Monday, April 27, 2009

A high light of Joshua's Teenpact week (written by Josh)

Josh’s Mathematical Equation

Here’s a math equation worth doing:

1 hearing(TeenPacters) + ties|skirts - noisy zealots = 1 memorable experience

After dodging this for almost three weeks, I’ve decided to sit down and record one of the highlights from my week at TeenPact. It happened Wednesday night. That day during classes, we had been made aware of an opportunity to go to the Iowa House of Representatives and listen in on a hearing for a bill that would do away with the Federal deductibility. Because of my roll as a staffer and my duties at the camp, I just assumed I would not be able to go. However, during supper, the Program Director asked if I would go along. Naturally, I agreed.

Therefore, I got back into my suit and tie, put of my TeenPact nametag and headed out the door. After dividing up into our respective vehicles, we went directly to the capitol. When we got to the floor where the legislatures where located, I was surprised to find an almost eerie atmosphere.

Prior to that day, I had only been at the capitol during the day, usually mid-afternoon when everything was lively and busy. But that evening, the rotunda was almost completely empty. Our footsteps actually echoed in the great room. Over the load speakers, we could hear the seemingly inhuman voice of the Speaker, which was distorted by the electronics.

Our original plan was to go to the galleries located behind the Speaker. However, we soon realized that they were completely full, as were all the other galleries. Therefore, we sent onto the floor and stood behind the representatives.

One by one, people from around the state came up and voiced their opinion on the bill. Many of the students would later comment on how amazed they were to see ordinary people speak before the House. It really made the government feel far less distant than we normal perceive it to be.

After a person would finish speaking the crowd - which was predominantly against the bill - would cheer, hiss, or make their opinion known some way. A couple of time, the Speaker banged his gavel and told the crowd that if they did not remain quiet he would be forced to clear the floor. But the next time around he did nothing expect give another warning.

During the course of the hearing, one of the students had wondered off because he was getting too warm and claustrophobic in the over-crowd chambers. As a staffer, I was sent to find him and make sure he was okay. So, I left the floor and re-entered the eerie rotunda. The only other people there, was the student and a state trooper. While I was out there, I listened to the load speakers. I remember hearing the ravel fall and Speaker announcing that he really was going to clear the floor. Next, I heard a loud uproar from the crowd. The Speaker pounded his gavel, attempting to resort order, but the crowd continued their protest.

I later learned that the local media had reported that the Speaker was forced to call in state troopers to restore order. Well, I have to see the “state troopers get called in.” A man came out of the chamber and asked if the state troopers standing in the hall would come in and help. I found it amusing to see first-hand how things are thrown out of proportion.

While the crowd streamed out, I met up with my fellow TeenPacters. Once we were all together we had a little powwow and discussed the situation. The students decided that, if possible, they would like to stay. Therefore, a call was made to a representative we knew. He agreed to let us in as guests. It was an amazing privilege to be able to hear the rest of the hearing.

When we got back in the vans and headed back, I made a point of reminding my guys that they had just done a wonderful job at representing, not only TeenPact, but Jesus Christ. While, we were at the capitol, several people came up to us and commented on how amazed they were to see young people dressed professionally and involved in government. This allowed us to talk about TeenPact, which then allowed us to talk about Christ. To me, that was the most important part of the entire experience. Through it all, our God was glorified.

1 comment:

mrsmarkdave said...

Very enlightening to read about, Josh. Thanks for sharing!

Kim, thanks so much for your comment in my blog. I didn't really marry a red-head. He's blond, and he always has been. Except his facial hair is very red. Don't get that, but it's kind of cool. He still suffers from the fair skin that red heads have, though. That's not very convenient, but oh well. he doesn't really like to be outside much anyway :)
Nice to hear from you!