SPRTE Chronicle

It was fairly exciting to be back involved with SPRTE, after my last NTE in 2002. This time though, I was leading Strand 2 with Mike V.

Day 0
With mum’s car still under being fixed up, I didn’t have much of an option than to take the bus down or find a lift. Bus was ok, so I took that, especially with a discounted cheap (w00t). V texted me to get some stuff, so I had to re-work my plan to stop by college on the way through and instead attempt to locate stuff. That failing, I got my sister down in Canberra to get it. She’d managed to get it by the time I arrived, and after dinner we watched Van Helsing and Die Another Day, which happened to be on TV at the time.

Day 1
When I got to ANU, it happened by chance that I was at the right residential college – it had not been explained that you were supposed to turn up in that manner, though not knowing which one I was at, that wouldn’t really have helped. I was there early, so I got to helping with rego.
Our strand group was located on what amounted to a table with 4 park benches. There were 12 of us – cosy, though cosy is perhaps good for bonding. You never really know what mix of personalities you’re going to get in a strand group – whether there will be too many shy quiet ones or some particularly loud people. It seemed, though, that we had a nice even mix, and also fairly intelligent guys too, which also helps. The first day, though, is pretty tough, since you basically dive straight in to Micah 5. This is on top of having gotten there and just listened to Phillip Jensen speak. And the realisation that there’s still the evening program.

Day 2
This day is a fairly easy day for strand leading. It’s a short 1.5 hr block, and then we don’t have to go to a workshop in the arvo so we basically get 4 hours of free time.

Day 3
For strand 2, this is the day when everything needs to come together, otherwise the whole exercise of teaching Biblical Theology falls apart. With only 1 hour to really drill into people’s heads how to do Biblical Theology, you really have to make sure it goes in and stays. Fortunately, it looked like lights were coming on by lunch time.
By now, I was getting fairly tired and I started dropping in and out during the evening session. These evening sessions featured a presentation from one of the other South Pacific Christian groups, a Bible talk from Matthew, and then a presentation on some of the works and struggles of Christian students overseas. Jam-packed and tiring, though enlightening.

Day 4
V got sick overnight, so I flew solo today. Lucky for me, this is the “write the talk” session, so after some introductory stuff, it was walking around like an exam supervisor.
By now I had realised that the circular tables in this particular residential college possessed unique challenges to dinner table conversation. I’m used to rectangular tables, for which the conversational dynamics are well documented. However, with circular tables, due to the distance to the other side, it is difficult to engage an entire table in conversation. In practice, you’ll be able to talk to the two people beside you and it’d be fairly hard to have a private conversation.
Thing is, as a “non-aligned” person, it was easy and desirable to talk to different people.
In the evening, most of the college people gathered first at O’Malleys, and then at this Asian noodle place were our orders were seemingly filled instantaneously. Like, we ordered, and about a minute later the first dish came out. Someone would join us late, order, and again about a minute later it’d be there. Later, a group went to get ice cream, unbeknownst to some of us, however we soon discovered that they were going to IGA rather than (so we thought) some sort of ice cream parlour.
Day 5
V came back, and it was nice to listen to several talks. It sounded like people understood, which was good. Plenty of good talks floating around so it sounds like our group was as intelligent as we thought.
I didn’t take the bus back, but managed to get one with R & J (see right).

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