Going to NTBI isn't like going to any other school. It's like a ginormous family and everything works like it would in a family. For example..today. I got up at 6:30 (yes, it's true. I did.) got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. Even though I don't eat breakfast, this week is my week to do the dishes. When dishes are done, I ran to class. Classes are all held in the same room for each year (freshmen, sophmores, etc.). Somewhere in the middle of classes, we take a break and go to chapel. After classes are done at noon, we have lunch. After each meal, students rotate weekly being on dish crew. After lunch, everyone spends the rest of their day doing homework and chores. Yes, chores. In order to keep the cost of the school low, every student is assigned a job to do. My job is to clean the kitchen and bathroom in the toddler daycare room. So I go in there every day for about 45 min and do the dishes, sweep, disinfect everything, clean the bathroom, etc. It's not very fun cleaning the toilets in the toddler room because, as we all know, 3 year olds still don't quite know how to aim..... Altogether though, I lucked out with my chore. It's relaxing after a 4 hours of classes.
Walking through the halls of the school, you really don't pass anyone without saying hi. If you do, you're kinda rude. For the most part, everyone knows everyone and calls them by name, but for the new people, we smile and nod....actually 90% of the time, you introduce yourself. Within 2 weeks, I know that everyone will know everyone by name. The teachers make it a point to stop you and find out who you are. A lot of the staff members have been studying our pictures that we sent in on applications so that they'll know us faster. I was studying outside in the backyard with my friend Whitney last night and one of my teacher's wife came up and brought us dessert. Like I said......once you enroll...you're part of an amazing family that you never know existed.
It's also very diverse. Just today, I met someone from Ontario, someone from Belgium, someone from New Hampshire, and someone from Korea. That's just today. It's a lovely example of the Church as a whole. It doesn't matter what you look like, what language you speak, or what culture you come from, we all have Christ in common and therefore we all have no trouble bonding. I was talking to my RA a few days ago and again to one of my teachers today about how one of the major benefits of being in a school this small and this close is that you get to see all the parts of the body of Christ working together on a daily basis. That's what makes this place go. Most of the time, we just go to church a few times a week for a few hours and a lot of times it's easy to forget that we don't even see a fraction of the big picture that God sees! Here, I'm able to grasp it a little better and it really does make me desire to jump in and do my part as well.
Last but not least, thank you to all of you who have sent me birthday wishes!! I was kind of bummed that I was going to have to spend my birthday so far away from home, but it's been a great day! My roomies woke me up this morning by singing "happy birthday" in harmony. It was truly beautiful! haha Some of them had put cards on my desk for me, and my roommate Kaylee bought me a NTBI mug. I've had staff members stopping me in the hall all day to wish me a happy birthday. And on top of all that, I had to empty both my text message inbox and my voicemail inbox because I got so many wonderful messages from all of you at home! Thank you so much!! I love and miss you all!!
Time to go listen to the thunder...........it's loud. :)