready, prepared to face the legend that is Dr. Bauman. Occasionally one student or another would call out “He’s here!”—and the room would go instantly silent. At each of these intervals, one of the staff would be the one to come through the door, prompting sighs of relief and a resurgence of conversation.

At last, Dr. Bauman entered. Being new to Summit Ministries, I wasn’t sure what he would be like. I must say, I was expecting a drill-sergeant-esque individual with an expression indicating that he was about to rip your thoughts to shreds, stitch them back together after they had become completely unrecognizable, and stuff them back into your head. What I saw was a man who looked rather like my kindly next-door neighbor of several years ago. He gave an introduction to his teaching style, reading a story about the proper way to examine ideas. (If you’d like to discover this story for yourself, it’s called The Student, the Fish, and Agassi. You might try Googling it.) But he finished with a most extraordinary statement—that most people have gone their entire lives without having a single thought.

Now, that woke us all up. We asked Dr. Bauman what a thought was; he responded with, “Well, what do you think a thought is?”

We thought...and thought...and thought. (Or perhaps we didn’t think...) By the end of class, none of us had given a satisfactory answer, and we parted with the injunction to examine this issue further.

And that, believe it or not, is the tale of a typical three days at Summit. After these two weeks, I must say I’m becoming much more accustomed to living without the Internet, enjoying the company of wonderful friends, and taking a ton of notes during lectures. Not to mention I have never been so excited about an upcoming trip to Wal-Mart.



Lacey Zuehlsdorff, 18

Mission Viejo, CA

Lacey grew up in a Christian home, but it wasn’t until the age of twelve that she accepted the gift of Jesus Christ at her church’s summer camp. Lacey enjoys martial arts, having earned her black belt. She is interested in pursuing a degree in history, journalism, and writing at college. Lacey wants to understand the mistakes of history in order to point out the fallen nature of the world through journalism and writing.


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  • October 25, 2012 // 04:49 pm //  # 
    Melanie's avatar Melanie

    What a well written post!  Thanks for sharing!
    In 2010, as a group we were so trepadacious about Bauman coming that we all dressed in white shirts and jeans so that we wouldn’t stand out too much as individuals for interrogation smile.  What a wonderful thing, though, to be forced to really think well.
    I’ll be forever grateful.

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