Allie and I arrived at Eugene Airport on September 2. I can't believe that was nearly a month ago. We got picked up at the airport by one of the ARISE interns (student from last year who stayed for the rest of the year), named Nick. After a rather long stop at Safeway, we pulled onto the campus which would be our home for the next three and a half months. To be honest, it felt very weird. Weird to be a student again. Weird to be on a campus again. Weird to live in a dorm again. Weird to have deans again (and not be one!). But it was good and exciting. We put our food away and lugged our things to our room, and settled in. I finished up my summer job of music orchestrating as well.
The next day was Orientation day. After breakfast and worship, all 45 of us students gathered in the classroom with the interns and staff. We introduced ourselves and were introduced to each of the instructors (David, Ty, James, Jeffery, Jay, etc.) and other staff as well. Lunch came after orientation (it was awesome!) and then, our first class! It was a great class to start the program with: Devotions, taught by James Rafferty.
Oh, I forgot one thing. To those who would be interested in knowing this, ARISE completely revamped their curriculum this year. We are their 10th class, and also the second class after ARISE and Lightbearers Ministry merged, and every year they try to make it even better. But they've been calling this year's program the best yet. The classes follow "The Story," or in other words, "Pre-Creation, Creation, Fall, Covenant, Messiah, Church, Re-Creation." Now, rather than having a class on Daniel then on Church History, on the Sabbath then on Apologetics, each class falls consecutively in the storyline of "The Story." The more practical classes (such as Door-to-Door, Overcoming, Dos and Don'ts of Evangelism, Abiding in Christ—to name a few we've had already) fall under a category called "The Telling," which is the counterpart to "The Story." It has been really good so far, and "The Story" is helping formulate the big picture in my mind as the classes progress (which is the whole point). I am really glad that I came to ARISE for this program, and I believe that God worked it out for me to be here this year.
This is part 2.
So what does a normal day look like at ARISE? Here's a bird's-eye view:
7:45 Breakfast (I'm always late unless I'm on meal prep—then I'm early)
9:30 Class (with breaks)
1:30 Lunch (Recently, I've been playing soccer with a few other students and David Asscherick's kids after lunch)
3:30-5:30 Class (with breaks)
Thursday looks the same, except that we go on outreach (usually door-to-door, sometimes doing something on the University of Oregon campus) instead of having classes in the afternoon. On Sunday, we leave at 2:00 and we always come back by 8:00 to share testimonies.
Whew. Enough of the general mumbo-jumbo. Oh, I forgot one thing. On Sabbath, we all go to church in Springfield (neighbouring city), and usually if we stay for pot-luck we bring food. Every year ARISE picks a different church to work with. Sometimes a hike up a nearby mountain is offered in the afternoon.
Now for the exciting stuff! This past Monday one of the interns taught an optional self-defence class. It was a lot of fun; I loved how practical and helpful it was, especially for girls who might find themselves in a city environment in the future (it was good for the guys too). We learned what to do when someone starts choking you from behind, if someone grabs your wrist to pull you somewhere, and other general things too.
Last Saturday night Jeffery Rosario invited us all to his house (he is the only instructor who lives on campus) for a board game/bon-fire party. It was so much fun! We had smores for the second time (the first was at a previous party). Jeffery had told a few of us earlier about a Bible quiz game, and he said that it was extremely difficult and anyone would "get thrashed" on it (especially people like him, who didn't grow up as an Adventist but rather came into the church later). Him and I got in the lead and went head to head, but he won by just one question. And he was right! The questions were really hard.
Well, I'll save the rest for another post. I can tell my writing is degenerating in the effort to get so much information down. Toodle-doo.