An Archaeological Dig in Armageddon

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The week after school let out for the summer, I found myself on an airplane bound for Armageddon. Really.  I’ll be teaching a class called “Archaeology and the Bible” this fall, and I thought it might be fun to go on an archaeological dig myself, as well as help prepare me for teaching the course. After a bit of Internet research, I volunteered for the Jezreel Valley Regional Project 2012 (, at East Tel Megiddo. Tel Megiddo, the site of many fierce battles in the Middle East over several thousand years, is also known by its Greek name, “Armageddon.”

Most of my fellow volunteers on the JVRP 2012 dig were college and grad student age, so keeping up with their pace was quite the challenge! We were on the bus at 5am every morning, heading to the dig site at the base of Tel Megiddo to search for more evidence of the “City of the Great Temple Builders” of Megiddo. Most of day, especially in the beginning, was spent pickaxing, shoveling dirt and clay, and carrying buckets of dirt, clay and rock to the waste pile. My lower back was very unhappy. Did I mention that it was very hot?

After removing several layers of dirt from the five meter square we were excavating, we began to see evidence of the city, specifically lots and lots of pottery, and more importantly, the foundations of walls. It’s a pretty cool thing to hold in your hands pieces of pottery from the Early Bronze Age (3000-2200 BCE) that may be as old as 5,000 years old! I found myself spending a lot of time clearing away debris on the wall in my square, and thinking about the everyday lives of the people who had built it. What must a typical day have been like for them?

I managed to return healthy and with all my limbs. All in all, it was a wonderful experience and I have lots of good stories to tell my class this fall!

The Rev. Joy Willard-Williford
Upper School Chaplain

College Prep – Tips to get started

I often am asked by students of all ages- when should we start looking at colleges? My answer is anytime-BUT- the most relevant time is when you are in your last two years of high school when you have a bigger sense of what you are looking for! I usually say to start with looking at a small (under 2000 students), medium (2,000-10,000 students) and large (10000 students plus!) campus. If you are doing a road trip this summer, it is always good to do at least a drive-by if you are near a college campus. And if you are a 10th, 11th or 12th grader do a more formal visit and go to the admission office for an information and campus tour. Remember, college campuses during the summer often seem sleepy, but it is still good to visit when you are nearby. During your junior year, plan to go back while school is in session to see the campus fully in action.

Here at HTEA, there is never a dull moment in the college office… over the summer the college advisors are working with the Class of 2014 students and parents for a pep-talk going into the all-important junior year. While no big college decisions are made in this conference, students leave with a sense of what needs to be done along the way in terms of building their resume, coursework, researching college options and preparing for standardized testing. The college advisors also begin to get a sense of what might be good ‘fit’ colleges for their advisees!

Knowing that the fall ramps up quickly for seniors, we encourage students to use the summer to polish their resumes and college essays that they had drafted last spring. Sometimes the college advisors have students who will send us essays to review ‘virtually’- something we always welcome to ensure everything is in the works for putting together the college application. Many students, both from Holy Trinity and other local schools, will attend College Application Boot Camp at the end of July, in which guest staff from college admission offices come for the final day to act as essay reviewers.

Alison Bell
Director of College Counseling
Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy

Summer Fun

As summer camp comes to an end, I’m writing this blog post to reflect on the previous weeks. This was my third summer volunteering at camp, and it will not be my last. At camp this year, we learned about a variety of topics, but I specifically helped in the Singapore Math, Rock and Read, and Junior Rangers. Campers learned to use new techniques in math, that reading can be fun, and that you do not need a laboratory to do cool science experiments.
Continue reading Summer Fun

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