I want to start this entry with a quick apology for my brief hiatus from my internet communications; I've been doing well but at times it's been hard to manage work + classes + clubs + social relationships.
Anyway! Despite being busy, senior year at Clark has thus far been very enjoyable. I'm very excited about the projects I've been assigned for this semester. Recently I had a meeting with the professor of my sociology course (SOC 203: American Jewish Life) in which we discussed the topic of my project for the course. I'm planning on doing my project on a topic I only recently became interested in through a course taken last semester - PSYC 143: Human Sexuality. During the semester we viewed a film that discussed somewhat the topic of male circumcision in America. And this was first time in my life that I had considered what male circumcision means.
And then, this past summer, I attended a circumcision within the Reform Jewish community, and experienced my first bit of cognitive dissonance with the custom; I simultaneously maintained that this was a custom I grew up understanding as a symbol of the covenant between God and the Jewish people, while also realizing that it is a medical procedure prominent in the United States that may or may not have solid reasoning medically. Additionally, through reading feminist writings on the topic, I've begun to see how the custom could be interpreted as something that excludes women - it continues the patriarchy of the society by continuing a custom that excludes women anatomically.
So, these are my opinions, and only at the beginning of their development; my professor was extremely helpful, offering me sources to begin research with. I'm excited to look more into the topic, to trace how male circumcision has shifted over time throughout generations of Jews (and non-Jews) in America. I'm glad to be able to research a topic that I am personally affected by - it will make the ten-minute presentation/fifteen-page paper much easier to get through.
One other class update! Earlier this evening, during my COPACE course (On Death & Dying) I got the okay to write a book report on a book I read this past summer: Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coehlo. We, in the class, have an option to either 1. go to a cemetery, 2. write our own obituaries, or 3. write a book/movie review. Though all options sound interesting, I'm excited to write the book review. It's a very interesting read that deals with some of the questions that have come up in class so far; mainly, how does one define quality of life? How does death affect the manner in which we live? What does death mean? What does life mean, in relation to death? It should be interesting to go back and examine the book with a slightly new (and more informed) view on the topic.
Soon I shall be heading to bed! I hope everyone's week has gone well so far. Happy New Year/Shana Tova for those who are observing Rosh Hashanah. Goodbye for now!