Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Judaism and July

Every morning is essentially the same: wake up, prepare for the day, and breakfast.

Unless breakfast is phenomenal (which I doubt, but continue to hope for), I will frequently skip to the beginning of class when blogging about my day and experiences.

Today in class I learned a respectable amount of information about Judaism. Honestly, my knowledge on the religion—or any religion, for that matter—is very limited, so everything we discussed in class I happily absorbed.

We studied the ancient Hebrew Bible—the Torah—extensively today, and one thing that really caught my interest was the many stories documented in the text. We learned that the many religious stories (such as the one where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son) are included in the Bible to demonstrate the devout men of God—almost always testing man’s faithfulness in Him.

I also learned about the origins of Judaism—how it all started, the principles on which it is built, and how it has changed and been altered throughout time to fit into modern day worship.

After about six hours of class (with lunch in between), we finally were finished with the lesson and began Study Hall. Dr. Dunn passed out a packet of about eighty pages titled Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. It is a forged text, and the aim of this reading assignment and reflection is to probe deeper in the critiques the author is making and the ‘stereotypes’ frequently held against certain types of people. It is a very interesting piece of literature to read and analyze, even if it is a hoax.
I hurried through the beautiful, green Vanderbilt campus to my arĂȘte class, Teen Scene.
We presented a short scene of an incomplete dialogue with a partner in front of the small class. In the scene, we were not allowed to add or change any of the words from the script—we had to develop a background story that fit well with the choppy dialogue and make it work.

My partner Bria and I had a lot of fun preparing and delivering the scene, and I found that I actually enjoyed acting—it was entertaining and refreshing to put myself in someone else’s shoes (not literally, of course).

After a quick hour break and dinner, I, along with Aiyana and a group of friends, headed over to the third floor of Hank Ingram House to engage in our evening activity: friendship bracelet making. We had the option of signing up for other activities during breakfast, such as outdoor cooking (they made s’mores!), kick-ball, knitting, and so on.

I had no idea how to weave a friendship bracelet, so I ended up tangling some colorful string into a knot and calling it a day.

I had a relatively enjoyable day, and I am honestly relieved that our schoolwork does not take up a large part of the rest of our crammed schedule. We usually finish the required reading and reflection during Study Hall, where we also have the Teacher Assistant there to assist us. I learned the importance of using one's resources to ask questions, in or out of class, if anything is unclear. I enjoy my education here, and really am excited to learn more every day, of course not simply in class, but outside of it as well.

1 comment:

  1. Julia,

    I can't tell you how disappointed I am. I've developed such a high regard for you in these past couple of weeks. Your blogs are well written, you follow my formatting protocols and you insert lost of very nice photos.

    But today, Julia, you write to us about "tangling some colorful string into a knot" and we see no photos of this "friendship bracelet". THIS cold have been the keynote photos of your trip yet we see nothing.

    This blind and unquestioning faith that you heard about today is something often demanded in military and some business models and even by some elected leaders. What does it say abut those people who will blindly follow and about those who would demand that kind of loyalty?