Tuesday, December 28, 2004

By popular demand, I must post something. Hello everyone! I am back at home on Christmas break and enjoying the time with family away from studying. I had a very good semester learning more about what it means to be a godly man in this world and I was encouraged by friendships which continued to develop. I pray that I would accept the responsibility that accompanies these great blessings.

I recently read Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday and enjoyed it very much.  It is such a profound work theologically as it eloquently presents an argument for character-building as the explanation for suffering. It is also an engaging mystery thriller written by a master of the English language. I especially enjoyed the witty dialogue between the characters. My favorite quote is Syme's conclusion: "Bad is so bad, that we cannot but think good an accident; good is so good, that we feel certain that evil could be explained." How true!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Well, it's been a while. I have a few minutes, so I thought I'd type up a little something. As of yesterday, I'm now 22 years old. I had a great birthday, and got exactly what I wanted. The fall semester of my Sophomore year is going fine. I am keeping up with my classes pretty well - and enjoying them, especially Principles of Biblical Reasoning and Freedom's Foundations.

I'm actually typing this from a hotel near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am one of about 50 students working for the RNC promoting Bush for the weekend before the election. We are watching Back to the Future. Tomorrow morning we start bright and early walking neighborhoods to remind people to vote. I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with friends away from school and homework. I do need to read The Death of Ivan Ilych for Lit class though. Oh well.

Rachel and I did some swing dancing a few minutes ago in the hotel lobby. She had never done it before, so I showed her the basic step and turn. It was fun. It was the first time since I came to school that I've been able to dance. The Hoedown is in about a week, we just found out, so that should be fun. Except they usually don't have swing dancing.

Anyway, I think I'll get off now. There's a lot going on with me that I haven't mentioned, but if you want to know you'll have to contact me privately. I need to get some sleep tonight; it's going to be a tiring weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2004

It has been one week since I was dropped off at Sky Harbor Airport to
fly to Washington Dulles Airport for another year at PHC. I can't describe all that's happened
in my life over this first week of the semester, especially because I have Freedom's
reading to do before chapel. It should be pretty easy, though; it's
just chapters of Scripture.

But I do feel obligated to post at least something of what my life back
at college is like. There are many layers and aspects to life. I will
touch on some of the surface first, and then attempt to go a little
deeper. School, as in the thing I'm supposed to be doing here, is going
fairly well. I am excited about my classes, especially Freedom's
Foundations and Principles of Biblical Reasoning (although PBR will be
easy since I went to Worldview Academy.) Latin will be the biggest
challenge, of course, but that's ok. It's worth it. I went to the first
debate meeting last night. It looks like Dan and I will be novice
partners again and the value resolution this season is "Resolved:
Separation of Church and State is being inappropriately eroded." That
should be interesting. I started work as a security officer this week.
I'm not sure if I'm a very good one, but I hope it will be what I
expect: an easy way to get paid a few bucks to study/hang out. :)

On a social level, my first week as a Sophomore has been filled with
meeting some of the 101 new students and trying to re-bond with those I
already knew. I am very impressed with the new students and look
forward to getting to know them more. As always, the community here is
remarkably committed to pursuing good and true things, and this is joy
to me. Right now I'm conflicted inside as I consider those around me
that I care about. I am encouraged and happy about some things, but
concerned and saddened by others. Things are different now. Some things
are good and better; some things are bad and worse. But my hope is
unwavering that the Lord will work out the good in everything. I
rejoice in His faithfulness and love towards me. I feel so blessed by
so many things and am often ashamed at the lack of gratitude I express
in view of that. Thank you God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! One of
my ongoing struggles is to trust God in the midst of blessing. I know
that I'm dependant on Him, but I can often forget how helpless I am
when things go so well. I foolishly take my eyes off the source of all
good things and relax in myself. It is there that I fail, and I pray
that God would remind me of my dependence on Him just as much as I
need. I acknowledge my dependence on Him to make me dependant on Him.

I hope to post again soon, but don't promise anything. Life is more than blogs.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Fall 2004 Class Schedule

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:00am - Western Literature II
11:00am - Freedom's Foundations
3:00pm Latin III

Tuesday, Thursday
1:30pm History of the Western World I
3:00pm Principles of Biblical Reasoning

Last evening I was very privileged to finish viewing the film Pride and Prejudice. I must say, I do not know if I have seen such a delightful blend of witty dialogue, superb acting, and beautiful scenery and sets on a movie before. Furthermore, the story was engaging and obviously the epitome of romance. Indeed there is nothing I can say against this film. I think my favorite part about it is the way that the characters speak. The height of intellectual courtesy was extremely humorous at times, and inspiring otherwise. The only part of movie that I did not enjoy was when it had to end. I cannot wait to see it again, and would also like to read the book soon.

I finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia for the first time yesterday as well. This book series is unmatched in my experience of fantasy literature, except perhaps by Lewis's own space trilogy. It is such an enjoyable and deeply spiritual collection of stories. I think my favorite books were probably The Magician's Nephew, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Last Battle.

In twelve days I will be flying to Virginia and I must admit that I look forward to that day with much anticipation. As much as I have enjoyed this time at home, the heat is beginning to get to me. But it isn't only the weather at school that I'm looking forward to. I've said it before, and I'll continue to say it. The people who have become my closest friends comprise the number one reason I smile when I think of college. I have gotten to know a few people better here in AZ this summer, but my friends at school are closer to me for obvious and expected reasons - time in close proximity being the chief. I will miss my family, however, especially Naomi. She is such a good sister. I will also miss my nieces and nephew. I was glad yesterday to be able to finally play with one of my nieces without her being too afraid of me. She wasn't used to me early this summer, because I obviously wasn't around much. But now she seems to have warmed up to me. :)

I received my class schedule this week and will post it. I will be asking the registrar to change my Western Literature II section because I had asked for a different time with a different professor. If I believed that the section I asked for had actually filled up before my form was submitted, I would not be complaining. But after talking to other students I do not believe that this is true. It would be really nice if they switched me because I like the other professor, and I don't like classes at eight o-clock in the morning. Other than that, I am happy with what they gave me and look forward to setting myself to learning the assigned subjects.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I'm making phone calls for the Bush/Cheney campaign this evening. I
call the number and ask for Tabathia. I can tell that the lady is
having a hard time hearing me, and sounds a little like she might be
hard of hearing. Since I pronounce the name wrong (it's pronounced
Tabatha), she doesn't know who I want, and says something I can't
understand.I continue to try and pronounce the name, to no avail. She
recognizes the last name, so I spell out the first name and finally she
realizes who I'm looking for. She sets the phone down and tells someone
that Tabitha is wanted. Then I hear a different girl saying, "is that
Travis?" She picks up the phone and says, "Hello." I say, "Tabitha?"
Silence. . . Then the original lady picks up the phone and says,
"Tabitha is deaf. She won't be able to hear you." I say, "Ok, can you
ask her a question for me?" while thinking, "Why did you give her the
phone if she's deaf?" I ask her to ask Tabitha if she's voting for
Bush. Eventually, after some more inquiries and comments about Travis,
whoever he is, I get an affirmative answer. I say, "Thank you for your
time. This call was paid for by Bush/Cheney 2004. Goodbye," and hang up
one of the most entertaining phone calls I've ever made. Thinking back,
I don't think she actually handed the phone to Tabitha, but that's what
I thought at the time. And I think the lady I talked to is probably
partially deaf. I'm glad Tabitha's voting for Bush, and it's a good
thing they don't require the ability to hear when casting a ballot.
That skill would be nice when answering a phone, though.

Monday, July 26, 2004

I just got back from my second swing dancing class. I'm taking them
every Monday night until I go back to PHC on 8/20. My friend John is
teaching, and it is a LOT of fun. There are two classes, a beginner and
an intermediate. While I am a beginner, they need more guys so I stay
for the intermediate class that follows and learn as fast as I can.
That is, they usually need more guys. Tonight there was an
overabundance of guys so I could only watch the intermediate. It's ok
though, because I think I picked up the moves and can practice them
with Naomi. She's not taking the class, but I'm teaching her here at
home. She is a really fast learner and very good at dancing. Anyway, I
had a great time once again this evening, and look forward to learning
and practicing more as the weeks go by. Then I'll have to teach my
friends at school how to swing dance so that they can share my joy in
it. :)

I went to the homeschool convention last weekend and was encouraged and
convicted by RC Sproul Jr.'s talks to make the Lord central in my goals
for life, rather than the god of this world - personal peace and
affluence. He also made a strong biblical case for homeschooling.

Church has been awesome, although I missed it last week because I went
camping with my dad, my nephew, and my nephew's friend. Camping was ok,
but isn't my favorite activity in the world. Naomi has been joining me
at Sovereign Grace, which is cool. She is enjoying it, but won't be
able to go there once I leave unless she can find a ride. Are there any
attenders reading this that drive somewhere in the vicinity of Rural
and Southern on their way?

For the next three weeks, some of my goals are to 1. finish the
Chronicles of Narnia (only one more book to go) and the other books I
am reading, 2. study Latin, 3. see The Bourne Supremacy, 4. see Pride
and Prejudice, 5. study more Latin, 6. grow in my walk with the Lord
through more prayerful Bible study and practical application. There's
more, but I'm not thinking of it right now. I'm really looking forward
to getting back to school, although I'm a bit apprehensive about all
the work I'll have to do. But the learning will be worth it. And the
people will really be worth it.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Well, the Red team didn't win, but I had a great week anyway. We got third place. One of the highlights of the week was when the team honored me at the end of the week by giving me their flag. :) Though we played hard, and tried to make sure we always had our buttons (nametags), we rarely won a game so it wasn't that big of a surprise when the standings were revealed. Congratulations to the Green team, led by a fellow PHC'er, my friend Matthew du Mee! I want to thank my fellow Red team counselors once again for helping me in my first time as a team captain (and first time at camp). Thank you Mr. Addis, Mrs. Holligan, Miss Corridori, Miss Marlatt (Sherri, another friend of mine from PHC), and Mrs. Stevens!

AWANA camp is an experience I'm sorry I missed when I was younger. Though it obviously wasn't as intellectually stimulating as Worldview Academy, it was very spiritually impacting and emotionally moving. Most of all, it was a lot of fun. The team spirit and thrill of competition is high. Plus, Bible memorization is a big part of the week (of course, it's AWANA), which is a very good thing. Every day the kids go to a Bible class, and every evening is a chapel with worship and preaching. I was counseling junior highers, so it was a little below my level spiritually, but I still gained from it.

The one part of camp I'd say hit me the most was Mrs. Stewart's talk on eating disorders. I learned so much that I didn't know before. It can be so dangerous physically when young women, and men, are psychologically hurt by not feeling accepted and valued by God, their family, and friends. The Stewarts are the AWANA missionaries who run the camp, and their daughter died around eight years ago because of complications from eating disorders. I was very moved and am glad I am aware of the issue now.

I should talk about my Teepee. I was assigned to be the counselor for 10 seventh and eighth grade guys. The accomodations were, well, a teepee. It was like a tent, but round, and the poles came together in the middle at the top. There were beds underneath. It wasn't that bad, especially because the canvas could be rolled up in the afternoon to allow it to air out and stay cool. The guys were, well, hard to control most of the week to be completely honest. A couple of them were well behaved...yes, I said a couple. For the first half of the week, I concentrated on making sure they didn't kill each other and took a shower at least once, so I didn't really get to bond spiritually with them that much. One guy, Josh, went forward on the first night of chapel, and I could tell that God worked in his life through the week. He, and two other of my guys, shared testimonies on the last evening of how God had changed them. That was encouraging, especially because my nightly devotions were, shall we say, weak. I have very little experience at sharing spiritual things from my heart off the cuff to junior highers. But God worked despite my failures. He definitely deserves all the glory for anything good that happened last week with my guys.

I had a good time getting to know the other counselors through the week also, especially Mr. du Mee, Mr. Quade, Miss Cullers, Miss Corridori, and Miss Marlatt. Shhh! ;) I should mention Mrs. Holligan, Miss Struebal, and Miss Day too; it was good to meet and talk to them as well. The weather was great; it got very cool in the early mornings. The food was good, most of the time. I didn't request special meals, so I basically ate a lot of salad, fruit, and side dishes. It was ok. There's more I could and probably should say about camp, but I can't think of anything right now. So I'll go ahead and post this and add to it later if I think of something.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I've decided that I like reading blogs much more than writing them. Here are two non-Xanga ones I read regularly:

Life at College

I will say, since I'm posting, that life is going great. I've been reading and enjoying the Chronicles of Narnia. Work is going fine. I released a fully-featured beta version of the AuthorTool yesterday, and since then have started working on a 2004 trial version of SOS. It's coming along quite nicely.

I'm taking next week off to be a counselor at AWANA Camp. It will be good to get away for a week, especially from the 105 degree weather. Pray for me that I would have a positive spiritual impact on the kids. Oh, and also pray that as a team captain I would be enthusiastic enough to make the week fun and exciting for the Red team. Go RED!! :)

Friday, June 04, 2004

Wow. I just got back from Sovereign Grace's college group Bible study. It was amazing. I have not been in an environment with that level of spiritual discussion since...well, PHC. I really enjoyed the worship, and the discussion of Revelation 3. We really dug deep into what Christ was saying to the church at Sardis. The key idea was to be totally centered on the gospel as a church. And not just the concept, to let it affect everything. Anyway, the people were great and I was really blessed. I'm disappointed that I won't be able to go to service on Sunday. But a weekend in San Diego won't be too bad. :)

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

I'm in one of those modes where I don't really want to blog. But I should because I have some interesting things to say.

I started attending Sovereign Grace Church in Gilbert on Sunday. The service was really good and I look forward to getting more involved this summer. I need to do some more study on the spiritual gifts, but I'm getting more comfortable with the way they practice them.

I finished The Four Loves, and really enjoyed the chapters on Friendship and Charity. Wow. It is definitely a must read. I was hit once again by the passage arguing for taking the risk of loving people. There is so much deep truth in that book; I will probably read it again. For the last couple of days, I've been spending my free time practicing the piano and tonight I studied some Latin. Work has been going well. I just got a couple new projects today, so I'm going to be busy enough.

I had a great holiday weekend. Yesterday I saw Shrek 2 with my family, after seeing the first one on Sunday for the first time. I was very impressed with the quality of both the animation, and the stories of these films. They were hilarious too. :) This weekend, my family is going to San Diego so my dad can run a marathon there.

Interesting article arguing for homeschooling from a secular perspective: http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110005109

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I am HOME! Yay! Actually, I got home Saturday night, but I haven't felt like blogging. I've started work back at AOP, and am actually able to drive to work now because of my dad's generosity. It is nice to not have to take the bus.

I should back up. Finals went really well. It was another relaxing week of studying, just like last semester. I think I maintained pretty good grades, especially because I was excused from the Western Lit. final for having an A average on my quizzes. I was really surprised to find that out, and really happy. I missed graduation on Saturday because I was cleaning my room and it was too hot to dress up outdoors anyway. My flights home were pleasant and not full. Sunday I went to church and remembered what shallow lyrics in worship music are. By the way, I stopped going to the Reformed Presbyterian church in Purcellville for a variety of reasons and started going to Grace Community Church in Ashburn, which is part of Sovereign Grace Ministries. Yes, Paul went to a charismatic church. I actually enjoyed it and I think I'm starting to agree with their view of spiritual gifts. The best part of the church is the cross-centered worship and preaching. GCC Tempe is just not the same. Oh well, God is good and I know He will bless me here too.

Tonight we are going to a party for a local candidate. While I was in VA, my family got really involved with politics. They are more involved than I am! It's really good. Yesterday Mom and Naomi went to a rally to celebrate marriage and protest the "gay marriages" in Mass. There were 8,000 people at the Arizona State Capitol! This weekend, I am headed for California to visit Daniel as he spends his two weeks at home before returning to work at HSLDA. I'm really looking forward to it.

I've started reading C. S. Lewis's The Four Loves and also have The Weight of Glory and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe sitting on my desk. I still need to finish unpacking, and get caught up on the episodes of 24 I missed. Oh, I should mention that Hitman is now officially a wrap, and you can watch both seasons (in lo-quality) online at http://www.tpaulshippy.com/home. Make sure to watch Season 1 first, if you haven't already seen it. Ok, I'm going back to hanging out with my family. :)

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I'm registered for next semester.

11:00 Freedom's Foundations
1:00 History of the Western World
3:00 Latin III

TTh -
10:45 Western Lit II
1:45 Principles of Biblical Reasoning

I'm so excited. It's going to be a fun semester. This one's just about over. It's the last week of classes! Overall, everything has been going very well in my life. God is teaching me things and I'm learning so much. As much as I enjoy life at PHC, I can't wait for the summer and getting back to work at AOP for a bit. Only two more weeks...:)

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Christus Dominus hodie resurrexit! (Christ the Lord has risen today!) Greetings and salutations. May God be praised for His overflowing blessings of grace in my life! Here is a summary of my life in the last week or so:

Things are going pretty well with school. In Latin, I'm keeping up with the concepts though I'm a bit behind on memorizing the vocabulary. In Rhetoric, I am enjoying hearing student speeches and have finished writing the forensic speech I will give on Wednesday. In History, I took an exam that went OK, and am now writing a research paper on Barry Goldwater. In Algebra, I took an exam that went really well and I feel pretty comfortable with what is being taught. In Western Lit, I don't get a lot of the meanings in these deep books but I'm attempting to enjoy them anyway and will need to start writing about them soon. In Theology, we've been studying the church and I need to start thinking about my ten-page research paper which is due at the end of this month. Yikes, I have a lot to write.

My time with friends has been a joy. A group of about ten of us are really growing closer to one another and are meeting weekly to pray together. It has been a huge blessing as we encourage one another to focus on God throughout the week. Another episode of Hitman is about to be released, and this one is eleven and a half minutes long!

My relationship with God has been developing slowly for the last week or so. While I have spent time in His Word and prayer, I have not focused on applying His Word like I should. I have been convicted just recently by reading the PHC Student Covenant and Honor Code and am praying that God would enable me to honor Him more in all areas of my life. Pray for me, friends, that I would spend a large amount of time focusing on God even as I enter these next few stressful weeks.

This four-day weekend has been a nice break from classes, but I still have a lot to do tomorrow. Today I'm celebrating the resurrection, though, because Christ the Lord has risen today...Alleluia!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I'm back at school after a week of spring break. Here's what I did:

Saturday the 13th
Jeremiah, Matt, and I got up early and headed for the airports. They dropped me off at Dulles and went on to BWI for their flights. It was weird being dropped off at arrivals and taking luggage out of the trunk...I caught a bus to a metro station and took the metro to Reagan Airport. For the next 30 minutes or so, I walked back and forth in the baggage claim, looking for my family. We reached each other on the phone and I found out that there was another terminal in that airport. I walked over to it and greeted Mom, Dad, and Naomi. We got our rental car, a cheap silver Neon with no automatic locks and no automatic windows, and headed South. We found our timeshare in Williamsburg and got settled in. It was a pretty nice resort, but a little older than many we've stayed in. Our suite had a kitchen, two bathrooms, and three bedrooms. I slept in the room on the third floor.

Sunday the 14th
We slept in and hung out until after lunch, at which point Dad dropped Naomi, Mom, and me at a local movie theatre. It was not the best theatre, but may well have been the best movie (of all time) - The Passion. I enjoyed it thoroughly and have nothing really negative to say about it. It was powerful emotionally, accurate biblically, and beautiful aesthetically. I can see why it is so popular - hey, I want to see it again. That evening, we hung out around the resort and I probably did some reading.

Monday the 15th
We started the day by visiting the state-run museum at Jamestown. There was an Indian village, life-size models of the ships they used, and a replica of the settlement. I enjoyed seeing and hearing about what I learned about in US History I. Then, we went to Yorktown. They had a nice timeline of the debates leading up to the American War for Continued Self-Government (American Revolution for those who haven't taken Snyder). We saw how they fired cannons, which was cool but loud. Then we visited the medical tent, and the historian gave very vivid descriptions of procedures used at that time. Unfortunately, Mom didn't take it too well and ended up passing out. The good thing was, we were at a medical tent, so she was able to lay down on the cot until they brought us a wheelchair to help her to the car. We came home to let her rest, and by evening she was back to normal.

Tuesday the 16th
We got a free breakfast by going to a timeshare presentation Tuesday morning and they tried to get us to upgrade. I had fun analyzing the saleswoman's rhetorical skills, but in the end she was not persuasive. Then we went back to Yorktown and finished seeing the nice museum. Late that afternoon, we stopped by Williamsburg and saw a film and watched a drum and fife concert. They let us have our badges early, even though we bought two day passes for Wed. and Thurs. It rained some, but wasn't too bad.

Wednesday the 17th
We spent all day at Williamsburg. We saw Peyton Randolph's house, the governor's mansion, and the church. The best part of the day was in the morning when we got to see a guy act like he was Patrick Henry. He was really knowledgable and a very good speaker. I enjoyed his presentation very much. We also saw a guy play Thomas Jefferson, but he wasn't as good.

Thursday the 18th
We went to Williamsburg again. This time we saw the capitol building, the Rockefeller's house, and shops like the cabinet maker's. In the afternoon, we saw Patrick Henry again, and I enjoyed him again even though he pretty much said the same stuff. We took a walking tour, but it wasn't that good.

Friday the 19th
We drove down to the James River and took a ferry across it, which was a first for all of us. We went to the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier and Pamplin Historical park. It was a new, very well done museum all about the Civil War. Inside, we learned about life as a soldier. Outside, we saw the site of the Union's final breakthrough near Petersburg in the last few weeks of the war. It was really cool to see the mound of dirt that the Confederates made as a fortification, still intact, and hear about how the Union army broke through the line. We also saw a restored plantation house, and learned about slave life at that time. I would say that this was the best museum we visited all week, because I learned so much from it.

Saturday the 20th
We packed up and headed North for Purcellville. We ended up getting to Leesburg around lunch time, so we met those of my friends who were on campus at Taco Bell. Jeremiah, RJ, Sherri, and Christina got to meet my family. We arrived at school and I showed Mom and Naomi my dorm room and the classrooms in Founder's Hall. We took a quick tour and then said our goodbyes because they had to catch a flight at 4. For the rest of the afternoon, I hung out with the four friends I mentioned above. We walked into town and visited some shops, spent some time reading Johnson (History) together, and went to Subway for dinner. Last night I read some more and chatted.

I really enjoyed the vacation, but it's good to be back at school. I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things. There's a lot of writing assignments coming up, so I may not be posting here very often. But that's nothing new. Now I need to get to church.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

"Obviously I would entertain it." - John McCain on the prospect of running as John Kerry's running mate.

I guess this removes any doubt as to McCain's loyalty to Republicans and conservatives. I wonder how much more Arizona Republicans are willing to take from this guy. When is he up for reelection? Oh yeah, this year. WAKE UP ARIZONA VOTERS! There's gotta be some other Republican leader who is actually loyal to the right. Do we really want to re-elect a senator who is considering running with the Democrats against President Bush (wait a sec, didn't he already try running against Bush)? If you want an example of a RINO (Republican In Name Only),  McCain's the man. And I say, let's get rid of him.

I'M DONE! Midterms are officially over, at least for me. I just walked out of the Rhetoric exam, which wasn't too bad I guess. But, I feel a lot more confident about the Latin exam that I took this morning. Now I just have a few more classes for the next couple of days and then it's off to Williamsburg with Mom, Dad, and Naomi for a week. Yipee!!

The campus has been buzzing since Monday's New York Times front page article on the growing influence of PHC. It turned out to be a great publicity piece on how threatening we are to the liberals. How exciting! Another site to watch is the official PHC Blog, hosted by World magazine and regularly updated by freshman journalism students here.

Monday, March 01, 2004

My weekend has been very interesting. Friday night, I joined an emotional prayer meeting with my close friends and was very blessed by God's Word. Saturday, the weather started getting really nice, so I took a nap and read outside on the grass.

Saturday night, I got a random instant message from a girl in NY who didn't even know where she got my screenname. I ended up sharing the gospel with her and she was very receptive. It sounds unbelievable; I still don't quite believe it myself. I'm praying that God would continue to work in her heart.

Yesterday afternoon, after church, I stayed outside as much as possible because the weather was BEAUTIFUL. There was supposed to be a surprise party for Judith at 4, but three guys took her on a walk at 3:30 and went so far that they didn't get back until 4:30. Though everyone was pretty upset at the guys, the party turned out well anyway. After AWANA, I came back to campus and found out that there were plans to bobtize the three guys who had ruined the surprise party. Two of them did end up getting thrown in Lake Bob, an action that I did not support.

I've had a good day today. This week isn't as busy as next week will be (midterms), although we just got loaded with new stuff in Latin this morning. I am enjoying reading The Aeneid for Western Lit.

I am looking forward to 1. seeing The Passion as soon as I can, and 2. spring break, which is in less than two weeks.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I got back to school last night safely, and though I probably should be studying for my History exam this afternoon, I wanted to quickly post something on the weekend.

I had a wonderful time. Not only did I develop in my thinking and speaking skills, I got to know our team better and met some neat people from other colleges. PHC dominated the tournament, of course, winning first place awards in every category possible. Dan and I had a good first tournament. As of Friday night, we were undefeated, but lost Saturday morning ending up with a 4-2 record. We made it to out rounds, but were matched with a superior team from PHC. So we were eliminated by coach's decision. Our speaker points were good - I won the ninth place speaker award and Dan won tenth. Overall, we learned a lot and are looking forward to the next one. Now, back to studying...

Friday, February 20, 2004

I am in Owensboro, KY on my first debate tournament. I am sitting in the hotel room enjoying the free wireless internet. Thank you Ramada. I just want to say, before I go to bed - I LOVE DEBATE!

Daniel Burns is my debate partner and the resolution is as follows: The United States should significantly reduce its foreign military commitments. Our affirmative case is that the US should withdraw all troops from South Korea, redeploy them to the war on terror (relieving the National Guard and reserves) and terminate our mutual defense treaty with SK. We are arguing that the US doesn't need to have troops in South Korea because they can defend themselves and that our plan will 1. lessen North Korea's hostility against the US (because they fear a US invasion as long as our troops are there), 2. relieve the reserves and National Guard, and 3. allow South Korea to develop politically and militarily and become more independent (plus, the people of South Korea don't want us there).

We argued four preliminary rounds this evening. Two affirmative, two negative. Both of our affirmative rounds went very well. In one of the negative rounds, we were arguing against a really idiotic plan so it was easy. The other one wasn't topical (it didn't fulfill the resolution), but we didn't successfully argue that. I feel really good about our presentation and arguments. But we have a lot that we can improve upon. I guess I will know better whether we did very well after I see the ballots and find out whether we break into the out rounds. Whether or not we win, I am having a great time and am learning a lot.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I'm steamed. There are people on this campus who are on a mission to pressure people to become attached romantically with people of the opposite sex. Specifically, a number of students are planning a Valentine's Day party this weekend and giving people who come as "couples" a major financial discount. This would be OK, if they announced it once and then let it go. I was fine with it after hearing about it twice yesterday evening. But, starting in chapel this morning and continuing all day long until dinner this evening, I have been pressured to attend this event where pairing up is strongly encouraged. To be frank, this is a phenomenon I had hoped to avoid when attending PHC. I am assured by the fact that my closest circle of friends here will not be attending this party and never pressure me in this way.

Otherwise, I'm doing pretty well. My Latin exam went very well and it was good to finally have math class this morning. We've missed six hours of the class because the last two Tuesday mornings, classes have been cancelled because of the weather. So, the professor is having to cut things and speed things up. But I think it will work out.

We are releasing the first episode of Hitman: Season Two this evening. It is a prequel that explains the background of the very first episode of the show. The best part is when the director (played by Jeremiah) meets with his brother (also played by Jeremiah) and you see both of them on the screen at the same time. It's an awesome effect.

Now, I need to study for the Rhetoric quiz tomorrow...and 24 is at 9!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Well, I guess I can take a few minutes to post an update. Especially since WE HAVE'NT HAD A CLASS THE LAST TWO DAYS!!!! That's right - it is snow day heaven here at PHC and we are loving it. 6-8 inches Sunday night, a couple more Monday mixed with freezing rain and more snow this evening has made for a cold and wet class-less paradise. Yippeeee! I should start from where I left off, though.

Last Monday, 16 of us went into DC for sightseeing. We got the standard tour of the capitol, had lunch at Union Station, and took the metro to the National Archives. It was pretty cold outside, though, and the line to see the documents was out the door and down the street. So we decided to pass on. Trudging all the way down Constitution Ave, we saw about all of the White House we could see, and then walked to the Lincoln, Vietnam, and Korean memorials. It was wonderful, but cold. Then we walked back to the Smithsonian and spent about an hour at the Air and Space Museum before taking the metro back to our cars and heading back to school. I'm glad I went - it was the first time since I've been so close. We resolved to do it again soon.

Tuesday night was the President's big speech, and ten of the students here were selected to help with the White House comment line. We ended up at 1800 Pennsylvania Ave. and they had staffers answering the phones most of the time. We did get to stuff envelopes while watching the speech, and the best part was about a third of the way into the speech when our supervisor handed us hardcopies of it! So we read it as he spoke it. That was fun and I liked most of the speech - except for the new domestic spending proposals. :( I did get to listen to a few calls. A couple of crazies and crank callers were interspersed with two general positive comments.

Friday, after lunch, I skipped my afternoon classes to attend CPAC that night and most of Saturday. The major speakers on Friday afternoon were Ann Coulter and Oliver North. Coulter did not impress me in the least - I wouldn't mind it if I never heard from here again. North was inspirational as he shared war stories from last year. Friday night Aaron got us into the Ronald Reagan banquet for free and we saw Senator Bill Frist speak - I like him. We stayed the night at the same hotel that the conference was being held at. In the morning I heard Alan Keyes - wonderful as always - and Rep. Chris Cox, a conservative congressman from California. Can you conceive of it? Hehe. In between the speakers, I walked around and saw the booths of just about every conservative organization you can think of - from the RNC, Heritage, and FRC, to the ACLU. A bunch of conservative leaders and supporters were there. I even saw Randall Terry; I was right behind him on the escalator. It was a great weekend, although it caused me to get behind on my schoolwork. But that was no problem come Sunday night...

So I've spent the last two days getting caught up and having fun too. We filmed a little Hitman last night in addition to watching the first half of Ben Hur. The two impromptu morning chapels led by students have been very good - maybe it's just me, but I'm sensing an increasing desire to glorify God in everything and keep our focus where it should be. It's encouraging and I hope it continues, in me at least. Well, it looks like we'll get a bit more snow tonight but I'll be surprised if I'm not in Latin at 11am tomorrow. It will be good to get back, I'm starting to miss the teachers - and the meals that don't involve cheese between two pieces of bread. Until I get another chance to post, thanks for reading. Semper gaudete in deo atque iterum dico gaudete!

Sunday, January 18, 2004

I realized this week that I have a very busy schedule for the next four months. This became especially clear after I decided to join the debate team in addition to the 6 three-credit classes that I'm taking. Lord, help me to make it. The weather has been really cold. Yesterday we had snow and freezing rain. Brrrrr... We went to the store and I got all stocked up for the semester. And we bought a $30 microwave. Last night I watched Bruce Almighty. It was good. While I certainly wouldn't call it a "family film," I appreciated the message and enjoyed the humor used to convey it.

This week is going to be crazy. Tomorrow is a holiday, so a bunch of us are going sight-seeing in DC all day. Tuesday night, I'm working with 9 other PHC students at the White House phone banks during and after the State of the Union Address. Friday night and Saturday, I'm attending the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) put on by the American Conservative Union. It looks like it's going to be a lot of interesting conservative speakers. After that, I just have Latin, Rhetoric, History, Algebra, Western Lit, Theology, Debate, College Republicans, Hitman, social life, spiritual life, physical fitness, etc. for a few weeks. Not a problem. :-}

Monday, January 12, 2004

I'm back to school now. My break was relaxing, and as you can see by the date of my last post I didn't spend a lot of time online, which was good. The first week I spent recovering from tooth extraction while celebrating Christ's birth with my family. The second week I went to work at AOP. It was fun getting back into the code again. Last week I worked for three days and then played. On Thursday, Naomi, Julia, Paz and I went to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Dad drove us over early in the morning and we spent all day on extreme roller coasters. X was a thrill! We came back home that evening and then slept for a long time. Friday night we hosted a party and I got to see a lot of old and new friends. Saturday night Mom, Naomi, and I went to see Return of the King at the Cine Capri. It was a really big screen and I enjoyed it much more the second time.

I flew out of Phoenix at 6:30am yesterday morning and arrived at BWI around 3pm. Jeremiah drove us to school and I spent the evening unpacking and going over my schedule. I got my grades, finally, and I am very happy about most of them. This morning I bought my books, and just realized that I will need a calculator for my math class tomorrow. Ooops. I wonder if it needs to be graphing... I guess I better get started on reading all this literature I just bought.