Tuesday, October 03, 2006

And now for something completely different

So looking back through my posts the past couple of weeks, I've been rather boring: weighty subjects of world peace and religious strife have dominated the Annales. In keeping with my present mood, and present desire to enjoy a bit o' distraction, I thought I'd change tact and report on my every day goings on.


One of the biggest changes in my life of late has been making Cumberland's national trial team. Basically, this is a group second- and third-year law students who competed for almost a month in a mock trial tournament to qualify for an interview/tryout of sorts with the coaches of the team.

Why all the hoopla just for a mock trial team? Well, it seems that Cumberland has something of a reputation to keep up. Apparently, Cumberland's trial team is one of the best in the nation -- a statistic confirmed by no less an authority than the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, when it invited Cumberland to its "Tournament of Champions."

The ToC, as it is called, is open only to the nation's sixteen best trial teams, as determined by NITA. This year, as in years past, Cumberland made the cut.

Our team is competing at four tournaments this year, all across the country:

• San Antonio, Tex.
• Tampa, Fla.
• Atlanta, Ga.
• Buffalo, N.Y.

Yours truly has been selected to serve as a both a prosecutor and a witness in the mock trial tournament at Buffalo School of Law in Buffalo, New York. Our case is a complicated mafia-related conspiracy, burgarly, and felony murder case, so it should be a blast.


Besides making the trial team, one of the coolest things going in my life right now is the simple fact that my fiancee, Kat, is now only 45 minutes away in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where she is working on her second-year at the University of Alabama's law school.

Having Kat in such close proximity has been a blessing beyond belief. I am completely thankful to God that he helped us get through some of the rough patches of being seven hours away back when Kat was in the horrible place, because it has made our experience in Alabama so awesome.

We've gotten to swap weekends, spending time together in each other's environments, and both of us really feel like we're back to being active participants in one anothers' lives since we can meet friends, go out casually, and generally enjoy the minutiae of life together: going to Church, studying for class, eating dinner, and (especially) having Kat's support at events like the try-out tournament for the National Trial Team.

It's the little things, after all, that seem to make life together so special.


Coming up in only nine days is one of the most important annual events in the world (it even has an entry on Wikipedia).

In importance to the outside world, it doesn't show up on most people's radar screens. But to me, and about 40,000 other people, it's one of the most special times of the year; really, for many of us, it effectively serves as Christmas/Thanksgiving all rolled up into one.

I'm speaking of course, about the quaint, nineteenth century harvest festival that is held during the second (full) weekend of every October on the timeless streets of God's little piece of heaven-on-earth, Historic Rogersville, Heritage Days.

For the first time since 2002 I get to join the tens of thousands of people from the Rogersville diaspora in coming home to God's country. Katharyn also gets to come, and I have come to see it as probably the highlight of the fall semester.

I am not sure why I am so excited, but there is something inside me that yearns for those mountains, the music, and the innocent way of life that has been preserved along Crocketts Creek between the Town and Schoolhouse Knobs for two-and-a-half centuries. It is a way of life that is a part of who I am, and returning to Rogersville has the effect of recharging me and reminding me both who I am and who I want be.

Look for (hopefully) pictures and more from the Heritage Days trip after next weekend. And, of course, if you'll be within 5 hours of Historic Rogersville (just off of Interstate 81!) during October 13-15, you've got to swing through town. But be warned: you won't want to leave.

FEELING: Intense nostalgia


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