Monday, December 13, 2004

Another Paper Posted

I just posted to the site a research paper which I wrote for ASB 214 (my comparative religion course). I was inspired by reading the DaVinci Code, and decided to dig deeper into one of the claims made in the book.

Please read The Council of Nicea: Promoting Jesus from Man to God? ...but only if you're interested. There's also a PDF version.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Read any good books lately?

I did. Actually, I listened to it as an audio book, but that did not diminish The DaVinci Code. I really enjoyed the story, and found the ideas he presented to be very interesting.

I've posted a book report that I wrote for ASB 214, but don't read it if you have not read the book. It is full of spoilers!

Monday, November 8, 2004

the Importance of Perspective

We had our second exam tonight, and I think it went pretty well... considering that when the weekend began, I had 14 academic papers to read (so much for changing my "cramming" ways).

One of the 12 essay questions dealt with a paper we read in the section on rituals, a paper which every Anthropology student reads, sooner or later:

Body Ritual among the Nacirema, by Horace Miner, originally published in 1956.

Here's the abstract:

Most cultures exhibit a particular configuration or style. A single value or pattern of perceiving the world often leaves its stamp on several institutions in the society. Examples are "machismo" in Spanish-influenced cultures, "face" in Japanese culture, and "pollution by females" in some highland New Guinea cultures. Here Horace Miner demonstrates that "attitudes about the body" have a pervasive influence on many institutions in Nacirema society.

It's not very long (about 1100 words), but is an excellent study of the peculiar rituals that can be found in a society. I strongly recommend that you read it! Please feel free to add comments to this posting afterwards.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Still cramming, after all these years

Well, here it is-- Monday already. I'm taking ASB 214 (Magic, Witchcraft & Healing) as a night course at Paradise Community College, and it meets every Monday night. Have I done my reading? No...

And the reading for this class is not casual. Our textbook (Sacred Realms) is a collection of journal articles relating to the development of religion in human culture. They are usually 20 pages long, the verbiage is dense, and the print is tiny. Still, here I am with only hours to go before class time, and I haven't done my homework.

What's the deal? It's not as if I'm only 19 years old... what happened to self-discipline? I know that Tuesdays are my best day for doing homework since I have no other commitments, yet I always spend my Tuesdays doing something else.

I can obviously get by in an undergraduate class with a minimum of effort, but I better develop some study habits before I hit graduate school, or I'll drown for sure.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Welcome to Wanna be an Anthropologist

I've decided I want to be an Anthropologist. This is not a simple thing-- I'm 43, have a wife and two children, a mortgage, and a high-paying job in the high tech industry.

Nevertheless, I'm going to give it a try. This web site will be

  • a chronicle of my journey,
  • an archive of my original work,
  • a resource for reference materials available on the web, and
  • a "how to" document for those who might follow.

Wish me luck!

Paul Wren