November 19, 2007

We don't know if Jesus ever rode dinosaurs... but He probably did!

Well, I finished my exegesis paper and turned it in - yahoo! Here's a hint - drinking three cups of tea in a row will give you enough caffeine to finish just about anything, all the while talking to yourself out loud, narrating what you're writing. I do suggest rereading later, since it might come out as a bit of jibberish. When I was a kid, my mind worked faster than my mouth (still a problem sometimes, I'm not ashamed to admit), so I'd always stutter and say things like, "Bu-bu-bu-bu-but hey Momma," and skip logical connections in my speech, just assuming everyone makes the thought leaps that I do. Sometimes I feel like my papers turn out that way too, where I'm not thoroughly explaining the thought process behind my reasoning; so I made sure to read over my paper and provide the necessary links between my argument. Here's my basic argument:

By comparing different accounts of parables and miracles in the beginning of Mark, the construction of the disciples’ misunderstanding is teased out. Parables and miracles operate in a pattern: a main parable/miracle occurs in a public sphere and later in a private sphere, Jesus explains the parable or performs another private miracle for the disciples. Even though Jesus gives the disciples privileged information, they still do not understand. The last verse in Mark 6:45-52 demonstrates the inability of the disciples to grasp Jesus’ parables and miracles, only to be repeated in Mark 8:17-21.

There's a lot more I wrote about, but I hope it turns out well. My TA, and my New Testament class in general, is pretty on top of grading so I hope it won't be ages before it's returned. I included this picture of Jesus, hoping to get a bump in my grade. It's based off a photograph of Jesus, so it's pretty historically accurate:

There's nothing like Jesus 'rangling a dinosaur. By the way, I'm a big fan of funny Jesus pictures, so if you have any, send them my way.

I don't know if I wrote about this yet or not, but a few weeks ago a YDS student died. It was very sad and sudden; as most people have learned to read not only the official words but also the silences and what is officially unsaid, she took her own life. Young-In was in my Ruth and Esther class, my favorite class this semester. It's a smaller class, only 15 or so students (mostly female), so we got to know about each other more so than in the large lecture classes. Even in this more intimate setting I still feel as if I didn't know her very well, but her death affected me more than I thought it would. That same week, a woman from Minneapolis was murdered after answering an ad on Craig's List. While also very sad, it hit home even more when I found out I knew her roommate Matt, a friend of mine at Hamline. It was a rough bit there, but I wanted to share the website Young-In's family and friends set up for her. I like looking through the pictures and seeing another side of someone, a side I hadn't seen and probably would have never seen had it not been for her death. In my Death and Dying class at Hamline last semester (one of my favorite classes I've ever taken), I wrote my final paper about online memorial tributes and the way the internet functioned as a means of informing people about death. It centered mostly around the shooting at Virgina Tech and how social networking sites like Facebook worked to spread information on the survivors, injured and deceased. So the online tributes to Young-In and Katherine are of particular interest, not only because of the connections between these people and myself, but the way other's memories are helping to create and memorialize other individuals in this new medium.

I left Connecticut on Thursday and have been in Minnesota with Andrew since then. The bastard gave me a cold so I have a sore throat and sniffly nose, not to mention I kinda felt like vomiting last night (although I had just eaten Indian food, so who knows). It's cool though; he gives me a cold, I gave him the Clap, everything works out. So far since I've been here, I've went out for sushi with Kari, Becca and Andrew and then we saw a comedy show with Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black (funny!), saw Beowulf in 3D (lots of near naked Angelina Jolie!), went to Underwater World (sharks!), had breakfast with Erich and Kari before then went back to Green Bay (Neighborhood Cafe!), had Indian food and played some Guitar Hero with Drew and Amy and Anna (curry!), and spent lots of time hanging out with Andrew (boyfriend!).

Tomorrow is our one year anniversary! It's pretty exciting. Andrew doesn't have class in the morning, so we're going to go out to eat breakfast, then tomorrow night we're going to Ichiban, a Japanese restaurant. Usually we go for the sushi bar, but we're going to do the whole cook-at-your-table thing. Then, we're going to see American Gangster. I'm really psyched to see it since I love gangster movies. We both picked out Irish rings online, so tomorrow we're giving them to each other and, like, it'll be sooooooooooo vomit inducing cute and, like, everyone will totally know how much we're in looooooove. Like, for serious.

But it will be a fun time.

I've decided to switch my MAR concentration. I'm currently in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies concentration and I've decided to focus on Religion and the Visual Arts. I want to do my PhD in Film Studies and focus on how theology is conveyed visually through film, so it would make a lot of sense to study religious art and how people have conveyed theology visually through art. I decided what I wanted to major in by seeing what areas I was taking the most classes in; now that I've been at YDS for a semester and am planning my coursework for next semester, I've looked at what areas I'm taking a lot of classes in, aka my main interests. It only makes sense to 1. take classes that are interesting to me, since I'll do much better in them if I actually like what I'm studying; 2. be in a program that will allow me to take the classes I'm interested in; 3. earn a degree in something that relates to the other areas I want to work in.

Here's what I want to take next semester:
Theology and Cinema
Christianity and Culture
Cinematic Spectacle
(one more I can't remember. Sorry. Maybe religious drama history)

So, makes sense to be in a program that lets me take lots of visual arts classes.

Being at Yale makes me realize how old school they are (no matter what type of progressive face they put on). Not always in terms of politics and worldviews, but mostly academic styles. The Bible classes are still stuck in a socio-historical framework and just recently they're starting to consider different theories such as post-colonial, feminist, queer, Marxist theories for alternative interpretations. I think the religion academia has trouble escaping from the socio-historical viewpoint because for so long the Bible was read as history and literal (two separate camps, at times). Other literature has been open to other theories because they aren't steeped in the tradition of being read as History. So while Yale Div has many great opportunities for me to learn about lots of different things, the interdisciplinary viewpoint I want to study in will probably have a harder time of being accepted in a specifically religious academic field. I think Film Studies will be more open to reading film in a religious light than Religious Studies will be to consider film as a legitimate discourse, not a pseudo-scholarly side project.

Anyway, I have to go pay attention to my biff (bf, boyfriend. He hates the term biff). Have lovely Thanksgivings.

7 comments:

Ryan said...

Tee-hee. Congrats on one year. And, also, have a great Thanksgiving!

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