Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowy Jewish Groundhogs

Today is a snow day of sorts! By that I mean: it's definitely been snowing...

A bunch of people have had their classes canceled, but I suppose some of my professors are just especially hardy. Human Sexuality was canceled today, but I still had to trudge through the snow/ice to Astronomy for a quiz. My day was brightened when I saw a Jewish groundhog dancing to techno music in the University Center; sources in Hillel tell me that they made up a word for Groundhog Day in Hebrew, and they're celebrating by having a person in a groundhog suit (and yarmulke) hand out hot chocolate to students. If you google "Yom HaMarmitah" Clark Hillel is the first result to show up! Check out an article about it here.

My observation project for Qualitative Methods has been going well so far; I've been spending about an hour outside of class observing people per week. It's been somewhat frustrating to schedule around all the snow, but overall it's an interesting project. I seem to be on the right track (at least, so far my check-ins have been going well) so I still feel rather indifferent about the overall lack of direction. The class seems to be set up to focus mostly on the projects, with the readings acting as supplemental materials to help explain issues we might come across out in the field; differentiation between qualitative/quantitative methods, perception of those we view (this is a really interesting article that deals with the perception of the Nacirema Tribe, if anyone is interested - try to figure out what they're really talking about). The professor uses a lot of media in order to facilitate our discussion, which has been enjoyable so far.

In fact, my Human Sexuality professor has been using a lot of media in lectures, as well. Recently we watched a clip from the movie Kinsey, which was interesting/more humorous than I expected. I think I will watch the remainder of the film on my own time, if I can spare some.

Much of my time has been spent doing things, co-president things (whee! I'm a co-president), with/for the Film Society (CUFS): we've been planning a lot of co-sponsorships and events for the Spring semester! We will be co-sponsoring with Black Student Union, Open, Vox, Clark Musical Theater, and others. And we're planning a James Bond night! With mock-tails and cards.

I have few updates from Hebrew Bible II at this point, but I'm certain that I'll have more to say about it once we delve deeper into the material. So far we've examined a bit of Amos, with particular focus on the pattern of poetry in the bible: a line that states something, followed directly by a second line that either repeats the concept previously stated, or contrasts it. In this way the lines reinforce the concept; "like an idea opening up like a flower", said my professor.

Today is a good day to drink tea and catch up on homework! Happy Groundhog Day, everyone! Just remember, if you get caught re-living the same day over and over again just like Bill Murray's character in the movie Groundhog Day, be sure to do something useful with your extra time, like learn to play the piano.

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