Things (And Mostly People) That Made Life Better This Year: 2012 Edition

Black Forest Academy–this ever-changing community of staff and students that flow in and out of this little valley on the edge of the dark hills–is a place of tradition. Do something once, whether it’s dumping someone in a pond on their birthday or granting crazy Christmas wishes, and it’s likely that you’ll be asked to…

Open Letter to an Allied Soldier

The following is a letter I wrote on the bus from Normandy to Paris during our recent Junior Class Trip to France. It was a weekend of many adventures–from camping under the stars and then the rain, to an eleven-hour whirlwind tour of Paris–but in light of the trip’s overall purpose, I’ve decided to save…

Reading Every Word

“There is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere…” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet There’s a moment in the first installment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, when Sam pauses at the edge of a field full of sunflowers, a few steps behind his hobbit companion, Frodo. “If I take…

Romania: Raising Walls, Raising Children

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this…

To Romania We Go!

Spring is in the air in Kandern, as I sit with wide open windows on the last Wednesday night before Spring Break. This means that in three short days, I’ll be heading to Oradea, Romania with a team of 14 students and six leaders, where we’ll build three apartment homes for Adrian, Valerie and Maria,…

At the Ghost Fair: Wealth and Education

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having…

There And Back Again

Nobody tells you when you get born here How much you’ll come to love it, And how you’ll never belong here. So I call you my country, And I’ll be lonely for my home And I wish that I could take you there with me. “Land of My Sojourn,” Rich Mullins It’s still dark at…

The Explorers

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding” I’m not the leader of this expedition. I’m usually a leader these days, whether in the classroom or on the track or, as…

On Spring, Solitude and Serendipity

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community… Let him who is not in community beware of being alone.”” –Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together It is almost nine and mostly dark by the time we get back down to village. It’s our second night staying in a house on the cliff 450 steps above Vernazza,…

Proximity

“There’s something weird about playing games in the wake of terrible tragedies, but really, games are always played in proximity to tragedy.” John Green Friday morning, while I read about the new adaptation of Jane Eyre, my iPad clinks to life with a pop-up news alert.  These are the alerts that usually wake me up in…