Jeff Staples is in El Salvador. Charlie Wyman is in Ecuador. Amelie Mabbutt and Hannah Bellinger are in Spain (although not with the same group…as far as I know). Julia Masnik and David Clausen are in London (together). Jessen Myburgh is in Greece. Alison White is in New Zealand. Katherine Staples is at St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Katie Shaiman is in Edinburgh, Scotland. Matthew Knowles was in France. Amy Dubetz is in Budapest. Amy Beck is in Buenos Aires. Lindsay Hansberry is in Europe.
There could be others, but I’m done looking through Facebook, for now, trying to figure out where everyone is. The point still stands though: A crap ton of people I know are not in the United States (or Canada or Mexico) right now.
Mesa Schumacher is in Peru. Kelly Nolan is Florence.
Next school year, Brittany Linton is going to Japan and Devan O is going to London.
So I found this number on the Internet, it’s the White House Situation Room number, (202) 456-9431 in case anyone is interested. Although, please just don’t go randomly calling it as it is the real number. I originally came across it on digg.com (“Huge list of random but useful phone numbers“). The list1 contains “ANAC, diverters, credit card validators, hotlines, fax backs, PBX and dial tones, interesting recordings, test numbers, phone companies, relays services, and more.” I bookmarked it and came back to them a few weeks later during a lull in school (history has shown lulls in school always provide the best stories). I spent quite a bit of time on Skype calling various numbers and then I get down to the section called “Other”. The very first number is the listing for the “White House Situation Room”. Yea, that White House and that Situation Room.
For those not in the know (i.e. those who don’t watch The West Wing), “The White House Situation Room is a 24-hour watch and alert center. Its mission is to provide the President, the National Security Advisor and the members of the NSC staff with current intelligence and open-source information in support of the formulation and implementation of national security policy.” (Source: http://clinton4.nara.gov/WH/EOP/NSC/html/situation.html).
I called the number (on Skype), mostly because I was curious and a little because I was doubting. All doubts were erased when a woman picked up on the other end: “White House Situation Room, this is Nancy”.
I put the number into my cell phone, for a rainy day…much like tonight. I was at Andy and Julia’s tonight for our DualBS Secret Santa Extravaganza and casually brought up the fact I had the White House Situation Room number. Jeff Staples didn’t believe me and without the need for any prodding offered to talk to the person on the other end.
We dialed (on my phone…which may have been a mistake). This is the actual conversation:
Ron: White House Situation Room, this is Ron.
Jeff Staples: Yes, this is Josiah Barlet. Can I talk to the Joint Chiefs.
Ron: Which one would you like to talk with?
Staples was stunned. I handed the number out to those who wanted it. I’ll probably never call it again, but I’m still going to keep it in my phone book; mostly so I can say, Yea, I got the direct line to the White House Situation Room.
I just finished up watching Hotel Rwanda. It’s a very good movie and one that I think everyone should watch. It’s billed as a “true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsis refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.”
Don Cheadle also makes an announcement at the beginning about the situation in Darfur, Sudan. It was kind of interesting because we prayed about that a few months back at one of the Tuesday night services.
A short time after that, Jeff Staples started a discussion about what else could be done for the people of Darfur. Sure, I could drop everything I’m doing right now, pack my bags and catch the next flight to Darfur. But what would that really accomplish? Probably not much. In all honestly, the best thing I can do right now is give what I can to organizations like Amnesty International. Although I find it hard to sit on my hands and not do anything. I do find hope in the fact that someday, I will be able to make a difference. And that’s what I set my sights on.
Everything I’ve been told, by Celeste Jalbert, Jeff Staples, Darren Justus, and anyone else. The West Wing is really a superb show that everyone needs to watch, regardless of your political views. I just finished season one and can’t wait to start season two.
I was watching an episode a view days back and Quinn McGinnis comes over and watches for a few minutes states that he can’t believe he heard something intelligent on TV.
Jeff Staples tied in a bet he had against his friend Rachel from Redmond High School in who would gain the most weight at college. As it turned out, they both lost 2 pounds. To celebreate, they went to the Cheesecake Factory. They also invited their friends to come. So twelve of us headed down to 7th and Pike to enjoy a night at the Factory. Check out the pictures.
Some of you may remember an incident a few months back when Jeff Staples went to Tolo. Long story short, a few of us guys got together and completely wrapped his date’s car in pallet wrapping plastic. It took about an hour and we got it all on film. I just happened to have saved a frame from the video in My Pictures folder. I found it a couple weeks back and submitted it to CollegeHumor.com. Obviously they liked it