Laurel Falls, Hampton, TN

Where to begin? For the Martin Luther King break Alicia, Jesse, and I meet at the CSC to meet up with Michele in Johnson City. We were going to go hiking with some of her Med. School classmates and some people from the ETSU CSO, the equivalent of the CSC at UTK. It was an uneventful, quiet ride up to Johnson City. When we arrived there we found out that Michele’s Med. School classmates had all chickened out along with the folks from the CSO. Josh, one of the guys from the CSO, lead the way to the trail head in his car. We followed in Michele’s car because Josh was going to go back to the CSO to paint. The road to the trailhead was a bit frozen over. About a half a mile before the trailhead, we had to park the car because of concerns that the car may not make it back up the mountain. So we added another half a mile to the hike.

Laurel Falls Trail

The trail was a rocky trail and covered with snow. It wasn’t near as steep as the trail to Snake Den Ridge. It was mostly flat except the area near the falls. To get down to the falls, there were several rock steps built. This is the only part of the trail that had any kind of difficulty. Did I mention it was cold? It was so cold that the nipple of my Camelbak actually froze over. We eventually got back to the car and made it safe back down the mountain.

We still had some time to kill, so after we got back to Michele’s apartment, we went to the CSO. Josh and the new campus minister were there painting the house. Michele had seen talk on the blogs about this game called Chinese Firedrill Ping Pong, but I don’t think she had quite grasped the concept of what the game is. Of course the best way to learn such a game, is to actually play it. So the four of us went upstairs and played some Chinese Firedrill Ping Pong. It takes a minimum of 4 people to play the game, but its more enjoyable with more people. Then we went onto play some Air Hockey. The table didn’t actually keep score so only God knows if Jesse and Alicia beat Michele and me.

After we were done playing, we went back downstairs and just stood there. We decided to go back to Michele’s place. Jesse suggested we make some juice or milkshakes. Unfortunately, Michele’s food stock was rather bare and didn’t have any of the ingredients for one of those Jesse “Let’s Cook Something”s. Some discussion of playing a board game had came up, but Alicia needed to be back in Knoxville, so we left a bit earlier.

Well after Mustard Seed, I had to go straight into work. One of my servers needed to be repaired ASAP and I had been putting it off because of other plans. I was there from 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM. Since I had put in so much time at work last night, I just called in and said I wasn’t going to come in. I’ve still got some stuff to fix on the server, but for the most part, its running good. Seeing that the next few weekends are all full, there would be very little time to rebuild this system.

Ok this is newly added… One is the Elevation Profile of the trail, the other is the path taken.
GPS Elevation Profile
GPS Path

The Dropout is a Dropout No More!

After a brief hiatus of summer and fall semester, your local CSC Graduate School dropout, is a dropout no more. I will be making up my Ph.D. level course that I took an incomplete in last spring. The sad thing is, it looks like my class work is going to be pretty close to the same work I was doing so much of last year that caused me to not have enough time to do my class work. Essentially, my professor realized that the work I did last year can be done again this year, but this time for a grade. Well, I’ve got to do a little bit more of writing of proposals, reports, etc., but the general oversight is still the same.

Sometimes you pray for stuff and the answer God gives isn’t always very clear. This time, I hope it was pretty clear. Last semester we graduated several of our students, 4 of them had to leave, and 4 of them dropped out. The students are pretty time consuming on my part. Our lab had really grown too large for just me to handle all the responsibilities. Usually we replace the lost students, but this semester and the summer semester we are forecasting to only replace a few. I hope that God’s telling me I should continue my education by getting rid of the number 1 reason that took up so much of my time. Several of you know that I’m very happy with the degrees I hold and had come content with not getting my Masters. We’ll I’m still content with not getting a Masters, but I’d also at least like to have the opportunity in the future (if not now) to complete it. An I turns into an F after 1 year, so this semester was the semester the decision had to be made. Just looking at some of the other students that have gotten a Master’s degree, I know I am 100x more capable of better quality work than they were.

I’m just relieved my professor didn’t chew me out or call me a complete failure. I was worried about going into this meeting, but now that it’s over with, I feel a WHOLE lot better. Stupid me for worrying.

Its Raining Now But…

…its supposed to clear up this weekend… soooo… who wants to go backpacking this weekend? We had it planned for a while, but here’s the open invitation. Actually we’ll be deciding Wednesday night at church as to where we’ll be going. If you want to go, let me know. We’ll try to figure out how to get gear for you if you don’t have gear.

A Prayer for LST

Ok, I am writing this very brief entry because I have specifically prayed for those at UT that will be going on an LST trip this summer. Its usually in my prayers, but this time, the prayer was solely for it. So… for those of you that are reading this entry and want to go on an LST trip this summer, go to the LST Website and fill out the online application. If your still unsure if you want to go, you can talk to any of us that have gone (Mike, Kelly, Amy, Meredith, and I are among many).

Let’s Start Talking likes to have the teams ready by the Intensive Training weekend. Looking at the schedule, that is the 21st and 22nd of this month. That’s very soon.