Monday, May 22, 2006

Hastings Shows Duke Some Talent

Christina Hastings, a home school student from the Lago Vista area, was among those recognized by the Duke University Talent Identification Program May 17 at the State Recognition ceremony held on the campus of Texas A&M in College Station. This is the 26th annual seventh grade Duke TIP talent search, which allows 7th grade students who scored in the 95th percentile or above on a grade-level national achievement test to then take the College Board's regular SAT exam. Seventh grade students who score at least 510 on either the math or critical reading sections of the SAT are awarded a Duke TIP medallion at the state level."

This is the headline and article I saw when I looked in the local Lago Vista newspaper. I was shocked. I mean, I did it all but I had no idea I would be in the newspaper! But there was my name in black and white. I found out later that my parents had sent the article to the editor with the possibility of publishing it. They did! I used to think that people who were in newspapers were special and did special things. And I still think that people who are in newspapers are special as well as everyone else in God's eyes. You are special!

The ceremony really stands out in my mind. Not because of anything in particular that the speaker said. Not walking across the stage, receiving a medallion, shaking hands on stage, or saying thank you to the hand's owner. No, what stands out in my mind is my conversation with two kids, a boy and a girl, sitting next to me on my right.

The speaker asked for a raising of hands to the questions, "How many of you go to a rural school? An urban school? A suburban school? A private school? A home school?" On the last question I raised my hand and the girl started giggling. That started a conversation on home schooling and public schooling. She wasted no time in trying to persuade me to become a public schooler (which she could never do). I was trying to show her why I would never want to switch to public school.

As we talked I mentioned to her that I wouldn't date--I would do courtship. She then asked if I was a Mormon. I answered, "No way! I'm a Christian!" That started a conversation about Christianity and Mormonism. It was the first time I really got to witness to someone. I've often talked about God and Jesus in various conversations, but never like I did this time. I hope I'll have many more opportunities.


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