Walking up to the crowd of more than 200 mock-congressional Republican and Democrat students, the spot light landed directly on me. With flat shoes shined, skirt un-ruffled, button down ironed and hair pinned back I looked like Ms. Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen “Florida 27” herself. Inside, however, my nerves began to shake and blood quickly rushed to my face. The Foreign Affairs Committee was counting on me to initiate a bipartisan agreement between both sides of the House - Republican and Democrat. The Harvard students themselves encouraged me to raise my placard, to stand for the bill I authored and speak to both sides of the aisle, but could I win them over? Send our bill to the Senate, saving the Eurozone crisis while protecting our American citizens? The answers whirled throughout my mind as I took the stand, held the microphone, and cleared my throat. Florida 27 was about to send her bill, “Protecting America,” straight to the Senate, with a rarely seen bipartisan agreement spreading through the House.
This is one of the many exhilarating moments I experienced on the Charlotte Christian government class trip to Boston, Massachusetts. Traveling to Boston to participate in Harvard Model Congress was definitely a highlight to my junior year. Not only standing as a truly hands-on initiative to engage students in the congressional actions we learn about daily in class, but also recognized as the most dynamic model congress simulation available to high school students, Harvard Model Congress was a chance not many students have the opportunity to experience. The true congressional process was at our fingertips. Each day the students met with more than 40 small group members in various committees, such as my own, Foreign Affairs. Harvard undergrad students led us through the day-to-day process our country’s congressmen and women go through. We dissected current problems that our government faces, such as the Eurozone crisis, Syrian Affairs, and many more. The responsibility of a fantasy “future” lied in the hands of students across the nation, including us.
This is a trip I will recommend to all future government students. It is filled with experiencing the great city of Boston, engaging in real-life congressional activity with my peers, and receiving daily encouragement from my history teachers, Dr. Headley and Mr. Hoff. It was a trip I will never forget. Not only did we have the chance to stand for our shared political ideology and values, but also as one of the only Christian schools attending the conference, we got to stand for something extremely significant: our faith. Fellow classmates debated and argued issues such as abortion laws and marriage rights - political views that have a risky relationship with religion. Armed with apologetics and thoroughly prepared through Charlotte Christian’s Bible program, this was a chance to underline and demonstrate what my school is truly about. Not only did I travel to Boston with my government class to engage in hands-on political scenarios, but I also had the privilege to stand for something greater, and leave Harvard Model Congress with the mark of Charlotte Christian School, impacting the culture for Christ.
Over Easter break I was able to spend a lot of quality time with family in San Antonio, Texas. It was our first time, and we had a blast. On Easter Sunday we attended Max Lucado’s church, Oak Hills Church, and heard a wonderful message. It’s amazing how God works, because the message was very similar to what we had learned in Bible class just a few days before. The pastor talked on the idea of faith without works, and how we as Christians have an empty faith if we don’t show it through our actions. This came from the book of James, which we had recently covered in Bible class. I turned to my father who was sitting next to me during the service and told him this similarity, and all he could do was smile.
My eyes focus on the slope below, skis submitting to gravity and gliding over the powder. I can already picture it— my body careening down the hill, transforming into a human snowball. My skis flying. The snap of my legs breaking. I shake off the idea, but my stomach is already woven into a knot.
Why am I on a blue slope already?
I shift directions, snow kicking up behind me as I veer away from a patch of trees. Vaguely, I feel the adrenaline surging through my body.
“Dear Jesus, please don’t let me fall…”
…or kill myself. Or another skier.
I prepare to turn again. Automatically, my fingers curl around my poles. I grit my teeth, muscles burning as I command my knees to go right. For a moment, I feel myself losing balance.
God help me, God help me, God help me.
Yet after three hours on the slopes, I still refuse to fall.
“C’mon,” I murmur, relieved to be upright. “You can do this.”
I smile, knowing that I can. And I do.
Senior Trip 2013: the getaway I’ve anticipated since I was a freshman. No underclassman. No juniors. Just me, my friends, the mountain – and now, memories. From ski school to shopping on Main Street to weathering a -13° wind chill, Breckenridge will forever be a vacation I cherish. But for seniors like me, the trip served as more than an outing, but a time to savor relationships.
I’ve realized the inevitable: in six months, I am leaving behind almost everything I know. Breckenridge, however, gave me another opportunity to enjoy the moments I have with those I love so much; whether by going out or skiing with friends, I made memories that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
As such, I encourage every future senior to take part in the trip, regardless of location. For me, it was worth every penny I saved— because it doesn’t matter how great the resort is. Instead, it is the company—the friends, and even chaperones— that is of true value.
In the end, the time went by quickly, and to my relief, I came home without broken bones. But my heart still is, and forever will be, on the mountain.
Since the beginning of second semester, the Oklahoma! cast has been working very hard to prepare a show. Starting with musical rehearsals, dance practices, and intensive acting coaching, we have built a show from the ground up. I will not lie to you. It is extremely tough unless you want to settle for mediocre. However, by a tradition of excellence, Mrs. Sword (Director), Mrs. Booth (Co-Director/Choreographer), and Mrs. Robinson, have all spent many hours with us to make sure we look the best we can on opening night. The show had good vibes from the start at our very first full-cast read-through. Just after one day, I could tell that we had a very talented and capable cast that would rise to the occasion. However, coming down to the last few days of rehearsal is extremely intimidating. Fortunately, we have had the opportunity to work on the stage the past week which will contribute greatly to our success.
One interesting aspect of our spring musical at Charlotte Christian School is that anyone can try out, and everyone makes it. This is a fantastic opportunity to try out for something different and not feel pressured into doing anything but your best. The fact that the musical is open to everyone has helped me branch out to new friends I wouldn’t have otherwise made. I always enjoy seeing a new face at rehearsals every day.
Oklahoma! is a set in the early 1900s in a small town in Oklahoma territory, soon to be a state! Curly starts off the show with “Beautiful Morning,” and Laurey and Aunt Eller chime in on the melodious song. The story develops as Will Parker returns from a visit of the “mod’ren world” and kicks off the very first dance number, “Kansas City.” The story takes twists and turns as Alli Hakim, Ado Annie, and Jud Fry are thrust into the hilarious tale of the Wild West. This show has plenty to offer when it comes to entertainment. We will also be performing with a live orchestra!
This year, we decided to enter Oklahoma! into the Blumey Awards which take place on May 19. After our success in last year’s award ceremony when West Side Story was nominated as Best Musical and Emma VanDeVelde won Best Supporting Actress, we decided to give it another stab. If we are yet again nominated for Best Musical, we will have the opportunity to take one of our BIG numbers to the Blumenthal stage. Last year, we took the song “I Want to be in America.”
The show opens this week and I will be playing the role of “Andrew Carnes,” and I even get to sing a song! I sing “The Farmer and the Cowman” along with the ensemble in the beginning of the second act.
Ya'll come on down t'see th' show ya ‘ear, It’s gonna be a party!
Charlotte Christian School is a Christ-centered, college preparatory school, equipping and developing students to effectively integrate Biblical truth and learning into their daily lives and to impact the culture for Christ.