Monday, June 4, 2012

alma college christian leadership.

so remember that super long post that i wrote last month, where i talked about the titanic sinking and how i fell in a muddy ditch in the cold rain wth my boyfriend, and i ate some weird food and i learned how to chinese sword dance, and i read this awesome book and i watched lord of the rings entirely too much?

remember that post? and i talked about ACCL? remember? huh? HUH?

sure. of course you do.

so i vlogged today for the first time, because my ACCL friends and i have decided that in our facebook group, we're all going to vlog each other from our respective states. unfortunately, i'm not the first person to vlog from indiana. but anyway, i made a youtube account and i vlogged and i basically sat in my seventies arm chair and talked about my spring term and my birthday and how i got a new book and had a lion king and my boyfriend got me a storm trooper and how i was watching the lion king (which i'm watching now, go figure) and i was super awkward, had just gotten out of the shower, and hadn't even bothered doing my hair.

and then i said something awkward like "i think i'm going to blog about ACCL because it's my blog every day in june GO! challenge and um... i miss you guys."

and now that it's after dinner and i'm sitting here watching the lion king before work, i was like, "mannnn i need something to blog about, but nothing awesome happened today, i just sat on my porch and read blindness and listened to the new pornographers."

gosh this is the longest intro ever. I'M JUST GOING TO BLOG ABOUT ACCL.

so. ACCL (stop saying ay-cee-cee-el. it's excel.) started with everybody leaving campus and me being alone in my dorm building. and suddenly i realized that i was completely alone and i didn't know anybody staying for ACCL and i had that panic feeling that i get when i watch criminal minds at four in the morning, so i barricaded my door, called my mother on the phone, and cried.

i am a grown-ass woman, folks.

then i realized that all i had to eat for dinner was oatmeal. so like a grown-ass woman, i ordered my own pizza.

i spent the evening watching the lion king, and the next morning i woke up, went downstairs to make some oatmeal in the lobby and was confronted with vomit. ERRRYWHERE.

this was ACCL week. there was nobody on campus. i didn't have any residents. i was not going to be an RA. my hall director wasn't even around. and on my first morning of freedom, i had to be an RA. this did not bode well.

at four that afternoon, i went to the chapel basement, where i was instructed to go by my heavy duty schedule that looked like something from RA training. or church camp. and i found the rest of us sixteen ACCLers sitting on cushions on the floor.

we introduced ourselves by playing games. we talked about favorite kitchen appliances. i explained my strange almost obsession with spoons. because they're an appliance, right?

carol, our amazing chaplain, bought a whole bunch of food, and we had dinner. our three ACCL leaders, emmy, jennafer, and caitlin (a fellow RA of mine) split us into groups. each leader had two groups, a green and a purple. i was in emmy's purple group with justin and katie e. we called ourselves the phantom platypi, and we had dishes clean-up duty on friday, our last day of ACCL. we also had to lead two bible studies, starting the next day.

my bible study!
minus alyssa. :(
after dinner, i attended my first bible study, led by emmy. i had gotten an email from her, jennafer and caitlin, and they had told me that ACCL was super fun and that they thought i'd be perfect for it.

when i found out that it was about leading a bible study, i wanted to run with my tail between my legs. we had a session where we wrote our biggest fears about leading a bible study, and mine was this: if i've never been to a bible study, how on earth am i supposed to LEAD one?

the silence after that was read anonymously was palpable. or maybe that was just me freaking out.

ACCL got us up bright and early for breakfast in the chapel basement at eight thirty. we did fun energizers that involved screaming and shouting, and we did a devotional. i'd never had one of those either, at least not outside of church camp. then we had class time with our college president.

president abernathy, or as i like to call him, the abs, is pretty legit. i live next to his house. his kids are adorable. he's an english professor. he rides his bike around campus. he kayaks. he knows my name, my major, and that i'm an RA. basically, he's awesome.

but it's really weird when he's like, "okay, let's take out our bibles and talk about jesus!"

that whole concept was weird for me. i'm not an overly religious person. in my family, religion is kind of a private thing. and here at ACCL, everything was about jesus. we prayed before and after every activity. we meditated. we read our bibles. we recited scriptures.

i felt like a novice monk.

on monday afternoon, we had "safe play" training, where we had partners that navigated us through an obstacle course while we were blindfolded. i absolutely love being blindfolded because of kip, so was i very excited. we then crossed a river with planks while having various ailments: my legs were tied together and justin had his hands behind his back. and we had a human knot record of the year.

let this sink in for a minute.

1. we undid a human knot in less than a minute.
2. we undid a human knot in less than a minute without speaking.
3. we undid a human knot with half of the group blindfolded. those who we were not blindfolded could not speak. those who were blindfolded could.
ACCL jump before soccer!

yeah, we were pretty badass.

tuesday was once again bright and early, with fun energizers, devotionals, and class time. after lunch we played hardcore soccer and did various soccer games and drills with the soccer coach. it made me realize how terrible i was at soccer, and then i wondered why on earth my mother was qualified to coach my third grade soccer team.

afterwards, we sat on the chapel steps and ate popsicles.

by now we'd known each other for two days, and we were already bests friends in christ. that is not a sentimental statement. that is a solid fact.

that night we all ate dinner at carol's house, and it was one of the greatest dinners of my life.

on wednesday we got up reeeal early and went to habitat for humanity in mt. pleasant for our service project. i was kind of expecting to be on a roof nailing something, you know, building a house, but did you know that habitat for humanity has something called restore? it's kind of like goodwill. so if you're broke and need anything and everything for a house, check one out. i promise you, it'll be worth it.

we spent a good three hours clearing a storage building out. we moved hundreds of windows and... ceiling tiles. we moved hundreds upon hundreds of ceiling tiles onto a truck. we made an assembly line and sang camp songs, choked on dust, wore awkward gloves, and praised jesus when we worked together to move heavy pieces of furniture.

we're a good looking bunch. can you find me?
i'm the only one in a cardigan.
honestly, i don't remember our afternoon activity, but i know that we took our ACCL picture. we continued to talk about leading small groups and of course, had bible studies. that night for dinner we had a service dinner. you were not allowed to get anything for yourself, and you were not allowed to ask for anything. you had to be perceptive of the needs of those around you.

it was cool.

on thursday, after class, devotions, bible reading, and suicide prevention training (because even people that go to bible studies can be suicidal), we went to the park. we had a bonfire and we roasted hot dogs (veggie burgers for me) and we lost ourselves on the playground. i mean really lost ourselves. i have never felt so wild and free and in love with god in my entire life as i did running around screaming and swinging with my new best friends. it was a one of a kind experience, climbing all over the playground equipment.

and i slack-lined.

like a boss.
justin (he's on the right) and his marvelous camera documented the whole thing. we took group pictures, we just had a so much fun it shouldn't have even been allowed.

friday was our last day. we got up early, ate breakfast, had our devotionals, had one last class time, had lunch, and we spent the afternoon singing and writing stuff on each other's pieces of paper. encouragements, prayers, anything. we had a puzzle where we wrote our strengths and weaknesses, and when the puzzle fit together, they complemented each other. we got in a circle and we prayed together about the awesome week that we had had, and how it come to a close too soon. we made bracelets to remind us of each other. we said tearful goodbyes.

ACCL was over. and it had been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

so, i'm going to leave you with some pictures of the week. and my vlog. in case you want to see what i said to my lovely ACCL friends.
veggie burger. on a stick.

strengths and weaknesses.
phantom platypi! unite!
with popsicles?

to all my ACCL loves, i love you more than i can explain. you guys are super amazing people. and i'm so happy that we got to spend this week together. :)

oh. here's my awkward vlog.


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