Sunday, August 31, 2014

Article V Convention of States Debate with Michael Farris and Bob Marshall

One day I came across news that Michael Farris was going to be in a debate at my daughter's college. We had to go!!!! Why? Well, I had been following Michael Farris for years, since my kids were babies. As homeschoolers we were part of HSLDA, which he co-founded. Furthermore, just the week before we had moved my son into the college Michael Farris had founded, Patrick Henry College.

Michael Farris and Patrick Henry College were both renown for debate success. I wanted to see him in action for myself. Also I wanted to wrap my brain a bit more around Article V. So on August 28, 2014, my husband and daughter and I went to Northern Virginia Community College to see Michael Farris debate Bob Marshall on Article V Convention of States, which was hosted by the  Manassas Tea Party.

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We know who Bob Marshall was until after we got there. We learned that he was one of Virginia's state representatives. (We had recently moved to Virginia from Texas so we are still learning all the local representatives. He's not in our district.) The debate was moderated by Ken Cuccinelli. We did know a little bit about Cuccinelli. My son used to mow the grass for the neighbor next door. One day the neighbor asked my son to mow the grass by a certain time, because an important person for an important event would be coming to his house. Later in the 2013 governor's race, my son said the guy named Cuccinelli was the important person that he had mowed the grass for. So.....we were excited to see Ken Cuccinelli in action too! Sadly, we never realized he was our Attorney General of Virginia from 2010-2014. He was a most worthy attorney general too. At least now we were working on getting more educated. It had been years, since Texas, since we had attended any sort of political event.   

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Going into this I had no idea what in the world they were going to debate in regards to Article V.  Thus, we learned a  lot that night. We learned that Marshall and Farris are friends who work together in agreement on many things. However Article V Convention of States was one item upon which they disagreed. Marshall took the "against" position and Farris took the "for" position.

Guess what! Convention of States posted the debate on youtube here

I enjoyed the debate! Unlike the ones we see on television, this debate was quite professional and respectful. Also I came to the conclusion that I agreed with Michael Farris that we need to call an Article V Convention of States.

Our Founding Fathers knew that the people of America might one day face a tyrannical federal government. Thus they provided Article V in the Constitution for the people to have a voice in their state governments to call for a Convention of States, to rein in an out of control federal government. Many states, like Virginia, are now seeking citizens to sign their state petition to convince their state representatives to call a Convention of States. You can sign the petition and learn more at www.conventionofstates.com By the way, Convention of States is non-partisan. I know people on opposite sides of the political theory from me, yet they too have decided to sign their state's petition. 

When we visited my son at his college (the one that Michael Farris had founded) we told him we had seen Michael Farris debate at his sister's college. My son was incredulous and couldn't imagine why. My son had learned about the Convention of States earlier this year for a scholarship contest.  While we voted for his entry, we started following the COS facebook page and have been learning about this important part that citizens can use to effect change, as provided by our Founding Fathers.

Of course my son gets even more input now that he's at PHC. In fact during orientation got a Convention of States travel mug!

Oh...and I also learned that Michael Farris is an incredible debater!  We've become fans of Cuccinelli too!  

Late August Gardens at Colonial Williamsburg

We dropped my son off at college, my daughter started college too, and I was sad and lonely. I fiddled a bit with my Row by Row project though I wasn't completely happy with that. That Saturday my husband took me down to Williamsburg for the day, I mean afternoon, so I could collect a Row by Row pattern and then spend a bit of time in the lovely historic area. The drive down was somewhat hectic and slow with traffic, causing a 2.5 hour drive to drag out to m-o-r-e time on the highway. Finally we arrived at the quilt shop in Williamsburg to pick up my Row by Row pattern which featured the historic area! Then drove to Merchants Square for lunch at the Cheese Shop which was insanely busy! My favorite chips and drinks were gone! One of the ladies told me it was because the college crowd had returned to the College of William and Mary. Yes, that reminded me of my kids starting college earlier this week also. Once upon a time we used to dress up and drive down for a day as a colonial or revolutionary family, depending on the dates portrayed that day. (sigh) We walked out to sit on a shady bench while listening to the Fife and Drum Corps play their cheerful tunes!  The sky was bright blue! Apart from the crazy traffic we had left behind once we entered the infamous 4 mph society of Colonial Williamsburg, the day was perfect!
It was nearly 4pm and a Founding Father was about to speak behind the Governor's Palace. These are some of my favorite programs! We walked through the gardens enjoying the blooms of the final days of August.

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Stay tuned for our afternoon at the Governor's Palace with a Founding Father!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Journey Begins...at Patrick Henry College

Last week we took my son to college...

1-Moving Out

When my son was quite young, I received a mailing about the ground breaking and vision for a Christian liberal arts classical education college that would be named after a great Founding Father of rhetorical renown and deep conviction of liberty...Patrick Henry. By the time my son was five, he was quite discouraged with current events and expressed the need for our country to return to a Constitutional government as our Founding Fathers established.  We reformatted our homeschool to follow the classical model in preparation for the future. A classical model education reaps exceeding benefits so it paves the way for thinking deeply with great breadth...no matter what the choice of college or trade. Many years later...we drove my son to his new adventure...to perhaps follow in the footsteps of that great man who paved the way as a firebrand of rhetoric in the American Revolution.

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As we passed through the lobby, the row of pictures of notable Commencement speakers caught my eye. Wait! What???? Be still my heart! The legendary San Antonio Spur's David Robinson spoke at PHC???? (For those who might not know we moved to Virginia a few years ago from San Antonio.) Now it's bugging me WHO had such great taste that they invited David Robinson here? This is my kind of school!

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After passing all the stations my son finally got the key to his new home!

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I do believe my son is the only guy who had the girls' soccer team volunteer to take in his stuff! Then the RA took care of assembling my son's bike!

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Here is the imperfect quilt I made for my son! lol No worries about showcasing the imperfections! My son also brought his 18th century items to make his room more homey: a quill and inkstand, a Colonial Williamsburg calendar, and a gift we had received from the CW EFT crew many years ago...a poster of the Declaration of Independence. There has been talk of bringing his 3 cornered hat...I suppose to keep company with his 18th century fife that he brought!

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The view outside his window is great! And he has great roommates! I got to meet one of them with his mom that day! The other I haven't yet met but I've heard great things!

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After a busy move-in day last Tuesday, we had a lovely dinner followed by great speeches by founder/Chancellor Dr. Michael Farris and president, Dr. Graham Walker. There was also a fun quiz show with great prizes for some of the freshmen who were randomly picked to play! The moms also signed up to be on the prayer chain for the year.

Wednesday was a full day of orientation activities. At one of them I got to meet the philosophy professor. Immediately I could tell I'd have much preferred taking a philosophy class with him than with the instructor I had years ago. My son will have him for Logic and everything in the class sounded great. One of the concepts, syllogisms, sounded familiar to my son but he couldn't remember why. I told him that was how I wrote college papers, then he remembered the stories I've told him. Then I explained to the professor that in college I had a crash course in logic to learn how to craft syllogisms to write persuasive papers throughout my college career. Crash courses are rough. I would much preferred taking his class to better understand the concepts!

That evening we had another dinner. The theme for orientation was "Anchors Aweigh." Everything was lovely!

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After the dinner the RAs put on a few funny skits about life on campus. Then each of the families gathered around their sons/daughters to hug them and pray them into their collegiate journey. Soon we'd be saying goodbye. There wasn't a dry eye on the campus.

Just as I thought we had to "forever" say goodbye, we were surprised by an ice cream social with the professors in the foyer.I got to meet the Western Civilization professor and I'm wishing I could take his class...

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At last we said our "final goodbyes" and left my son to new adventures.

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From the phone calls, everything sounds great! This is a rigorous college and my son is up to the challenge and is enjoying his classes at Patrick Henry College. In recent phone calls I can already tell my son has matured with great growth.

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We actually know the historical interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg who portrays Patrick Henry. He was pleased as punch to hear my son would be attending the college that bears his name (and we've seen him brag to some of the citizens of Williamsburg about that!) His parting words to my son, as Patrick Henry, was "Remember to study there with virtue and vigilence." Indeed so, that was our vision and that is our prayer!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Historic Alexandria, Gadsby's Tavern, and Carlyle House

One last day before college. One last day to spend as a family before everything changed. Years ago my husband and I stayed with his sister in Alexandria but we never got to see the historic section. In 2004 we drove the crowded streets and parked in a packed garage so we could take the kids, then 8 and 10, on a whirlwind trip of Washington DC via a boat ride. A rough and bumpy boat ride. Who knew the Potomac was that wild? Now we decided for our last moment of adventure before sending my son off to college, we'd explore Historic Alexandria to see what it had to offer.

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At Gadsby's Tavern we enjoyed a delicious brunch!

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This take on eggs benedict included fresh crab from the nearby Chesepeake! I'm not a fan of American fries at all, but these were the most delicious potatoes I've ever had. They were wonderfully crispy!

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Guarding the Potomac...

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Our afternoon jaunt all about town finally brought us back to Gadsby's Tavern where we got to see the old ice house!

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 Eventually we stumbled upon Carlyle House, which even the visitor center hadn't told us about!  The gardens were lovely.

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We caught the last tour of the day, which was quite interesting.  Mr. Carlyle was a most unique individual in his day, which accounted for the reason why his house looked different from everyone elses.
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And thus summer came to an end.