So last night (during a screening of King Kong for SCRN 231) I finally finished my paper on circumcision for SOC 203 - American Jewish Life. I ended up writing about circumcision in two forms: that as an (American) societal construct, and as a specific Jewish ritual & meaningful custom. There is overlap between the two, which can be seen through certain actions; Jewish involvement in the anti-circumcision movement, for example, would suggest a rejection of both the societal construct and of the implication of circumcision in Jewish identity. Other actions, such as Jewish parents who choose to circumcise their children in the hospital directly following birth, rather than waiting the traditional eight days to follow through with the brit milah ("covenant of circumcision") custom, are indicating participation with the societal norm, without participating with the aspect of circumcision that ties into Jewish identity.
Upon reflection, having written the paper & turned it in, I do wish I could have managed my time better to work more efficiently in searching for statistics that would have backed up my proposed thesis; the argument would have been much stronger had I found numbers indicating Jews' and Americans' involvement in various aspects of the circumcision (and anti-) movements.
Just as another update: since last writing in this blog, I also switched my courses around. I was sitting in American Jewish Life and realized how fond I am of the professor, her teaching style, and the topics on which she chooses to focus. I switched out of the COPACE course on the Bible (it's possible that I've taken plenty of bible courses already. All were enjoyable, but a break from the Bible might be pleasant). I'm now planning to take instead Women and Jewish Culture - SOC 258 with Professor Tenenbaum.
Currently I'm feeling very conflicted; overwhelmed, excited, and nervous. Thanksgiving break is approaching, which means the end of the semester, which means winter break, which means Spring semester, which means... graduation! Last week one of my senior friends remarked to me that he had just put commencement into his calendar. Jeeeeez! It's crazy to think about.
Lately people have been asking me what my plans are for after Clark. Honestly, I'm not sure yet. I know that I am very interested in palliative, hospice, and chaplaincy care. I know that I am passionate about religion, gender and sexuality, mental health, and maintaining comfort during times of physical affliction. I would love to be able to tie all of these things together, but I know that likely I will end up focusing on one area and maintaining the others as points of interest and passion.
The biggest decision for me now is to figure out where I would like to go - Boston? A small city? A far-away country? I'm not sure yet.
Over winter break I hope to examine my options more clearly; places where work experience could occur, or possible places of employment. But for the time being I am lacking in a gut-feeling as to where I belong. And despite the discomfort drawn from feeling somewhat displaced, it's totally okay for now.
This upcoming week will be a bit on the quiet side, which is nice after struggling to complete papers and projects on time for this past week. Having turned in my circumcision paper, I will now begin to focus on my presentation/paper regarding prosopagnosia for my psychology capstone. Additionally I will begin to work more in-depth on my COPACE research project, regarding mainly the issue of choice in relation to death (specifically, suicide). I'm excited to attend a field trip with my Final Chapter class on Wednesday: we're going to a funeral home!
Generally, when people hear the words "field trip" they don't think of funeral homes. At least, my mind always first goes to Ms. Frizzle.
I think I may take a brief field trip to the library right now - relax a bit while reading Tina Fey's Bossypants (I recommend it). I hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday!