22 October 2009

Break a leg

A British Olympic gold medalist is backing a campaign to get 1,000 instructors to teach 500,000 kids to safely ride a bike by 2012.

I find that funny. But I don't like the idea at all.

First, parents should teach their kids such things. There is no reason for someone else to step in. It's a great opportunity for parents - or older brothers - to bond with their kids, to teach them, to watch them learn and grow.

And get hurt. Because they will fall. They will skin their knee. But that's a perfect opportunity to love on them, to teach them to bounce back and fight through to the goal. Important skills - for the kid and the parent.

I still remember the day I learned to ride, around the loop at the cabin we rented on the shore of Indian Lake. And I'm glad my parents were there. And I've crashed bikes - with and without engines - but I still ride. My dad taught me something: don't give up.

I hope dads keep teaching their kids that.

Livin' the dream

21 Oct

1430: Go to Engineering Mechanics 330 instructor for some extra instruction on the lab due tomorrow. Estimate it'll take you an hour to finish the assignment.

1445: Go to library to study for differential equations writing test tomorrow.

1500: Realize you have to go get signatures from various departments to schedule a Spanish class next semester. Get signatures, turn in to Dean of the Faculty - Registrar. Email academic advisor and the man in charge of international programs to tell them it's done.

1505: Get an email from the man in charge of international programs asking you to come and talk to him about your interview last week.

1510: Go talk to the guy. He says they're concerned, because you said you want to be a missionary, and they want to promote the Academy as accepting of all religions. Find it ironic that they're telling you this, in a way not accepting your religion. He says you had a very strong interview, but because you're a sophomore, you'll probably get an alternate slot.

1545: Study for diff eq.

1700: Friend comes to study with you.

1750: Go to Mitch's to get some dinner.

1800: Go to cycling club meeting. Sign up to race against Army when the come out for the game.

1830: Return to study with friend for diff eq.

1940: Go to Bible study. Worship, small group, accountability. Relax a little.

2115: Return to the squad, to find a hall brawl blocking your door. Get knocked down a few times on the way to your door, only to find your door locked. Find your roommate, get the key, ditch your coat, blouse, iPod, phone, and backpack. Grab your camera. Take a picture.

2130: Brawl it up.

2145: Help the freshmen put the squadron commander's door back on.

2200: Help the freshmen try to find the squadron commander's sleeping bag which was placed on the F-105 as a prank. Presumably, it blew away. You can't find it.

2230: Realize you haven't done the EM330 lab due tomorrow.

2300: Take a shower. Go to bed.

22 Oct 09

0511: Squadron commander knocks on your door. Operation Golden Flow: urinalysis.

0530: Get back in bed

0630: Wake up. Your hip hurts.

0720: Almost slip on the black ice on the way to the dentist's appointment. Catch yourself, because you grew up in MI and know how to walk on ice.

0850: Teach your political science class about the judicial branch.

1000: Finish your EM330 lab in econ class.

1330: Take diff eq test. Realize that studying helped.

1430: Go get your new glasses from the clinic. They're a little bent, and there's a blue spot on the upper part of one of the lenses. Welcome to the military - at least they're "free".

1435: Sit CQ for an hour. Look for glasses online.

1600: Write this. Think about going to play basketball with some guys from the squad in a bit.

09 October 2009

Lemonade International

A ghetto divided into ten barrios, each barrio controlled by a separate gang, with death the penalty for crossing barrio lines. Electricity and running water are scarce, at best. Children grow up in a vicious cycle of poverty - girls get pregnant young; boys turn to stealing to survive.

But Lemonade International is working to change that - with Jesus' love and humanitarian aid, focused on children, delivered mostly through school. But there are only schools in two barrios, and no one can cross barrio lines.

There are between 60,000 and 100,000 people in the ten barrios. So by a rough calculation, 80% of the children can't go to school.

This pulls at my heart. Why should live in a room with a bed of my own and a sink and heat and AC when the least of these have none? Why should I get a paycheck every month while the least of these have to steal to survive? Why should I be protected by the US Air Force when the least of these are protected by fickle gangs?

Lemonade International has an opportunity for a year-long internship. I'm thinking about it. But it's not an easy process, applying there, leaving USAFA for a year, getting funds. There are significant barriers.

But, "Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." - Matthew 19:28-30

05 October 2009

the real thing

Walking back from BSU (Baptist Student Union - my Bible study), I caught up with Kate and a four-dig she knows. The four-dig had also come from SPIRE- in fact, the Atheist SPIRE group. Which is strange, becuase although SPIRE stands for Special Programs In Religious Education, it's mostly Bible studies.

So I asked: what does the Atheist SPIRE group talk about? Mainly moral issues, documentaries on 'Jesus Camps,' which are apparently summer camps specializing in brainwashing, and House. Interesting.

She, in turn, asked what we talk about at 'actual' SPIRE. Mostly Jesus, we answered, but if she really wanted to know, she should join us - after all, it couldn't hurt.

"I think I will," she responded. "I've never actually been to anything real like that."

If only she knew how true that statement was.

And this comes on the heels of a night where Bill, our director, shared the story of his upbringing in outward righteousness, the do's and don'ts. Bill came to know the real thing.

Do you know the real thing?

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - Jesus