Well, school has been back in session for three weeks now so we are back in the swing of things here at HBR. It's funny how after weeks of living on a completely different timetable during a break, one day back is like a refresher course sending you back to the same toilsome schedule that it seems like you've been doing for years. It didn't take long for some of the RA's to start feeling worn out even just coming off of a long and relaxing break. It seems like a few of the guys returned to school ready to pick up where they left off in testing boundaries. But as tired as I feel sometimes, I am so glad to have them all back for this semester.
The first two weekends back were filled with home basketball games. What happens on weekends like these is that games will start at 4 o'clock on Friday right after school gets out. Girls JV plays first, followed by Boys JV, Girls Varsity, and Boys Varsity. We basically spend our entire night at the gym watching games, and eventually get home around 10:30ish. Concessions are available at the games, and all of the students and residence life staff get their meals provided. The entire process starts all over again on Saturday morning at 10:00 as all four teams play a second time. It's a lot of fun to hang out in the stands and cheer on the teams although by the end of four full games sitting on wooden bleachers, there is a lot of... ermm... discomfort involved. Also, BFA's basketball program isn't exactly Europe's finest. The teams we play against are all from schools on American military bases throughout Germany, and the students tend to be more athletic than our kids. Our Varsity guys haven't won a game yet, and they're getting pretty bummed about it. The BFA players have fared well overall though as they handle adversity and keep good attitudes. Plus, even though we aren't extremely competetive in basketball, I hear that we generally kill the other schools in soccer most years. This current week is Spirit Week at school, and we will have our last weekend of home games this coming weekend. Hopefully, the guys can capture their first win in front of the home crowd!
More sports discussion: When I was preparing to come over here to Germany, I really had no idea how much I would be able to keep up with American sports. Of course, I would be able to see the results of games on the internet, but I wasn't sure if I would be waiting a full year or so before witnessing my next professional American sporting event. It sounds kind of silly because sports aren't exactly the most important part of life, but I decided that part of the sacrifice of coming here was giving up the ability to keep up with American sports. When I arrived here, I was happy to find that a couple of the dorms, including HBR, have a channel called NASN (North American Sports Network). It is a channel run from within Europe that basically shows what they decide are the best games being played in North America. The games they choose to show are alright, but the organization of the channel as a whole is quite sad. The commercials are horrible; there are basically about three of them total which play over... and over... and over, and all of which I have memorized. They also like to float their logo around the screen any chance they get while playing an annoying little ditty which has also been seared into my brain. I'm very thankful for the channel however. So anyway, during the NFL season, what would be the Sunday afternoon games at home came on at 7 and 10 at night, and they were basically the cream of the crop of what was available. Needless to say, the Bears didn't find themselves looking anything like a cream of a crop this year so they were never featured during those games. However, the Sunday night and Monday night games were always on no matter what (and started at about 2 in the morning) and the Bears managed to be in four of those during the season, and yes, I did watch all four of those games. Those were always late nights, but it was made easier because RA's get every Monday off so if I stayed up late watching football on a Sunday night, at least I could sleep in the next day. I also got to watch exactly three Cubs postseason games in the fall. No more, no less - just three. We don't have to talk about it.
Anyway, as some of you might have heard, there was one of those Super Bowls on Sunday, and for us it started at midnight. Yes, we did have a Super Bowl party here at HBR. Several staff members and a group of student girls came over from other dorms to join us, and we served chicken wings, french fries, and soda at midnight before it started. And even though hardly any of the kids in the room knew anything about football, it turned out to be a great time. This despite the fact that my discouraging prediction came true when several students seemed to pick a team to cheer for at random and proceeded to go nuts every time that team gained more than three yards. One of the sad subtractions from the evening were the commercials. We didn't get to see any of the Super Bowl commercials firsthand so I had to wait until Monday when I could look up a few of them online and watch to my heart's content. Even though I was pulling for the Cardinals, it turned out to be a great game, and I'm really glad I had the chance to watch it.
For those of you who are wondering, our new RA Anna is doing a fantastic job of picking things up quickly and adapting to life here at HBR. She seems to be finding her niche in the dorm and connecting with various students so that is an answer to prayer. Tell me if you have prayed for her, and I will let her know! I'm sure she would be encouraged to hear it. She is still working on her driving and needs to take our BFA driving test before she is able to drive with students in the vehicle. She's a little nervous about it due to the combination of large vans, manual transmission, and boys being in the van with her. So you can continue to pray for Anna and her transition. I'll leave you there for now. I try my best to make calls home once in a while, but there are so many people out there who I want to talk to and so little time to use on talking. If you'd like to talk to me, send me an email, and I'll try to set up a time when I can get a hold of you. So if you're reading this and you haven't talked to me in a while, I'd love to chat sometime. Until then, thank you for your prayers! God bless!