Newsletter #20
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Hare-raising Adventures
20th Publication, March 25 Ė May 23


The list is growing! There are now approximately 45 subscribers to Hare-raising Adventures, and the numbers slowly but steadily increase. This, while pleasing, is also somewhat scary. I try to avoid thinking of all the different people and views as I type, for fear that I would be forced to be bland and objective in all my writing. In any event, I apologize for my unannounced monthís sabbatical, and hope you didnít mind too much.

My uncle John and his family decided to come down on Good Friday, and stay until Easter Sunday night. The next morning Mom and I went, in conjunction with my Veterinary Science club, to see a farrier shoe a horse. It was rather interesting, and I learned a number of things I hadnít known before (such as the fact that horseshoes have to be replaced every six weeks or so, since the hoof, which is really a gigantic toenail, continues to grow). A Ďsurpriseí birthday party was concocted for Uncle David, and we all went to a nice restaurant and made jokes, had a good time, and watched the cook drop Uncle Johnís fish (they cooked the main dishes at the table).

Easter Sunday was especially nice in that the church sanctuary renovations were complete enough to allow us to move back that day. No longer were there minor outbreaks of fist-fighting and brawling as people fought for the coveted black (and cushioned) folding chairs. No longer did people arrive a half-hour early to ensure adjacent seating for the whole family. No longer did the piano sound muffled from the front, and the art of lip-reading the eldersí singing be common practice in the back. No longer did the drop ceiling of the basement give you the warm and safe feeling of claustrophobia. No longer did waif-like souls wander the single aisle in search of a Bible or hymnal... I had better stop before I get too choked up in my emotional nostalgia and melancholy.

Anyway, the move back up to the sanctuary was quite pleasing. The drop ceiling was removed, more windows opened in the walls, existing windows were made larger, better lighting was installed, nice pews and carpeting were put in, and the walls and ceiling were painted white and beige. A central air-conditioning system was put in, so now we donít have to choose between deafness or heat exhaustion. It was, and still is, a quite impressive change. Since then most of the chancel furniture has been installed, and finishing touches have largely been completed. All that needs to be done now is spend the rest of our lives in indentured servitude to pay off the debts.

Uncle John and his family went home Sunday night, according to plans, despite campaigns on my part for their extended and indefinite stay. Since I do this every time they visit, I think it didnít affect matters much. The next morning Mom started a week-long intensive class in Macbeth. This was in affiliation with MAFIA, which ended the week before. There were only five students, of which I was one. We were to read an act each day, and take a test and discuss it the next. Mom used tests for a previous Macbeth class she had taught, which must have been quite easy, in my opinion, since I managed to get at least a hundred on all of them. I enjoyed the class despite, or perhaps because, the tests were relatively easy.

The next week Steve and I had our evaluations of the school year by Dr. Richman. He was forced to pass us for this year, and since then my inspiration to work has been somewhat less than full. I consider it a worthwhile trade-off, however, since the pressure is off as well, so now I can truly work at the pace I desire.

The home school International Fair was the following Tuesday, and my friend Paul and one of his friends were doing a display on Great Britain, with an emphasis on Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. We went, and I heckled, and thought of asking such questions as "explain the governmental system of Great Britain" and "What is the GNP?" I decided against it, however, and they passed my hurdles as well as I expected. We then formed a small gang (with the inclusion of Sharon Barshinger, who was also there), and roamed the church grounds looking for trouble. Sadly, trouble had hidden itself too well, and we had to settle for a soccer game. The teams were chosen by lining hopefuls up by height, and choosing every other one. Paul, Brandon (his friend), and I exercised our great wit and deception, and by various means managed to be in alternate order, and hence on the same team. All in all, it was a pleasant event, though I think I exercised more than any time since last summerís French Creek week.

The president of RUF (the student organization Dad formed), Seamus (pronounced, much to my surprise originally, but much less so in recent times, "Shame us.") was cast as Macduff in the Lehigh production of Macbeth. Dad and I couldnít resist a chance to kill three birds with one stone ó I could see Macbeth performed, Dad could support Seamus, and we both could make fun of him later. The play was good (as far as I can gauge the quality of plays), but with some oddities, such as some people wearing suits, instead of whatever garb they wore back then.

Meanwhile, Mom decided sheíd had enough of us, and hopped on a flight to England to visit her brother, Uncle Peter, who is there for a year on sabbatical from Duke University. While she was there, she decided to see some sights, and apparently had a blast, while the rest of us struggled along as best we could. Nana helped out quite a bit, and even cooked most of the meals for us, which I think assisted in mitigating her fear of cooking, which had become somewhat large, since for seventeen years she hasnít had to, for YWAM served food.

Mrs. Fletcher, a friend of ours, heard of Momís flight, and decided after a week to follow in her footsteps, so she packed her bags, and took the earliest flight out. In looking back on matters, the unexplained visit a week or so before Mom skipped town in which Mrs. Fletcher and Mom closeted themselves for an afternoon with clandestine plans may have been an ill portent which we foolishly neglected to investigate.

After two weeks Mom came back, and once she had appeased us with various gifts, we forgave her. I was given a hat, to replace the one that disappeared under mysterious circumstances a month or so before. Iím almost inclined to put some sort of tracking device on this hat, since my headgear has a history of inexplicably vanishing.

Digital Typography, my class at the community college, is finally over, and I have my grade back. The final projects and test were completed, and I was supposed to spend fifteen minutes or so with the professor so we could discuss my last two projects and my grade. To add a little interest, however, the professors and the college administration had a falling out over the number of days a professor had to be at the college in relation to the number of days he was teaching, or something along those lines. Anyway, the end result was that the teachers would strike if a meeting with the administration didnít go through on the night of my last day. This may have meant that my class would have been moot Ė that point wasnít really addressed fully. So that added a little excitement to my life, but thankfully things went well, and no striking happened. I had been hoping for a B+ grade, and expecting a B or B-, but both my hopes and expectations were disappointed. The professor, in various ways that I donít fully want to know, curved the class, and so I got an A, with which I am quite pleased. To be accommodating, the professor said he could still give me a B if I wanted, but I decided against it.

Peterís school had a Junior/Senior Banquet, and Peter was forced into going because he was the Senior class president Ė or so he claimed. Sadly, my information network, though employing all its means and calling in old favors, could only get one report on the event, and that was that it was "good." I fear that we are destined never to know the real happenings of the banquet.

Dad decided to take Stephen and me to see Spiderman that same night, perhaps a consolation or something. I would have been happy to enjoy myself at home, while Pete blew a large amount of money on one eveningís event and tried to act respectable (though I would have enjoyed even more to be there to see him try to act respectable). An invitation to see an acclaimed movie for free is hard to turn down, though, even should I want to. As I expected, there were the usual parcel of unexplained and/or illogical events (one of the most glaring being a breaking of the law of gravity), but I did my best to ignore them.

Iíve taken a recent interest in personality and temperaments, and re-read a book on the topic (Please Understand Me). Iíve been trying to convince most of my friends to take a test and see what their personality is, and how accurately they think they match the description of their personality. If any of your are interested in taking a test, you can go here:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi_win/JTypes2.asp . To read the description of the types, go here: http://www.typelogic.com . If you do take the test, I would be interested in seeing your results. I turned out to be an INTP, and the description almost perfectly fits me. Interestingly enough, the main character in Spiderman, Peter Parker, seemed to both Dad and me to be another INTP (though later on in the movie, he seemed more of an INTJ, which Dad is).

One Saturday I was feeling bored, and was contemplating the possibility of Paulís mom letting him come over. I decided the odds were too great against it, but later I was talking to him, and we thought it would be neat if we could arrange a sleep-over. The parents were consulted, and it was agreed upon, but some logistical hurdles had to be leaped, and the end result was it went through, albeit later than hoped. The next morning I went to their church (Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship), and it was interesting to notice all the differences between his and mine.

Each month one person in the Veterinary Science club brings in his (or in all cases but mine, her) pet or pets, and says something about them. This month it was my turn, and so I took Sage and Nutmeg and mentioned a bunch of things about them (I used my nice all-purpose comment, which is a hypothesis that the phrase, "to be a guinea pig" originated in the fact that guinea pigs, since they are more susceptible to human diseases than most animals, are more frequently used as lab animals). The primary event for the evening was a veterinarian who specialized in acupuncture. She even got consent from the owner to do a demonstration on a dog that was undergoing therapy. It was interesting to see, though I would have wished that the conversation had leaned more in the direction of the Ďwhy,í instead of the more personal and feeling aspects of it (Ďdoes it hurt,í etc.)

The fourteenth of May was Poppaís birthday, and to celebrate we went to a Sound & Lights presentation of Daniel. A bus trip had been organized for Nana and Poppaís Tuesday morning Bible study participants, and Mom, Stephen, Uncle David, and I hitched a ride. A sumptuous buffet feast was consumed at a restaurant along the way (It was included in the ticket price), and after a two-hour bus trip, we arrived at the establishment. Since the tickets had been ordered a year before, we had pretty good seating. This presentation was different from a regular play (or movie, for that matter), in that the stage was quite large. A large translucent projection-type screen could be and was frequently lowered over most of the stage, and on which segments of film could be shot (like a theater). In addition to all this, there were two wings that were often employed for almost three-dimensional effect in conjunction with the main stage, or as minor scenes (while props on the stage were being removed, rearranged, etc.). In all, it was quite impressive. I, of course, had a number of complaints against it (as I do with all things Ďbased oní other things), but over all it was worth seeing.

There was a church game night planned for one Friday evening, and so Steve and I dutifully went to participate. After some talking, we finally got around to playing games. We played ThinkAlike (which involved word-association) and Guesstures, which is akin to charades. Sadly, in ThinkAlike my mind was not in tune with my partnerís, and we were in last. In Guesstures, the two teams were next and neck for most of the game, and it finally climaxed with my teamís success hinging on my team getting all four of my charades correct in the time allotted. One was correct ó two was correct ó three was correct ó four ran out of time. So, in the end, they other team won by one point (it was 63 to 64 or something). Afterwards, some of the more nimble gamesters attempted the limbo using Gabeís Jo, for which Steve and I showed an interesting aptitude. Stephen, for his short height, and I for my ability to bend.

Dad, Seamus, and Leslie (the RUF vice-president) had been scheming up an RUF ministry team planning retreat, and it was finally nailed down for last Friday to this Wednesday. The really neat thing, however, was that it was at Doubling Gap, a camp that we used to go to every year for as many as three weeks in a row. It had a kidís obstacle course, a very cheap snack shop, and a really nice location. It had originally been a hotel for the rich and famous to socialize and bath in the sulfur springs nearby, but became gradually less popular. It eventually fell into the hands of the Church of God, and has been used to host non-profit and Christian groups ever since. Because of its relatively primitive facilities and non-profit status, it is quite cheap. Sadly, for the past five years or so the group hasnít been large enough to make a retreat feasible, until now.

Mom, Steve, Ben and I all went out Sunday night to join Dad and the Lehigh students (Pete decided that he would rather spend time at home and skulk about the house). We had a great time. The camp did live up to the expectations borne for four years, despite the claims of cynics (lead mainly by Mom). In addition to participating in various events such as the team-building adult obstacle course, wall-climbing, fusball games, and learning new card games (Bluff and Pig) and playing old ones (Double Solitaire Ė an oxymoron, really Ė and Egyptian Rat Spit), I sat in on the meetings. I made one or two strategic comments when I felt it necessary, but otherwise stayed out of the proceedings, which I found interesting.

Sadly, Steve Zanias, who was the perfect target for my humorous comments, had to leave early. Whether this had anything to do with me was not really elaborated upon. So for the latter part of our visit I had to stick with tormenting Hans, the worship leader. I had a good time with both of them, and Hans (to his credit) not only agreed to drive me home, but didnít throw me out onto the side of the highway at any time during the trip back. I guess I was too easy on him.

So, overall, I donít regret any of it, even though I didnít touch any of my school books for three days, and when I got back I took a three and a half hour nap, and felt I might be getting sick. Thankfully, I donít think I will.

Speaking of school, it proceeds apace. My newest false-hope is that I can finish Geography and Science by the first, Latin by mid-June, and Geometry by the first of July. Iíll let you know in my next letter to what degree I failed those objectives.

My summer keeps getting more and more potentially cluttered, with one week of this Worldview academy on the horizon, and a week of French Creek directly following it (with maybe as many as ten other people going that I know), and possibly another week of counseling. In addition to that, there is the Outer Banks trip in late August, a Farm trip sometime in there, and Mom suggested she and I volunteer at the Shakespeare festival (to get free tickets to performances). The librarian has mentioned at each book discussion club meeting that I join their "Youth Advisory Board," which sounds like just a lot of work, but I might do it anyway. Finally, Iíve had in it in the back of my mind to possibly volunteer at a nearby veterinary clinic to see the inner workings, and get a firmer grasp of what it is like and how much I would enjoy doing it, and I was at one point offered a job working for my friendís Dad, a pharmacist, for a couple hours each week, which I might look into.

Gabe and I were signed up to co-lead one of the Wednesday night seminars that is swiftly becoming a summer tradition for our church. It will be on Typography and Graphic Design, or something along those lines. Iím not at liberty to say any more than that. If you wish to come and heckle, feel free. Gabe will meet all hecklers after the seminar behind the building with his Jo (a four foot long stave).

Around Christmas last year a counselor that had been at my camp at French Creek for a number of years was talking to me over IM (a program which allows reasonably easy typing between two or more people, if they are both signed into it at the same time), and she mentioned one time that she thought her sister and I would get along reasonably well. Since all three of us were on IM at the same time, she introduced us, and as it turned out, we did get alone well. The sister introduced me to some of her friends, one of whom introduced me to another friend, who introduced me to another, and so it went almost to the point where I was feeling like some kind of ball, bouncing from one person to another. The ironic end-result of this is that I know more people my age that I have never met than ones I have. I suppose it is one of the wonders of technology.

In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this letter, and remember, if you have any complaints, comments, grammatical correction, long-winded and irrelevant anecdotes, gushing and euphoric praise, or anything else you wish to say, donít be inhibited.

Ė~Snowshoe Hare~Ė
Ė~Christopher Green~Ė

*Here Endeth the Newsletter*