Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bethel's Got Talent

Last night, one of my friends and I played a violin duet in Bethel's annual talent show. It was kind of a random experience ... last week, we were walking back to our lockers after quartet practice when we passed the room where auditions were being held. The judges called to us from the room, asking if we would like to audition. We were like, "no, it's ok." However, by the time we actually reached our lockers, we decided it might be fun to audition, just for fun (at that time, we had no intention of actually making the cut, let alone performing on stage). So we dug through some duets, walked back to the audition room, and sight read the piece. It had to have been the ugliest thing I've ever heard. We played fine and were together the entire time, it was just ugly. Anyway, we both got emails the next day telling us what time we needed to show up for the Talent Show. We kind of got excited about it and decided to perform. Monday morning (the show was Monday night), we decided it might be a good idea to come up with a performance piece. That's right, we procrastinated. Surprise! It didn't take us too long to find a piece that sounded decent and was easy to play. We also decided to add a little variety to our performance by beginning with an awful rendition of 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.' You know, let the audience think we were awful before breaking out into glorious music (don't take that last part too seriously). Well, it turns out that we were voted into the top four by the judges. The audience then voted for its favorite act, leaving us in second place! We were fairly excited ... mostly because the second place prize was $50. I wish it was always that easy to gain $25 ....

Monday, October 27, 2008

First sighting of snow

That's right ... snow ... in October ... it can't be true ... but alas, it is.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Red River Gorge

I spent Fall Break in Kentucky at the Red River Gorge with Breagan, Jasmine, Sarah K. and Kevin. We did a lot of exploring and bouldering and a little bit of actual rock climbing. The weekend passed by far too quickly. We're hoping to go back next summer for an entire week. There's so much to do! We only covered about a 2-mile radius in a forest that is hundreds of acres. The posts below show a few of the pictures from the trip.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red River Gorge - Friday night

There was a creek behind our camping site. Jasmine and I decided to take a dip in it late Saturday night. It was pretty chilly.

Our neighbors. We thought that meetup.com was some sort of dating site, but it seems to just be a place where people can meet other people, not necessarily with romantic interests in mind. But, it was still pretty funny to listen to them talk.

We went on a late night excursion for firewood.

Listening to see if anyone was coming down the road.

The "I've got firewood" dance.

At last, a huge fire!

Red River Gorge - Saturday morning

Starting the day off right with coffee ...

and chocolate chip pancakes and bacon!

We easily conquered our first obstacle of the day.

Jasmine and I played the face game while Kevin stood victoriously on the rock.

We found a climbing wall that Breagan, Kevin, and Jasmine wanted to try. Turns out it was harder than it looked.

Kevin sliced his finger while climbing.

Kevin was nice and gave Jasmine a little boost.

Harnessing up.

Red River Gorge - after lunch...

Kevin decided to scoot down a random hole we found on the side of a hill. Initially, we really didn't know where the thing led. But it turns out there was another hole on the other side of a huge boulder a little ways down the hill.

Saturday afternoon, we decided this cliff should be our next big adventure.

We made it up to the far left corner of the cliff.

Because not all of us are as monkey-like as Breagan, he fashioned a rope ladder so we could all scramble up a section of the cliff.

Kevin misused the rope ... just a little bit.

After getting over the initial overhang, we had to traverse up a leaf covered slope. The rope helped a lot! Especially on the way down ... in the dark.

It's hard to see, but the rope attached to a tree and went down the hill. This picture shows the actual slope of the hill.

Top of the rope.

When we got to the top, Breagan decided to hang over the edge a little.

It was high.

Jasmine must have gotten bored up there or something because she started taking some crazy self portraits.

Kevin. Chillin.

We got to see part of the sunset from on top of the cliff. It was very pretty.

Our crazy 'family' photo.

Album cover 'family' photo.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I started my in class observations a couple of weeks ago. I'm observing a first grade class at Walt Disney Elementary in Mishawaka. I spend about four hours there a week. The kids are absolutely adorable and the teacher is wonderful. She always has something waiting for me to do when I arrive in the mornings. It's usually along the lines of grading papers/getting papers ready for the kids. This is the second Title 1 school in which I've observed. The more I experience this kind of atmosphere, the more I want to work in a school with a similar demographic. I spend about four hours there a week.
Friday night, Peter and I went to his brother's house in Mishawaka for a bonfire. We stayed just long enough to help build the fire and fill the tiki torches before we headed to his oldest brother's house in Michigan. After we found enough change to pay our toll (it was a close call), we arrived without much difficulty. We didn't do much that night - made some corn bread muffins (very good! they served as both a late night snack and breakfast the next morning) and watched some TV. Peter then took me to his aunt's house for the night and he headed back to his brother's place. It was a bit strange falling asleep having not yet met the owner of the house, but I was tired enough to get over it pretty quickly.
Saturday morning, when Peter came to pick me up, we found an emu in the front yard! Billy, the dog, chased it onto the road. The dumb thing ran down the middle of the road in front of the car for quite a ways. It could very well be the funniest thing I've ever seen. After all that excitement, the three of us headed to an estate auction. This was a first for me, and a very interesting one at that. I really enjoyed digging through the many boxes of stuff even though I didn't buy anything. We spent the afternoon shooting guns in the pasture field. I actually hit two clay pigeons! I'm not going to say how many I missed .... I met Peter's cousin's family that night when we went over to his house for a delicious supper. After eating, we sat around the table talking and playing with flarp.
Sunday morning, there wasn't an emu in the front yard waiting for us. It was a bit disappointing. We went to Pleasant Hill Missionary Church. It was a very good service. While there, I met several more of Peter's extended family members. After lunch, we headed back to Bethel and homework :(
Last night, Peter and I got to babysit his niece for a couple of hours. She's so much fun and so, so cute!
Today was Bethel's annual service day. I went to the Habitat for Humanity Re-store in Mishawaka. Several other girls and I pulled weeds in the front flower bed and measured, stacked, and sorted lumber. Other groups at the same place helped people unload donations, sorted through paint, and swept the store. I find service day a fun diversion from the monotony of school.