Tuesday, July 17, 2012

From Women's Studies to Fried Chicken

A beautiful, sunny day in Nashville

Out of all the days I've been at this program, today was probably the most tiring. I don't even know why, because last night I probably had the most hours of sleep out of all the nights during my entire Ivy League Connection Journey. I get three hours of sleep, and I'm wide awake. I get 8 hours of sleep, and I'm almost dead. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

Today's class was devoted to a mini women's studies course. It was about women's voices and issues in the religions of Judaism and Christianity (tomorrow is Islam because of a guest speaker). I found it very interesting how looked down upon women are in these religions. You see, if men were the ones who organized, edited, and wrote these biblical texts, there's obviouslyt going to be a bias. Women are usually the ones referred to as the weak and the dependent ones. For example, Eve was the one blamed for creating sin. There are also many stories about women who have committed adultery. For some reason, biblical texts seem to refer to woman as the one's who commit sin, even though women are supposed to be gentle and caring.

On the other hand, men are considered the "leaders". They're supposedly strong and intelligent. It seems that because society has figured for so long that men are like this, God must be a man.  In my opinion, I don't think God has a gender. But to go further into the issue of men as the strong and the egoistic, supposedly men are more transcendent, and therefore, they are closer to God. This shows in what gender the leaders of the church are and what gender isn't.

The texts we read today were very complicated, but I feel the class did a great job finding out their meanings. We also had to do presentations about these argument essays, which I thought everyone's were great and insightful. Our teacher, Ms. Carolyn Davis, told us that the texts she's been giving us are texts they give to college graduates. With that said, the class did a great job. Basically the texts were about how women didn't seem to be as transcending and closer to God, because of their degrading and "sinful" past.

After our presentations, we went into a discussion about the presentations. One main question that stirred up in this discusssion was what was the reason for not throwing out the Bible, even though there are so many contradictions and things that degrade women. My answer to this was that the Bible is a book of history and morals. The book is open for interpretation, and so it is open for discussion. Without the book, who would believe the sermons/messages that the priests, rabbis, or pastors said? Also, even though the book has many contradictions and flaws, the book still has many of the morals and fundamentals that the world believes in today. In addition, the texts we read were argumentative essays about feminism in Christianity and Judaism, and so much of thevidence they cited for their argument were from biblical verses. With that said, the Bible is a source of history and a piece of evidence.

There was no "free-time" today. Instead, it was Proctor Group Night! My proctor group and I ate at a much fancier restaurant than I thought it would be. It was called Cabana, and they served very tasty American food. I was dying for fried chicken this entire trip, and so I finally ended my craving by ordering some. Overall, we had a "chill" and fun time.
Some of the guys from my proctor group and Carlton

My proctor group, along with another proctor group

Proctor group!

The appetizers! The one to the right is alligator. Yum
My fried chicken breast, and some of the guys' pizzas.

Giha's (my friend in my proctor group) baby back ribs!
This week is going by really fast; tomorrow is already Wednesday. For some reason, I kept thinking today was Monday still. Anyway, tomorrow, the entire VSA students and staff members will be attending a dinner in the house of Dean Wcislo of Hank Ingram House. There, we will have the opportunity to see what it really takes to get into Vanderbilt. I hope that what I find out at this dinner will make me more confident about applying here, not less. I guess I'll just have to find out.

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