June 12, 2003
Catalina Island Part II
Part two of the continuing Catalina saga.
May 19, 2003
The first night, we didn’t really do much in the way of bible study. We played Two Truths and a Lie to get to know one another (vicious liars; all of them!), and I learned the names of many, and that I am not a good liar. I’ve known that for awhile, of course. Back in Jr. High, when I had a drama class, I’d always get that facial tic when I was trying to come up with stuff on the spot. Luckily, I found a roll as the quirky, grumpy, social outcast in the class play. But I digress.
We did start a bit of Mark. It took us almost a day and a half to get through the first page. Yeah.
The pace was a bit slow, but there really is a lot there. Discussions were pretty involved, but at times we tended to reiterate what others had said just because everyone had their own take on exactly what it was supposed to mean.
May 20, 2003
I slept for about 10 hours that night, and nearly every night at Campus By the Sea. It was a really nice time to just recharge physically and refocus my energy on other things. The month before the end of school was very hectic for me, so it was really nice to get a chance to rest.
When I went to breakfast, I discovered something about the food there. Now, it’s not bad food. It’s actually pretty good, especially considering that they have to cook for hundreds of people, and unlike the dining halls I’m used to, they have to have it all ready at the same time so people can sit down, say grace, and eat. But there’s only, like, one thing. I lived in fear that week that I would come in for lunch and wouldn’t like the one entrée they were serving, and as a result would be forced to subsist on the gummi bears and chex mix we had for snacks in study. This morning, breakfast consisted of: eggs. That was about it. There was a cereal bar every morning, so that was good stuff. But, served on the table was just eggs, and some kind of fruit or something.
At this point, I drank my third cup of coffee of the week. It would be pretty charitable to call this “camping” coffee, thus, each cup a drank had had one more packet of sugar than the previous, in the hopes of masking the taste of whatever poor creature had evidently crawled into the coffee pot and died, and early results were promising. I pledged that I would continue this method the entire week. This trend, for those who are interested, lasted until cup number six, after which subsequent cups were significantly less drinkable. And I don’t mean that it tasted bad. It did, of course, but mostly it’s just tough to dissolve more than five packs of sugar in a standard disposable coffee cup, and sucking sugar through those stirring straws is probably used as a method of torture by some of the more brutal inquisitors in the world. I gave up my plan on cup seven.
I’m not sure exactly what to say about the Bible study we did that week. Certainly it was pretty exhaustive, and the level of analysis that we subjected it to was a higher one than I think I ever would have considered on my own. On the whole, I think I can say that I was very satisfied with the conclusions we came to during the first four days or so, but that during most of that time we were still hashing it out as people. On the other hand, I felt really good about the way we were interacting by the end of the week; we’d had time to get to know each other, and I felt there was a lot of respect in the room, even though there were very different beliefs. But the kind of thing that we were discussing was veering further and further into areas that were much less interesting to me.
I’ll start with the people. There was definite trampling of people’s opinions in the first few days. It’s funny, because I don’t think anyone there was antagonistic to the cause. There were just some people who, in my opinion, were not used to reasoned debate (which is really what we did), and would either get huffy or would go off on… well, “tangents” is being pretty generous. I heard that Jonny, the IV staffer who ran our study, was a little frustrated with us too, because so many were “new” Christians and non-Christians, and because people refused to stick to the inductive method under which the studies were supposed to be run.
The reason I liked the subject matter of the first few days much better was that, well, in the first few days things were much more grounded in the actual text. As time went on, however, interpretations surfaced that I thought were unjustified, and people then built on those in later interpretations, and we plunged deeper and deeper into a reading that I felt was only tenuously supported by the actual text of the Bible.
That’s probably about all I’m going to say about the actual Bible study I did. Overall, I considered it a good experience, and would suggest it to anyone who wants to learn more about the Bible and hang out with some good people. And everyone there was really nice. I felt very welcomed by everyone, and was only witnessed to once, which was considerably less than I had expected.
Mostly, though, I want to share a few moments from the week. But that’ll have to be next time. Because right now I have to go prove a full ordering on a specially formed multiset of wavelengths.