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September 28, 2011

Welcome to Summit Semester

Welcome to Summit Semester

Welcome to Summit Semester, where as soon as you walk through the front doors people are kind and generous... as long as you love weeds. This was my experience. As soon as I walked in people were trying to feed me, which in all truth was perfectly fine for me. I can always go for a good meal. But then it was off to pulling weeds - our first work crew as part of our time here. A good meal is something we have plenty of here at Summit Semester, for the cooks definitely live up to their names. But good weeds and meals were not all Summit had in store for us students.

Summit Semester is a community all its own. One of the first assignments we were given was to come up with a set of values, which we would then use to make our own guidelines and rules. I was expecting to have a strict set of rules to follow, so I found this refreshing. Not only could we determine the amount of freedom and rules we would have, we were also in charge of maintaining them ourselves. Of course, people had many different ideas, but we finally restricted our main values to:

1. Excellence through dedication.
2. Humility. 
3. Integrity.
4. Unity.

We will live by all of these for the next three months, using Matthew 18 at our own discretion, as a guide to settle any disputes and quarrels. This was all wrapped up in our chosen image statement describing us as Imago Dei, made in the image of God, for this is what we strive to live up to. From this set of values we set up a more detailed list of rules. They ranged from the practical, like during the class week you must be out of the opposite gender’s respected common areas by a certain time. Then there were some that reached for ridiculousness, like no kicking bunnies. Whoever thought that one up must be a few crayons short of a rainbow. But it made it to the list of restrictions so if any of you parents do make it up here, please refrain from your bunny kicking urges. 
Our guidelines were made, printed, and placed, and soon we were deep in class with our first instructor, Mike Mandt. He was interesting indeed. When I say interesting I do mean it in absolutely all the best ways. Not only were his lectures interesting, especially the parts that went into new earth/old earth discussions, but he had a knack of saying he was going to skip a few things and then go over them after all, which kept me amused, and kept our conversations stimulating. 

Wednesday night, we had our first taste of Dr. Bauman, which was everything I expected it to me. No matter your background, no matter your education, no matter your personal experiences, you didn’t stand a chance. Dr. Bauman had an answer for your rebuttals and rebuttals for your answers. I would have it no other way though. This is exactly why we are here; to challenge ourselves, push our minds, and learn by trial and error, so that when we leave this place we will have gone through a metamorphoses. Yes, our parents sent out caterpillars, in this case a darn good group of caterpillars. But when our parents see us again, when we emerge from our Summit cocoon, we will indeed be butterflies.

Jon MacArthur
Colorado Springs, CO

Jon is an amateur wrestler who has trained at the Olympic Training Center. He is excited to launch into a college career and beyond through the foundations he gains while at Summit Semester. He hopes to attend Rivendell Sanctuary after his time at Summit and continue to pursue his interests in architecture, political science, and psychology. He enjoys any outdoor activity, including hunting, fishing, camping, and backpacking

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  • October 05, 2011 // 03:42 pm //  # 
    Becky Mahoney's avatar Becky Mahoney

    Hi Jon! Thank you for letting us parents know about the bunnie-kicking! Would hate to get called on the carpet for that! :-D

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