Learning new things on a Sunday
(Most of this was written after the fact, on 4/28. The fonts are messed up because I copied and pasted from Word, and there’s a DLL file to handle that process that WordPress sends out when you try to do it, but I’m on a work computer, so I’m just going to leave it until I get home.)
Today our church received a visit from our diocesan bishop, which meant that ten young people were confirmed and one person was received, and the choir was joined by two violinists. The entire musical ensemble met in the sanctuary at 9:15 and spent almost all of the next 45 minutes rehearsing. It was a lovely service, and Robert served as an acolyte, waving one of two spinning windsocks on long, flexible poles.
Afterwards, we went to Marion’s parents’ house to see their wildflower garden and have sandwiches for lunch. During lunch, Marion and her parents told me stories about tornadoes they had experienced as children. It was interesting, but it was also a bit of a culture shock. I haven’t been around such a close extended family since I was very little. Also, I don’t think I want to live in the same city where I grew up all my life. No offense to anyone there; I just like moving around and experiencing different things.
I spent the afternoon relaxing and reading a book. At 5:00, we left the house again. Marion dropped me off at Crescent Hill Baptist Church for the Mock Refugee Camp activity that some of my coworkers were planning, then took the boys to youth group. When I got there, Crescent Hill’s youth group had already divided into four-person “refugee families” and was in the middle of the role-playing activity. The roles of security guards, UN officials, and other refugee-camp officials were played by my colleagues and other older members of the church community. All I could do was observe and listen as everyone else role-played, but even that was worthwhile. I, and the participants, learned that going through refugee-camp processing is extremely frustrating and confusing. It can involve filling out forms in foreign languages, being expected to answer questions that you simply wouldn’t know the answers to, and multiple trips to the UNHCR office to interview for resettlement, all of which is very stressful.
I helped my colleagues clean up, and then Shelley gave me a ride back to Marion’s house, where I made myself dinner. When the boys got home, they started playing Guitar Hero III, and they taught me how to play. It took me three tries just to get all the way through my first song (“School’s Out” by Alice Cooper). Learning to play Guitar Hero after having already learned to play DDR involved a mental paradigm shift. DDR doesn’t care what body part you use to hit the arrows, as long as you hit them in time with the music. In Guitar Hero, you have to “strum” (flick a lever with your right hand) in time with the music, while using your left hand to press the correct colored buttons. If you do either one without doing the other, you don’t get points for that note. At first, I failed because I was only pressing the colored buttons in time with the music. Once I got better, though, it was fun.
Side note: My church back at UC Santa Barbara was showcased in the daily featured-photo section of the school newspaper! Here’s a link to the picture and caption.