Republican Revolution

by Jonah

Hello out there in computer monitor land!

I just got back from a fall break to remember. I just spent three wonderful days up the Appalachians. My family picked Nathan and me up at college after English class on Friday and drove to Montgomery, where we got some barbecue at our favorite restaurant. I drove the stretch into Atlanta and then on up North Carolina. The mountains were socked in, and I had to maneuver carefully within the fog. Finally, we reached the top, and the road was clear the rest of the way to Highlands and my grandfather’s chalet. It was past midnight when we arrived, but we made it in record time.

“That’s because,” Nathan told my grandfather, “Joanna was driving.”

The electricity was out (most likely due to the two weeks of proceeding torrential rain that had fallen), so we scrounged around for some candles. Then we walked up the driveway to the next house and climbed out on their deck. (Nobody was home. At least, I hope not.) From there we could see for miles over rows of mountain ranges, separated by valleys filled with mist glowing in the moonlight.

The next day we slept in. Then we visited all the local waterfalls. Next we had a picnic at a place where a lake used to be and hiked a trail up a small ridge. The weather was wonderfully cool, the leaves brilliant. We stopped by a rushing river, and climbed around on the rocks while my grandfather drove into town with a guy who locked his keys in his car. I smashed, mangled, etc. my finger when I slipped and landed on it. Well, it wasn’t that bad, but it sure felt like it, and it bled like crazy. Good thing I was next to a freezing river, I just stuck my finger in the water whenever it hurt and waited for it to numb.

Sunday we hiked up Mt. Satulah, which is right out of our mountain house’s front window. Up top is an amazing view. Next we drove down to the town of Cashiers and ate at a delicious sandwich shop. After that we hiked a short trail to Silver Run, a beautiful, secluded waterfall that empties into a pool. I climbed up to the top of it and leaned out over the edge, hanging onto a branch. Nathan was at one end of the pond and Dad was at the other. I waved down at everyone, and both pointed at me and mouthed something that looked like
With the roar of the falls, it was impossible to hear anything, so I just laughed and posed for a picture that Mom took.

Monday we hiked a bit up a nice level trail and then went over to the iron bridge that spans a river. We walked up-stream a ways and had a picnic. That evening we went up to the top of Sunset Rock and built a fire (it kept going out on account of inferior wood and meddling hands) and roasted hot dogs and marshmellows while watching the sun go down. Nathan, Stephanie, Benjamin, and I stayed up longer after the grownups returned home until the fire dwindled into embers.

Tuesday morning we accompanied Nathan to the Wee Shop. (I kept singing the Wee Wee song.) There he discovered the tartan for Bailey and bought the appropriate plaid scarf and standard pin for his mom. We left that afternoon and drove down to Atlanta where we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe, got panhandled coming and going to the car, and saw a pair of guys walk out of a restaurant and down the street holding hands. Nathan freaked out. I’ll take the country over the city any day. We listened to the taped version of Cardinal in the Kremlin, which kept us awake long enough to get home at 1:30 a.m.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. Michele and Ed are visiting us right now. Michele and Stephanie came to English class with Nathan and me, and Ed went with Dad and Ben to look at trucks today. Tomorrow we are planning to go to the beach.

I registered for classes in the spring semester today. Although I still haven’t declared a major, I approached my schedule from the point of view of a political science major and Institute for Leadership Studies minor. Here’s my schedule:

on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
9:00 Sociology 202 Introduction to Sociology
10:00 Chemistry 101 Survey of General Organic Biological Chemistry
11:00 Chapel (only on Mondays)
12:00 Religion 321 Studies of Mission/Message of Jesus
1:00 English 202 Literary Tradition II
on Tuesday and Thursday
9:30 Philosophy 305 Philosophy, Theology, and Literature
11:00 Political Science 498 History and Politics of Modern Russia
1:00-4:00 General Chemistry Lab (only on Tuesdays)

That’s 19 hours. I feel pretty good about it. Sociology is my only elective. Dr. Schaefer, my advisor and political science instructor, encouraged me to take it saying that I was smart enough to find lots of things to disagree with, but political scientists ought to be familiar with many of the terms in sociology.

The Dr. Schaefer and Dr. Mashburn, the head of the philosophy department as well as the Institute for Leadership Studies (ILS), worked it out so that Philosophy 305 could double as an ILS course.

The course on Russia is kind of a once in a college career lifetime, so I’m taking advantage of that. It’s being taught next semester only by a lady from Russia.

I got the last card for Dr. Allums’ English class. He’ll let Nathan in if he asks; Dr. Allums has for the past two semesters.

After reading Hamlet and watching three versions of the play (including Mel Gibson’s), I was ready for a diversion before writing my paper on it. I found just that in the movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has had to read perhaps Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. If, however, you have not, it really won’t make any sense.

I stayed up till four a.m. Sunday, got three hours of sleep, and went to class Monday and turned in my English research paper on “The Similarities Between the Lives and Philosophies of Hamlet and Soren Kierkegaard.”

I think I did okay. I had to make a couple of last minute correction with some borrowed white-out before class started.

It was actually kind of fun researching for it. I found out a lot about Kierkegaard. He was pretty cool. He is considered the father of existentialism (don’t ask me what it is; I’m not really sure), yet he was a devout Christian. One of my favorite quotes is when he says that, when someone thinks himself least religious,
Q at that moment he is actually most religious.

Kierkegaard’s life was a lot like Hamlet’s, but the most striking similarity is that “To be or not to be…”
is essentially existentialism in its basic form. As I handed my paper to Dr. Allums telling him what my topic was, he remarked that he thought Hamlet was the first existentialist. So I guess I was right on track.

Although Kierkegaard compared himself to Hamlet and others have expounded on this topic, I came up with more stuff on the subject than I’ve seen in any other source. It’s neat to feel like I’ve written something original. But it any case, I’m glad it’s done with. Now I just gotta get it back and see what Allums thinks about it.

I’m still trying to catch up on sleep, so I’ll leave off on the storytelling until I have some more time.
Hope this hasn’t been too boring.

Jonah
(the one who’s been watching the Republicans win big tonight)

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