Thursday, August 30, 2007


artists, archivers, collectors, collagers, Howards, all curious peoples, click here.
bibliodyssey is a collection of the strange, forgotten, and ancient prints, publications, illustrations, drafts, and sketches found in archives all over the world. it's materia obscura at its finest.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Petition to Covenant Administration

dozens upon dozens of Covenant alum have been posting about the schools recent change in policy toward the oversight of the student newspaper, The Bagpipe. a petition to president nielson was drafted and is being signed. i signed it. if you are concerned with freedom of the press, academic freedom, and institutional trust within the Christian community of Covenant College, then i would recommend that you sign this document as well. the petition is specifically from alum and current students of the college. in order to sign it, you must log in, using the password "freedom" and click on "edit post" at the top of the next page. scroll down and add your name, graduation year, and email address (not using the "@" symbol) to the list. im not sure what, if any, affect this will have on the administrations decision regarding the oversight of The Bagpipe, but it sure is a lot more productive than bemoaning the current state of our institution.

sign of the times?

i went to Covenant College for two years. i loved it. im hoping to return some day. all three of my siblings went to Covenant. i have spent a lot of time and my family has spent a lot of money there. i for one, though grateful for the education i received there and extremely appreciative of the unique Christian community found there, am afraid for the future of the school. the administration seems, on the whole, to be much more concerned with appearances than with the heart- more concerned with quantity than they are with quality.
in a recent move, the CC administration has, in affect, taken creative control of the student-run publication on campus, The Bagpipe. this move more than hints at the growing obsession of the administration to control the image of the school by controlling the students.

"Covenant College is Dying"

Saturday, August 25, 2007

long overdue part deux

so here i was at the end of an amazing summer at Ridge Haven. what was i to do? all the other counselors had returned home and/or to school, but i didnt want to go back to chattanooga just yet. dont get me wrong, i love home and my family and i missed everyone and my city, but i just wanted the squeeze as much as i could out of my time away this summer. so, i went on the appalachian trail. this wasnt as spontaneous as i make it sound- i hade been planning on it for several weeks. daddy b, the ministry director at RH, is an AT enthusiast. he lead the trip which included two counselors, meghan and myself, as well as the assistant ministry directors, andrew and laura kate lupton. we did about a 30 mile horseshoe-shaped section of the trail up albert mountain, and ending on the other side of standing indian mountain. we did it in two and a half days. it was a wonderful experience- we saw bears (i didnt... others did) and slept in shelters and had trail names for the log books and all that good stuff. for me, it was an excellent ending to my Ridge Haven experience this summer.
after we got back, i quite literally sat around for the rest of the week. i went into asheville on friday and on a whim called drew belz to see if he wanted to have lunch. he did. we talked for a few hours and i was invited to go camping that night with im and a few other ashevillians, including b.gill and jim-boy harrison. we hiked out into lineville gorge by torchlight- indiana jones style. upon reaching the summit we were to climb and camp on, we dropped out gear and hiked down the ridge to this massive swimming hole complete with natural waterslide and a 30 foot jump. we swam for a while, then hiked back up to our stuff. from there we proceeded to climb a rock outcropping in the middle of the lineville gorge named babel tower. the name fits. its about 400 ft. we hiked/climbed it and slept out under the stars that night. there was a meteor shower. we saw some of it before drifting off. the next morning i woke up and climbed up on a rock to pray and start my day, and when i returned to the camp spot there was one mean looking yellow and black rattler shaking his tail at me. i'd say it was between 3 and 3.5 feet in length and about 4 to 4.5 inches in diameter in its thickest spot. and, on top of that (quite literally) was james harrison sleeping in his hammock about three feet above this sucker. james woke up and yelled at him not to move. i was about 15 feet from the snake, so i bent down slowly and found a stone and hurled it at the rattler. i hit it in the head. he crawled off under a rock and we made little time in packing up and having breakfast elsewhere.this is what i saw when i woke up on top of babel tower. from left to right, the four peaks are sitting bear, hawks bill, table mountain (dead center), and laurel knob

the AT and my babel tower adventure was a perfect way to end my North Carolina summer. now that its over i wish i could go back and redo it all. but, school starts on monday, and im excited about my classes. its good to be home with good friends in my own city and my own bed and with my mom. dad is still in Ghana. he should be home next weekend. anyways, i guess this post brings an end to my summer blogging. the posts will probably be fewer now- just when something memorable or funny or important happens. anyways, thanks everyone for reading. stay classy.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

long overdue (2/3)

well, its been just packed these last three weeks. after my previous post, i was in senior high camp for a week. i had seven guys- five from IN, three from FL. it was a good week- my first with a group of campers closer to me in age. it was nice to not have to dumb things down and wonder whether or not basic words i was using made sense to them. it was a very different kind of camp, though. we had alot of free time. we split up and had options as far as what we did for morning activities. i went where i had the most guys. also, the meetings were different. we werent in shepherds hall like they had been the whole summer- they were in robeson hall. and, we werent leading worship. the evening guest speaker brought in his own praise team. they were a worship team lead by a christian hip hop artist. it was a dry week for me in worship. none of the songs that had grown to mean so much all summer were played. the tunes that were played were void of content and repeated sometimes 2 or 3 times in one day. the messages were great, and guest speaker chuck ryor hit the 5 points right on the head.
something funny happened on tuesday of this week. i keep a sewing needle on the outside of my pack weaved into one of the outside folds (the reason for that location is so i know where its at whenever i need it to mend my chacos or when mikey rips a giant hole in the butt of his only swimming shorts). in the morning meeting on tuesday i sat down in my seat, and lifted my pack and set it down in between my legs. i felt something scrape my calf. i look down and see it was the needle. i thought it was just a scratch, so i grabbed the needle to weave it back in its place, and it wouldnt go in. there were two dull ends. it took me a second to figure it out, but the needle was about 4 to 5 mm shorter as well.
you guessed it. it went into my leg.
i immediately went to the camp nurse, Dr. Powell, with my unique injury. we dug and dug and picked at the wound for over an hour, even making an additional incision with a razor blade to open up the skin above the needle. (oh yeah, no pain killer) it was no use. we bandaged it up and did our best to keep it from getting infected. it didnt get infected. the prosaic ending to this odd tale is that its still in my right calf, just on the inside of my leg directly under my knee. i guess my body blocked it off and my immune system kept it from doing any more damage. i was fully expecting to have to spend my weekend in the hospital trying to get it out. the wound healed and, if you like, when i see any of you, you can feel it under my skin. eww. gross.
also on tuesday i lost a several hundred dollar walkie talkie, puked up two chili dogs and a bag of fritos after an aggressive game of british bulldog, and lost a few straggling campers on a hike. despite all this, the Lord kept me from getting discouraged. at the end of the day i just told my floor-mate / prayer partner kieth "wow. what a weird day. i guess i'll give it another shot tomorrow." the Lord really game me strength that week.
on another note, the big senior high week was stash week. the beard i had been grooming all summer was minimized to a thick handlebar stash that connected at the points of my chin to some thin but long chinstrap sideburns that ran the length of my jawline. it was intended to look sketchy, but it actually turned out to look ok on me. i kept it for an extra week.
i made a few new friends senior high week. i had good guys, and some of them are interested in coming to RH next summer to be a CSI (Camp Service Intern). it was a good last week as a counselor at RH. or... at least, so i thought.
i was expecting my last week to be a cake walk- its Covenant Family Week. the kiddies stay with mommy and daddy and all we do it babysit them for a little while, and then run the ropes course or tubing or climbing wall. as it turns out, thats what most people did. but, a fraction of us counselors were chosen to be teachers for the week. teaching? seriously? my cake walk week turned out to be a full-blown VBS-type week. it was myself and Brynna in charge of the 7-8 yr olds. Trey and Abigail were in charge of the 5-6 yr olds. we created this massive secret agent story and system of activities and teaching. the kids all had to go through an "obstacle course" the first night as the start of their training for the week. once they completed this, they became Beginning Agents In Training (BAITs) and got their secret i.d. (it was a series of numbers and letters written on the inside of their left middle finger. it was kept hidden and secret from all others not of secret agent status, with the exception of parents and maybe siblings) i was AT88 (points to anyone who knows where thats from). Brynna was B12. i liked that one. it was funny.
so, all week long, we snuck around with these little kids "training" them in the art of espeonage, how to spell espionage, keeping themselves alive in the dangerous tricky world of being a secret agent, and many lessons from past agents like the mother of Moses, and Joshua, Ester, and Daniel, to name a few. this was all a marvelous thing that we got to do with them, creating i.d. cards and using clothes line pins as trackers and going on recon missions to find so-and-sos parents who are late to pick her up from the morning lesson. this is what we did in the morning and in the evening. in the afternoon we had to lead tubing trips or teach archery or help families through the low ropes courses. these things would not normally bother me, but this week it was impossible to plan for our next meeting and make ready our activities when the only free time we had was between 11 pm and whenever we could go to bed. oh, by the way, after the evening meeting, we all had a big group activity till pretty late. but, thats an aside. the finaly for the week was the head agent, "Z," contacting the BAITs to tell them that i, agent Scotch, had been captured by the Soviet Ninjas. yes, thats right, the Soviet Ninjas. they're dangerous and socialists and skilled in the art of fighting with a katana and blending in very well with their surroundings.
so, friday afternoon, i donned the darth vader mask and voice modifier and filmed myself as "Z" in a dark room. i told the FAITs (they had previously graduated to Field Agents In Training) what had happened to Scotch. i played some tape from a "security camera" of me sitting on the porch reading, when a masked figure dropped from the rafters above and puts me in a sleeper hold, knocks me out, and drags me off screen. it was up the the kids to find me and rescue me and detain the soviet ninja. they were armed with clothes line pins that would literally freeze whoever it was pinned to. they did this. they found me, captured the ninja, and completed the mission. i found out after i had been recovered that many of them were scared out of their wits by the video- dark creepy voiced figures and ninjas dropping from rafters hurting someone they know. looking back, i didnt make it with a "G" rating in mind. oh well. alls well that ends well. its actually good that some of them were scared. the ones that werent upset by the video consoled those who were and comforted them with the things that we learned in our Bible lessons that week. they encouraged them to save me because the things that God asked Joshua and Daniel were hard, but they did it because the loved God. and, since they love agent Scotch, they had to help save him. it was really touching. it was so worth it because the kids actually learned the lessons we taught them.
and so, camp came to an end that Friday. we cleaned up things around camp, and i wend to Asheville to pick up the counselor t-shirts that i designed. traffic was terrible. i lost 5 pounds between Brevard and Asheville because it was so dadgum hot and i was sitting on the interstate moving a foot every ten minutes. buts its all ok. i got back and we had the first annual counselor reunion weekend, which turned out to be just 2/3 of this summers counselors and no one from previous summers. its ok, though. it will pick up in the years to come. that night we went back to Dales (where we have eaten and worshipped every sunday night for the last month) and had pizza. people started trickling out saturday and sunday. it was a bittersweet time for me. it was the end of a long summer of sweet and incomparable fellowship, but the start of a new fall at a new school and an eventual return to chattanooga, my beloved hometown. but, on saturday, it would take me still some time to get home. had a few more adventures ahead of me.
those are two of the last three weeks. more later. oh yeah- cliffhanger.

ridge haven counselors summer 2007. i love them and miss them already.