This report will be a significant departure from my usual reports, due to the nature of the events of the day.
Today my dad told me that we were going to a Faith In the Academy conference at Faulkner University. I was not to do my usual schoolwork, but instead to take notes of the presentations. I was however told that we would be there almost the entire day, listening to presentations.
We arrived at approximately 7:30, and signed in. I ate a chocolate muffin because I had only had one little packet of instant oatmeal for breakfast. We waited. People entered and signed in. I ate another muffin. Then at 8:00 everyone was gathered into the chapel for the introduction.
The topic of the conference was moderation. Every presenter and their presentation had something to do with the virtue of moderation. This was explained and then everyone was left to chose one of two sessions. I did not have a choice, because my dad was assigned to introduce the speakers in one of the sessions. The order of the day went like this:
8:15 One hour session. First presentation entitled “Moderations of Money: Dave Ramsey’s applications of moderation and gratification.” It was an overview of Dave Ramsey and how he used communication strategies to disguise his Christian principles about moderation spending so he could teach them without incurring hostility. Second presentation “The Policy of Excess: The Federal Reserve’s Response to Economic Failure.” This was about the housing recession of 2007-10 and how moderation could help avoid something similar.
9:15 15 minute break
9:30 One hour session. First presentation “Rhetorical Studies In the Great Conversation: Developing the Polite Christian Gentleman.” This was about three orators and how each was able to adapt similar writings from the one before him to different times while adding on principles of their own. The second presentation titled “Even the Wise Cannot See All Ends: The Virtue of Mercy In the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkein” explained how to moderate kindness and to find the balance and how in the Lord of the Rings it was the hobbits’ mercy to Gollum that won them Middle-Earth.
10:30 15 minute break
10:45 Plenary session “Recovering the lost virtue of moderation.” This was a very long presentation about politics and things and honestly I took no notes and almost fell asleep. (My coffee had by this time completely worn off.)
At least that is what was supposed to happen. Right after they called lunch everyone received a message saying that an armed suspect had been sighted on campus. The campus was supposed to be on lockdown but nobody seemed to take the message very seriously like it was a drill and they knew it. After about 15 minutes of waiting we decided to go eat lunch at Lek’s Taste of Thai within some of my dad’s colleagues. It was good food and there was so much that I could not finish it. Maybe I ate one too many muffins. We stayed at the restaurant to hear the chorus sing so after we ate we went back to my dad’s office. It was at this point that he decided to take me home because directly after the conference he was supposed to go to dinner and then teach some classes.