Wednesday, July 13, 2011


We continued with our lesson on Judaism today in class, for the most part, and are slowly beginning to link both it and Christianity together.

Both Islam and Christianity were born from the Jewish faith; therefore they are frequently regarded as the Abrahamic religions.
I learned to my surprise that almost every religion is divided into smaller sections called sects, and that the ideals of each one may not necessarily stand eye-to-eye with one another. For example, there are three main types of Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed. Each of these classifications interprets the Torah differently—some allow more flexibility to its principles than others.

We brought an end to our study of Judaism by using the Medical Model to evaluate it and, later on in the future, compare it to other faiths. The Model assists us in analyzing a religion, asking for four main things: what it recognizes as the patient (the “thing” that needs healing), the symptoms, the disease (what the problem or flaw is; not to be confused with the symptoms), and finally, the cure (it may range from reading or following its sacred text, adhering to moral principles, or so on and so forth).

Our Teacher Assistant told us she could read a bit of Hebrew, which definitely caught my attention, and she told me that tomorrow, she would bring in the Hebrew Bible (the Torah) and read a few sections aloud for us in the ancient tongue.

Tomorrow, we will begin our lesson on Christianity. We were assigned a few pages to read from our text and a short essay that describes any questions that the reading raised or any observations we may have noticed. It included some excerpts from the Bible, and, it being my first time reading it, I found it very captivating. I have always been surrounded by people who were of Christian faith and never grasped the concept of it, and I cannot wait to learn more about Christianity tomorrow.
Lunch was alright—nothing exceptional, but decent. I enjoyed a healthy salad with a slice of watermelon, nacho chips, some sort of pie, and a glass of Coca-Cola. Kye, Aiyana, and I sat together during lunch. I am so glad that we are at this program together—we've really bonded and gotten to know one another to a point where we can be ourselves around each other, laughing and having fun constantly.
Of course, during Teen Scene, we continued with acting out and practicing scenes. Our instructor told us to think of a character you would be comfortable portraying, and then partnered us up with whoever was sitting across from us.

Staying on the safer side, I chose to embody Cinderella, and my partner Nemo from Disney and Pixar’s animated movie, Finding Nemo. We performed one of the most animated scenes, made our instructor proud, and had a lot of fun together.

After arĂȘte, I enjoyed a light dinner of Indian food, and soon we were off to the Rotunda (the small theater where we had our Opening Ceremony on our first day) to participate in a mock admissions activity.

We were given a packet that consisted of fake student applications to an undergraduate education at a fictional college, which we called “Red Brick University”. The profiles of four varying students (transcripts, test scores, activities, essay, etc.) were included in the packet, and, in groups of about fifteen, we students had to determine which applicant we would accept into the school, which two we would waitlist, and who we would deny.

The reactions from the different groups and people differed greatly, and in the end, it appeared as though there was no real trend as to what characteristics would cause an applicant to immediately be noticed positively and accepted, or what can break it for them. The four applicants’ votes were very scattered.

However, through this workshop, I was reminded of the importance of having a good, solid college resume—to focus on challenging academics, engage in extra-curricular activities, receive high test scores, and stay true to my character when writing my personal statement because it is supposed to be, well, personal.

Tomorrow is sign-out night, so I am excited to explore the town of Nashville a bit (although the town boundaries are a bit confining). Nevertheless, I look forward to tomorrow’s class as well as evening activities.


  1. Julia,

    How much better do you think the world might be if everyone were required to take a course like yours where they're required to actually learn about other religions before they shout out their distaste for it? Maybe people would be more accepting of people of a different faith if they understood what that religion was all about.

    Of course, there are still a lot of people who think that their faith REQUIRES them to hate anyone who doesn't share in their beliefs and that's the rub. What do you do with people when their religion demands that they "kill the infidel" or some variation of that?

    When they let you out on that day pass, will you be issued ankle bracelets so they can keep track of you? Let us know what that one block of Nashville is like.

  2. hey Julia (Zeke here) sounds like you are having a really fun experience and i just wanted to say I am proud of you lil sis =D, keep up the learning and remember that when it comes to religions, the only way to really understand them is if you have an open mind