Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Different Kind of Thursday

This morning, I woke up at 6:20 AM in order to head to the Recreation Center again.  I didn't think about going, until the very last minute last night, but I'm glad I put in some exercise today, because for some reason, I feel like I've gained weight at VSA! Perhaps I'm just "eating too good" here, and it's just my imagination--hopefully it is. I'd like to say that when I was in the gym there, I played much better basketball this time, and I feel like that I emulated--if you know this famous break-out star--Jeremy Lin. I also had the chance to play a little bit of beach volleyball! That didn't work out too well, but it was still nice to play around with a volleyball with friends when I haven't since May (the end of Boy's Volleyball Season).

Lived Religion's first hour today was dedicated to difficult reading about prayer in the Jewish and Christian practices.  However, although it was difficult reading, I know that the more I'm challenging myself with these difficult readings, the better that I'm getting at analyzing them. And it's working.

The rest of class time was devoted to three guest speakers: a Methodist reverend, a Catholic priest (and professor at Vanderbilt), and a converted rabbi. They taught and answered our questions about prayer and the body in the Judea-Christian faiths. Although the guest speakers were very informative about their religious practices dealing with prayer and the body, I found that I was getting lectured a little too much. I thought the speakers gave us a little too many history lessons. Now I know they only told us history in order to show why that religion practices the way they do today, but still, the lecturing was just a little too much. I can tell, now, that history is extremely important in Judea-Christian beliefs and practices. Now don't get me wrong; it was a pleasure to have them teach us more about the Judea-Christian practices.  It's just that this day made me realize just how much more beneficial experiencing an actual religious service is compared to simply lectures and readings. Now of course you still need the lecturing and the reading, but actually experiencing a different culture is much more insightful.
The rabbi's morning prayer tallit

We're also now reading this book called An Act of Faith by Eboo Patel. It's about a Muslim American who struggles with his religion and the culture in and around him. I've only just recently begun the reading the book, but more into the book deals with inter-faith, which will be the basis of our course next week. The book is an autobiography, and the book is very easy to get "in to it".

In Arete, we practiced our stage combat scenes for tomorrow's presentation. I'm very excited about this, because I didn't get to watch nor perform last week, because of a site visit to a synagogue. It should be interesting, and I'm definitely going to bring my stage combat skills back home and show them to my friends.

A few friends (Hannah, Alexa, and Elizabeth) and I decided to eat at a sushi place called GoGo Sushi. It was a very interesting sushi place--almost like a fast food restaurant. The sushi was very tasty, and I also got one of my favorite sodas, Ramune! It's a Japanese soda, and the best part about the soda is popping a marble in the drink to start the carbonation--very fascinating and entertaining.

I also had the chance to go to see Ayla Brown, an American Idol Finalist from a few years ago. She was much taller than I thought, but it doesn't matter because she had a beautiful voice. I hope she becomes more well-known soon; she deserves it. She's a very nice and friendly person. This is random but--on the spot--I was forced by one of my friends to do a Simon Cowell impression for Ayla. I guess it wasn't too bad, but I was pretty embarrassed for a while.

Anyway, the rest of the night just zoomed by like it was nothing; now it's curfew. Tomorrow there's going to be a pool party. It should be a great Friday. Good night.

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