Finally, after two weeks of Chaos, I am still alive after all

Dear Family and Friends,

Alright! I am about 5% less maniacally busy this weekend and I figure I owe you all something after two weeks of “Hi, I have homework, bye”. So here goes.

These past two weeks are wonderful examples of times when you look ahead, know what you have to do, and think “I am going to die”. And then it doesn’t happen, you just take each hour at a time and before you know it you’re past the hard part and everything is just peachy again. Well, not quite peachy, but at least not “I am going to die” anymore. For anyone wondering why this was the case, I would say it is because one of my classes is a graduate class, so it is a lot harder than the others and it is longer. Even though I took 23 credits last spring this quarter it is much harder, mostly on account of that class. Also, NROTC does take up quite a bit of time, though I don’t think it takes that much more time than Rugby took last spring. Well, maybe the fact that I have to get up between 4 and 5 am every morning has something to do with it *sheepish look*.

I am over midterms, mostly. Chemistry has two midterms and Geology has three, so I still have three more to go out of a total of 6 (hmm, 6 midterms for just three classes, that is depressing). My Chinese and Arabic classes don’t have midterms this fall, but the other classes quite make up for them! For all who were praying for me and midterms, thank you, I’ve done very well.

Classes continue to be interesting/fun, I especially like Chemistry because we get to light things on fire and blow them up *evil grin*, and I like Naval Sciences/NROTC because we get to shoot M16s, and hike around in the woods (in the dark) using a compass to find points on a map (not the easiest thing to do for those who haven’t tried it). The shooting M16s wasn’t quite as exciting as it sounds. There is a little firing range in the basement of the ROTC building and we went through some drills just to get us comfortable with CORRECTLY handling the weapon and comfortable with the stances. But it was a gun and it did go bang, so I was happy.

On the person front, I have two exciting bits of news. The first is that my roommate and I have started studying the Bible together. It was rather interesting because we both wanted to do it but were hesitant to mention it because we thought the other person wouldn’t want to. But Alodie (my roommate) finally spit it out and I was delighted to say yes. We are starting on Galatians and plan to read through Paul’s letters. I am very thankful that I was able to room with a fellow Christian this year. I felt rather cut off from God’s community last year because nobody in my immediate surroundings were Christians and I felt too busy (I wasn’t, I just felt it) to go out of my way to spend a lot of time attending Bibles studies and student groups around campus. However, this year I’ve made a very firm commitment to spend more time with God, especially now that I am trying out NROTC, and it is wonderful that I can fellowship with my roommate and we can become closer to each other and God together.

And now (we interrupt this program to bring you a special report), a special note to all of my faithful readers who do not share my beliefs about God (no, you are not allowed to skip this part). All I want to say is that I specifically try and tell my friends and family how I am doing physically as well as spiritually (because they are both important), and so I am even more thankful that I have friends and family who do not agree with me and still put up with me talking about my beliefs. I also try and use these letters as a way to witness, to show the work God is doing in my life and they ways he has blessed me. If you do not profess to know Christ then I am praying that you will come to know him so that you too can have the blessings and joy of being part of God’s family. (and now, back to our program)

The other interesting bit of news is that I have the coolest Chemistry Lecturer in the world. She is German, married an American/Irishman, moved to America and worked for a while, then they both retired in 1993 and bought a 38ft long sailboat and spent the next 5 years sailing the world and 2 years after that driving around the American continent. She is so interesting. I started having lunch with her over at Mirror Lake every Friday afternoon and we talk about traveling and where she has been/done/seen. She has a very interesting perspective on life, having been to so many places and because she is still pretty German. I’m going to attach a little brochure about their travels that she posted. Oh, and did I mention, they did all this when they were both in their early 50s (I’m guessing, I didn’t ask), they are probably now in their 60s and still go traveling around the world, usually in the winter season when she doesn’t teach. The thought crosses my mind “I wanna be like her when I grow up!”

Besides shooting big guns, and blowing things up in Chemistry (I personally haven’t blown anything up yet, darn, but our Chem. lecturer does some REALLY cool demos in class, things really do explode, with loud noises and lots of fire), life here is pretty much the same as it was three weeks ago, so I won’t bore you with much more of my rambling.

I do have one more little thing though. I am applying to the Critical Language Scholarship, which is a government scholarship that, if I get it, will send me to the Middle East for a summer of intensive Arabic at COMPLETELY no cost to myself. The only thing I would pay is buying souvenirs for myself and the travel from my house to the airport. AND they would plan it all so I wouldn’t have to enroll in an Arabic college or spend a bunch of time working out my own program. As you can imagine I REALLY REALLY want this scholarship, and I’m praying that God wants me to have it to. The deadline is next Wednesday, and I’m having a lot of trouble writing my application essays for a variety of reasons. So please please pray that God would help me get together a really good application for this scholarship and get it taken care of on time. I won’t know if I actually get the scholarship till March (morons) but the first step is to apply, then I’ll worry about acceptance.

Thank you all for your continued interest, support, and prayers. One last thing, please VOTE on Tuesday if you have not already. I don’t care who you vote for (well I do, but whatever), just please vote. Millions of people have given their sweat, blood, and tears to give us the freedom and the right to vote, so please honor that sacrifice and take advantage of that gift.

Ok, now I’m done. Love you all, have a good week!

In Christ, who likes squirrels too

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