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    The DC Update

    January 25, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Now that I’ve gotten the complaints out of my system, it is time to update you with the details of our trip.

    Friday was amazing. I’ve never been much of a traveller, so my senses were overloaded by it all, but it was great. We started the morning at Bill Thomas’ office, where a member of his staff met us to take us on a tour of the Capital. Did you know that all of the buildings are connected by tunnels? We were told that this helps the representatives, judges, etc. get to where they want to go without encountering crowds of people and reporters. I’m sure it also helps when it’s icy outside.

    Anyhow, we saw the Capital, plus the Library of Congress, Supreme Court, Archives, IRS building {just kidding}, Washington Monument, and the new WWII Memorial {incredible, by the way}. At the Supreme Court we learned that Moses is not a religious figure, but rather a famous lawgiver. Oh! And for this being a “Christian” country, I must say that Christ was conspicuously absent from our Capital City.

    We also perfected the art of taking the Metro, which was fun. This means that we walked to the point of exhaustion and shin splints, and saw amazing paintings, architecture, sculpture, as well as the real historical documents like the Gutenberg Bible, Constitution, Declaration of Independence, etc. Since everything in our neck of the woods is about 2-5 years old, we were in awe of it all. We could have spent days there, for there was so much more we could have seen.

    Friday night, we checked into the hotel and had our first of many communal meals. All of the students eat together in the cafeteria {sound like college to you?}. There was also a class that night, and a dessert afterwards.

    Saturday, we were up bright and early, first for breakfast, and then for a whole day of classes. I did skip out for a while Saturday afternoon. I had to iron my skirt for graduation the next day, and then my eyelids became quite heavy. I’m sure you get the idea.

    The speakers were amazing. I took a lot of notes and have some thoughts I’m still collecting. I’ll be sure and share them when I find them all. We ended the day with another dessert {sorry to rub that in, Dessert Girl}.

    Sunday was the big day. After a year of reading book after book, analyzing movies, attending web conferences, writing papers, and heading periodically to DC for his residences, Si graduated. It had that graduation feeling about it, somewhat solemn and a bit sad to know that it was coming to an end. Because it was Sunday, the ceremony doubled as a church service, including communion.

    Because we were at the Prison Fellowship Headquarters for the service, we also took a tour afterwards. They weren’t really open, but one of the staff was willing to let us nose around. We even got to see the room where Chuck records Breakpoint when he’s in Virginia!

    I must say that I was most impressed by Chuck Colson, as well as Pat Nolan {the head of Justice Fellowship, and former Republican minority leader from our state}. I don’t know many people who have been in prison, and they are so humble about it and are working so hard to bring about a Biblical methodology for “doing” prison–not liberal, not conservative, but truly Christian. It was amazing and inspiring. I can see why Si was so passionate about his schooling.

    By the way, when we were speaking with Chuck’s assistant, Martha, after graduation, she said that Chuck was impressed with Si’s thinking and that he stood out as a “star” among the students. I was so proud, and yet not really surprised. He really is amazing.

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  • Reply Brandy January 26, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    Well, Dessert Girl is a tricky subject. You see, there is only one. But she sometimes offers private training. I became much more comfortable with the whole dessert issue after years of personal study with Dessert Girl herself! I’m not sure she offers online courses, but I can give you contact info if you email me! =)

  • Reply Grace January 26, 2006 at 9:53 am

    Yeah. That’s what I want to know. Who’s the “Dessert Girl?” How do I become a “dessert girl?”

    Please Congratulate Si for me as well!

  • Reply Sleepy in South Bend January 25, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    I’m glad you had a good trip, albeit eventful. Congratulations to Si for finishing the program. That’s very exciting. I know Nate is happy for him.

    Who is this “Dessert Girl?” She sounds fascinating.

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