Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Circle of...Water

The origins and development of Christianity were the topic of today’s lecture in class, sparking in-depth discussions among the twelve students in Dr. Dunn’s World Religions course here at VSA.
One thing I learned to keep in mind when creating my class schedule in college is to take things such as time management and ability into consideration. Morning classes in college can be an inconvenience and an annoyance, but can also serve as an incentive to arise early instead of sleeping in constantly, which can waste precious hours of the day.
I experienced the first rainfall here in Nashville for the first time today. During a short five-minute break from class, I went outside to observe my interesting surroundings. The air was very humid and warm as usual, but the rain itself was not quite so. About an hour after the downpour ended, we walked out of Study Hall on our way to Hank Ingram to find that most of the water on the floor had already evaporated in the toasty weather, leaving behind mere puddles here and there.

Tomorrow, we will be holding a showcase in the Rotunda of the Arête classes, allowing each group to perform and demonstrate their accomplishments of the week in front of the whole summer academy. Our class decided that we would reenact the Cinderella and Nemo scene that my partner and I performed yesterday for the showcase—this time including all of the students of our class. They will be portraying Cinderella’s animal friends, who are typically mice and birds. However, we decided to mix it up with lions and elephants instead.

I am excited and a bit nervous to see how it all plays out tomorrow. I still need to find a bandana as well as an apron to assist me in capturing my character of a distressed maiden. Next week, we will be assigned a new Arête class (mine is Glee [singing and dancing]).

Tonight was sign-out night, so Aiyana, Kye, and I, along with a group of friends from our proctor group, decided to do some adventuring and shopping around the borders of Vanderbilt. We walked along 21st Avenue South, which is lined with vintage shops, book stores, street performers, and more.

After some window shopping, we headed over to Ben and Jerry’s for some ice cream. I had a root beer float, which was very enjoyable and reminded me of home (my sisters and I make them whenever we have root beer and ice cream in the house).

We also made a quick stop at the local CVS/Pharmacy, where I picked up some materials I needed for tomorrow’s “Come As You Aren’t” mixer. I won’t disclose what I plan to go as (here’s a hint: it’s something I’m not), and am very excited for it.

After a long day, there is nothing like a good night’s sleep to prepare you for yet another activity-packed day.

An Evening Out in the Town

I actually got out of bed on time this morning! My roommate also entrusted in me that I wake her up before I went out for my shower, and to absolutely not let her persuade me to allow her to stay in bed because she had some things she had to get done in the morning. She warned me that she’s known to say anything to stay in bed, but instructed me that I seriously not listen to her protests. My roommate was very adamant about this. When I heard these instructions, I felt a bit apprehensive since her morning outcome was on my hands! But I succeeded in waking up my roomie, and she got all her stuff done. Roommate bonding!

Every single student in our class today was unenergetic. A few people dozed off for a few minutes, and some had that glazed look in their eyes. I even have to admit, my eyelids were drooping quite a bit. But it wasn’t because class was boring, it was just because VSA keeps us all very busy, and we get pretty wiped out after a few days.

Today’s lesson was the story of Jesus Christ. We learned about his birth, his preaching, and his crucifixion. We learned the reason why Jesus was sent to his death. And we learned why Christianity became so popular. Basically Judaism and Christianity were different in the different interpretations of the Bible. Many people were drawn to the ideals of Judaism, but disagreed or disapproved of one thing (the cutting of a certain part). So when Christianity preached that certain aspects weren’t necessary, and that all you had to do was love God by loving his Son and have faith, many people began to convert to or join Christianity.

We had our first Nashville rain today. It was pouring and there was thunder, but incredibly it was still warm outside! With the heavy rain the non-Southerners expected it would last for the rest of the night, but those from the South knew better. They predicted it would only last about one or two hours, and they were right.

Arête class was fun today. We worked on double-dutch for half the day, and the other half we worked on “picking up” partners. So a group of people would jump at the same pace in a line, and one person would jump with a rope and pull it over them and jump with that person, and “pick them up”. You would then go around them, and pick up the next person in line. I was surprisingly pretty good at it, and was very proud of myself!
For dinner I had some fish sticks, which I hadn’t had since I was very young and was a bit over-enthusiastic about seeing them after such a long time. I also had tortellini and potato wedges, but decided against trying the fishy looking mahi-mahi (pun intended). As I said before, you find out interesting things about the people you meet. For instance, the honorary proctor guy can put his leg behind his head, and proudly showed us his talent, while we shouted for him to put his leg back down.
For our two hours of recreational activities, everyone was allowed to go out and explore the town, while staying inside town boundaries. The boundaries aren’t as lenient or unrestrictive as we would’ve wished, but we still had a good time looking in boutiques and getting Ben and Jerry’s around the town. Julia and I went with members of our proctor group, and Kye joined us as well. He came back from the hospital last night, and is doing well. Everyone loves to ask him how it was possible for him to dislocate his shoulder from fencing.
The Friday of Vanderbilt is tomorrow and some crazy stuff is being planned! But I will say no more until tomorrow. Hooray for cliffhangers!