Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Tumbleweeding in Florida

Wandered on down to Nashville in the rain and put ourselves to bed in the Holiday Inn Express eating grocery store food while watching TV. We "stayed up late" (10 PM!)

Headed south the next morning -- a decision comes soon---Westerly to New Orleans or Easterly to Florida...
After a passable night near the Florida border (By passable I mean everything except the hour-long debate between two guys outside at 2AM and the baby next door whining itself awake at 5:30 AM) [Bless all those moms with babies]...
We had some sun and book-reading knowing that rain was coming.... we headed into Florida and the rain returned... "but it's a dry rain" ;-) Well, at least a warm rain.
We're having fun wandering about.... pretending that the journey is the destination..... stopping now to get a 1 lb "WhatABurger" for our lunch and then we're thinking of wandering through Ocala National "forest" then down the East coast... or not, or maybe...whatever....

Merry Christmas Eve!

We drove on Daytona Beach, something I did at age 12 the last time…. it is still drivable... we did some bird watching then kept driving south on A1A down the tiny slit of land out in the ocean until we ran out of hotels. Finally found a Dirty-Day's-Inn where other homeless people were staying... up that is.. the big evening Christmas party lasted until 2AM but with earplugs we outslept them and awoke late ... walked on the beach again, saw more birds...

Now south some more and toured Hobe Sound Bible College which was more than we expected... even saw a guy wearing SHORTS on the campus—whew! Otherwise a time tunnel--circa 1955.

Then westerly to Lake Okeechobee remembering a campsite there in 60 MPH winds in the 70's... now North to Lakeland where we plan to spend the night.
Sharon's sprint access allows the shotgun rider to dial up the Internet to monitor the roads, look up questions, resole arguments. or send emails -- while the other person is driving... not many emails for me—I’m on vacation.
Big rains this afternoon amidst tornado like clouds--no problem, we're from Indiana they looked normal to us. (though we found out later they blew away many roofs)
Next day, dodging Tornados we headed north again. Wound up near Winterhaven and took in a spy movie in the evening....
Next morning by 10 am we're off tumbleweeding again, the first shower-per-diem passing a while ago... today we're going to look at an historic Holiness site I visited as a child-- Lakeland Holiness camp meeting--if we can find it, then maybe let the wind blow us past another major holiness tourist site--Brooksville (AKA Headquarters.alt)
Floating with the current we found Lakeland Holiness Camp Meeting grounds, a place I last visited at age 12. Sure enough, while everything else changes, an independent camp meeting is predictably the same. It is sort of a "poor man's Brooksville" or I should say a "Brooksville for the separatist holiness movement folk"... that would be those who still don't cut their hair(women) but they allow themselves expensive cars--Caddies, Lincolns, and super-Buicks...interesting where one denies or allows excesses --all of us do I suppose. The "cultural Holiness movement" is holed up in places like this awaiting.... awaiting something.
After this we drove through WesleyenBrooksville and "did every street." We were delighted to see how that place has developed. They have another bunch of acres with $150,000-$200,000 homes springing up like weeds.... "Wesleyan Village" is for the NextGen of retirees.... impressive....

It is a symbol of one of the things I LIKE about the old-folk-Wesleyans.. across the board when the chips were down that generation voted with the next generation rather than protecting its own preferences and possessions... these are the folk who permitted youth conventions to look like rock concerts and hired the teens to rake their leaves to get money to go to them, these are the adults who swallowed their own music and let "praise choruses" dominate worship...they paid for buildings they didn;t need for themselves... and so much more....this is just one more example here in Brooksville-they risked having a bunch of their own camp-meeting-type cottages on the market unsold so that they could expand for the next generation... they knew the next generation would not retire in camp meeting cottages or rusty trailers ….so now the boomers will have a tidy place to retire to.... that match the laymen's houses and parsonages they had in life....the boomers get everything.
Then we hastened to Gainesville and fell asleep in our hundred dollar beds....we like Country Inn & suites best... then drove the next day to Knoxville where we had a delightful breakfast with Jim & Tommie Barnes, former Pres at IWU cum educational consultants afterwich we drove all the way home to our beloved Marion and returned to our own beds at the end of a week of wandering pronouncing it a good 2700 mile ramble.
Now we are catching up at home and are headed to Houghton where Sharon is the feature speaker at some sort of adult education conference this coming week --so hi to all my friends who are getting to Florida a week after I left.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wheeeeeeeeeeee! Grades are in!

Christmas break is here! WHEEEEEEE!

1. I turned in my grades yesterday (we now do that on the Internet instead of with the "blue envelopes" so I can do it from home.

2. Today we faculty hung around and chatted sans students--it is like youth camp the day after the campers leave.

3. Tonight the President has a reception for all IWU employees (850+ people) and their families. We eat little deserts and goodies and visit and just generally have an "office party" with 1500 people attending. Best of all the President gives everybody a Christmas check. It can be a really NICE check some years (last year it was 750 bucks!) but even nicer than that--every single person gets the same check--from a janitor or secretary to a Vice president. Everybody thinks that's cool--especially people or earn ten bucks an hour! but we all like it.

4. Students are hearing from seminary. I'll let them share it first but for now the numbers:
1 - Princeton Theo. Seminary
4 - Duke Divinity school

5. Tomorrow is Commencement. So actually I'm not done yet--I have to put on my fancy dress and walk the aisle tomorrow and bid farewell to some of our seniors.

--gotta go get my check now... ;-)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Old people in chapel

Today in chapel a funny thing happened. We had African-American choral music leading the first part of worship. They led with a classic hard-driving AA style that made normal chapel music look like old fashioned hymns.

Guess what happened. The audience stiffed them. Really! The students at IWU simply stood (or sat down, like nine students near me did) and watched the leaders try to get them involved. At one point the AA leader with one of the microphones called, "Hello--are you out there" but to no avail. 90% of these broad-minded students who criticize old people for being narrow-minded about worship just wouldn't play along when it was't their worship music--they acted exactly like old people do when urged to "get into it" and sing the newer songs. I counted a whole section--not more then one out of ten students "got into it." that's it.

Then everything changed. After 25 minutes of AA music the group sang one of the songs on the "student approved list" --you know tone of the 25 songs we do over and over in chapel. --It is almost like the students have a list of approved songs like the school has a (short) list of approved "R" movies students can watch. If the song is not on the list they all somehow know they should stiff the leaders.

Are these are the same students who complain when THEY lead worship that the old people "don't get into it." Are they any different than a bunch of old people in the first service who stand non-committal when the young worship leader is urging them to join him in his favorite worship songs???

How can this be?