Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Everyone seemed to be in a sleep-funk at breakfast this morning. We’ve learned that breakfast never changes here. Occasionally some items will be added, such as biscuits and gravy today, but normally it’s the same fruit, eggs, potatoes, some sort of breakfast meat, cereal and pastries. I normally get a plate of sliced strawberries, and a bit of potatoes and eggs. Julia and I sadly learned that the juice machine wasn’t working when we attempted to get some. We have to finish our quest of trying the orange juice! The boy that asked to sit with us yesterday is now a regular (I like to call him an honorary proctor group member), and grossed us out when he told us to try a mixture of orange juice and milk when we got the chance. Every one of us grimaced at the thought of trying MO-J.
World Religions class was so interesting today. We learned about where and how the origins of persecution against Jews came to be. I’ve always been curious as to why there has historically always been hatred or dislike towards this group of people. I learned that Christianity was born from Judaism. They shared the same texts, but argued over certain aspects of the scriptures, such as considering Jesus Christ to be the messiah. Christianity became separated from Judaism, and started to compete for membership. They both began to use texts from the Bible, and interpret them to be slanderous towards the other religion. As my professor puts it: the Jews lost that battle. Membership in Christianity began to boom, and marketing against Jews steadily developed into racism. Propagandist pictures depicted Jews as doing horrendous acts of blasphemy. Biblical concepts became “justifiable reasons” to blame and kill all Jews, which led to genocides and the Holocaust.
An interesting concept of Judaism is called The Paradigm of Exile and Return. Now this may seem like some confusing mind-warping kind of thing, but the idea is simple. In regards to Judaism, the Jews were punished for not keeping to the Torah at one point, then they were exiled from their homeland, and are now attempting to return. It means that God will punish, but if you follow to the Torah, and keep faith, God will reward you. It helps believers to maintain faith when faced with difficult times, or in a hostile environment.
I’m glad the jump-rope session was less intense today. I guess our instructor realized that our calves were still burning after yesterday. Today we learned how to jump in partners, but with a personal sized rope. So imagine you are jumping rope with one hand, and your partner has the other side of the rope, and you both switch positions of being in the middle of the rope. Much less exciting drills today, but they were less intensive, which we all appreciated.
I met this guy who is fantastic at diabolo juggling. I have no idea how to explain it, but it’s basically a cone-like object that you toss in the air, and catch on this long thin string.
During free time we had a little scare. Unfortunately, Kye re-dislocated his shoulder while at his fencing class. Don’t worry though! They took him to the hospital, and he’s doing fine. I’m sure he’ll want to tell his story himself, but as for now, don’t worry. I’m not sure when he’ll be back at Vandy and blogging again, but hopefully it will be soon. Everyone is concerned about him.
The chefs decided to go ethnic for dinner today! We had Indian food, like naan, curry, lentil soup, and some sort of rice. For those with palates that prefer more familiar tastes, there is always the American food option at dinner, with hamburgers, fries, and other fried foods.
Yesterday, I was asked, “What is your most embarrassing moment at VSA?” And I answered that I hadn’t had one. Little did I know that my day was coming, and that day was today. One of the struggles with getting food at the commons is the balancing act. You have a medium sized tray with big sized plates, and not enough room for everything you want and a drink, especially when you like to get a little bit of a lot of things. I think you know where this is leading to, but I ended up somehow tripping, ramming into the stand of lunch trays and knocking them all across the floor, as well as spilling my lemonade all over my food and tray. LUCKILY, nothing was spilt on me personally. So I guess there is a good thing and a bad thing; although I did end up scratching up my leg. Clumsiness is not a rare emerging trait of mine, so it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. And it’s not the first time these past few days that something has been dropped or knocked over while trying to get food… but maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better.
For our recreational activity today, we had a mock admissions session. So everyone headed to the rotunda on campus, and we each received a thick packet of four mock common apps, complete with essay, transcript, and teacher recommendations. Our job was to decide which one to admit, which two to wait-list, and which one to deny at an imaginary college. We all split into groups and were helped out by two college admissions officers that work at Vanderbilt. The point of the mock admission was to give us all a chance to take on the job of admissions officers and see what is taken into consideration when evaluating a possible future student at a college.
I love how you can learn something new every day. Some of you are thinking, well no duh Aiyana, that’s what happens when you go to school. But I feel like it’s more than that. Yes, I am absolutely learning new things in my World Religions class; things that I’ve always been curious about are now being answered and understood. But I’m also learning new things from people every day. I love learning about people’s lives in different cities and states. I love learning about what classes people are taking and why. What majors people are interested in, what schools people are applying to, what places they’ve been to, why did they choose Vanderbilt. Every time a small conversation is started between me and a random person, I like to hear more about them than I like to tell people about me.
I also learned that word is getting out here at Vanderbilt about the Ivy League program. As I was talking to this random girl while walking down the staircase and heading back to the dorms, she asked how Julia and I could be from the same school. When I explained the program, she said “Oh, you guys are those blogging people!” It’s funny how even though I have no idea who this girl is, she had heard about the program. Whenever we tell people about the ILC, they wish they could have that same program at their school. And I wish every school could have it as well.