Friday, July 15, 2011

Mixing It Up

A PowerPoint slideshow, along with assiduous note taking, took up a large portion of our time in class today.
Whenever we attempt to learn a religion, we begin with the steps of educating ourselves with its origins in order to link its roots to modern day practices. After a briefing over the religion's history, we move on to its customs and general beliefs, and then analyze it using the Medical Model.
However, our studies do not stop in the classroom—throughout our course are scheduled visits to each respective religion's holy place. There, we will have the opportunity to speak with the head of the house of worship and ask them questions that we may have regarding the faith.
Our first field trip will be next Thursday, I believe to a local mosque.
Aside from our typical core class, Arête classes are also very engaging and fun. They allow students to take part in activities that they may have never dared to try before, and, most of all, encourages them to step out of their comfort zone while having fun.
Today was the Arête Showcase for the classes to exhibit their newly found skills and talents that the students have gained over the past week.
The Teen Scene presented a short scene that we had the chance to spontaneously piece together during one of first few days of class. However, this time, it was revised and adapted to create smoother and more appropriate act.
There were a few technical—actually, physical—difficulties (the evil stepmother tripped on the stairs when entering the stage due to his inexperience with wearing high heel shoes), but it added to the scene in a positive way, which turned out fantastic.
I was nervous at just the thought of walking onto the stage under the glaring theater lights since I have never had any acting background before this, but once we were all immersed into our characters, there was nothing to be afraid of. I am very content with the way our presentation turned out—everyone did a great job!
We also had another event in the Rotunda tonight—the "Come As You Aren't Mixer".
Most of the proctors and students dressed up for this event, and everywhere I looked this evening I saw interesting and hilarious costumes ranging from Greek men and women to cow folk.
It was a nice evening to have fun and simply relax (I do not usually dance, so I spent time in the game room instead with some friends to pass time and eat candy).
Tomorrow will mark the start of our first weekend here. Although it is Saturday, the program still has some things scheduled for the day. The VSA rented out an entire cinema for us tomorrow evening to watch the last Harry Potter movie. Although I am not quite a fan of the movies nor the books, I am still excited that we get to go to the city and enjoy ourselves.

Fantastic Friday

Let me just start off by saying that today was incredibly fun and hilarious. Fridays here at VSA are supposedly always hardcore exciting, and I already can’t wait for next week.

Class today was about Christianity again. We talked about the division of the Christian religion into three main branches of Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. We learned about the characteristics of Christianity such as their beliefs in the second coming, their variations in worship, holy days, and prayers. Our professor also showed us this hilarious video about mass prayer sessions with Christian Rock bands. You should definitely look it up. It’s called Sunday Morning, and you can find it on YouTube!

We get to skip study hall on Fridays, so Julia and I decided to play a seriously competitive game of ping-pong, which ended up just being a silly game of keep the little ball off the ground. It was fun, and we felt proud of ourselves for being active during an hour of free time.
Arête class was cancelled for everyone today, because each Friday, certain classes perform what they’ve learned in the class. My favorites were the Step and Stomp dance group (which I’m starting on Monday!) and fencing. Kye was a referee for the fencing match on stage, and Julia was one of the lead roles in her acting arête class, as Cinderella. I was part of the jump-rope session, and we did not perform because our coach just taught us tricks, and not a performance, and honestly, we weren’t that fantastic at jump-rope either, so it really wasn’t that big of a letdown. But I will be up on stage next week!
Ms. Kronenberg and Ms. Bulls stopped by our second chunk of free time today to check on us and drop off some snacks. It was nice to see another familiar face! We didn’t get to talk much since the two of them had a boat ride to catch, but we are meeting on Sunday for breakfast at the super popular Pancake Pantry.
Dinner was a bit strange tonight. They had a lot of meat, which I couldn’t eat, like hamburgers, hotdogs, chili, and beef and noodles, as well as a vegetable medley of some sort. I ended up just eating fries, a salad, and ice cream. Good thing Ms. Bulls gave us some snacks!
The next hour and a half was designated for getting ready for. . . THE DANCE TONIGHT!! Every Friday, there is supposed to be a dance or party with some sort of theme. Tonight’s theme was “Come As You Aren’t”, which pretty much means, dress up like someone else or something else. I was planning on just going as an athlete, but a girl in my proctor group suggested I go as Antoine Dodson, who became popular on YouTube due to his unique report on a news broadcast. Once people realized who I was dressed up as, they started laughing saying I got the outfit dead on. Other outfits of our proctor group included a gangster, a proctor, a cheetah, a Goth (Julia), an athlete, a boy, and a football player. The best outfits, however, were of our two honorary proctor boys. One dressed up as a cheerleader in pink, and the other, wore a dress and put on an incredible amount of makeup. Though he freaked out when we attempted to use an eyelash curler on him, and was frightened of the mascara brush, he was a good sport, and all the girls love him and the cheerleader boy for being brave, and “embracing their masculinity in a different way”.

The dance was a load of fun. We had it in the rotunda, which is where we all normally meet up for our VSA for meetings or events, such as the mock admissions and today’s talent show. Tonight the room was decorated and had flashing lights. Everyone was given a pair of stunner shades which glowed for an hour after being put through a type of light. One of the proctors DJed, and we all had a blast. I love to dance, even if I can’t dance well.

We just received our new VSA Today newsletter, and V-House is still in the lead! Our score is 18, S-House has 11, and A-House has 9.