Humanities
Mercer University Atlanta Journal Journal Entry Research Paper

Mercer University Atlanta

Question Description

I’m trying to learn for my Literature class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

Note, the edition of the Popol Vuh/Popol Wuj that you have includes the transliteration of the original Kʼicheʼ Maya language. This was an oral text centuries before it was transcribed. The presence of the Kʼicheʼ version allows you to see the poetic form of the story and reminds us to be humble as we think about/interpret the story in a different language and different context whence it came.

PRE-CLASS JOURNAL:
Every week, in preparation for class, students will write a pre-class journal entry between 300 and 500 words written in paragraph form using proper sentence structure and grammar. This entry is not as formal as an academic essay, but it should demonstrate a clear effort to organize one’s thoughts.

The journal entry for each week should do the following:

1. Summary (1-2 paragraphs depending on the number of readings): Provide a comprehensive summary for each of the readings (primary and secondary). The summary should explain the main idea of the reading. For example, I might write the following: “The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient Akkadian/Sumerian myth that follows the exploits of the hero Gilgamesh to provide the religious and ethical framework for ancient Mesopotamian society. Gilgamesh is a brutal king but is directly favored by the gods such that his punishments are often merciful opportunities for him to learn lessons about what it means to be a good person. Through a series of mis-steps and lessons learned—including losing his best friend--Gilgamesh realizes the meaning of life and the place of humans in the world.” Those few sentences would be sufficient for a summary of a reading.


2. Analysis (1-2 paragraphs): Offer an analysis on the readings that identifies one major themes in the reading as it relates to questions of religious imagination or worldview. Name specific events, characters, tone, setting, and/or other elements of the reading as evidence that clearly supports your reading. For instance, if I might say the following: The first chapter of Genesis is one of two stories of creation in the Hebrew Bible (and Christian Old Testament). I was struck by the ways that the world was divided in accordance with time. For instance, every new day marked a new differentiation of creation. I also noticed the repetition of phrases such as, “And God said,” “And God created,” followed by “And God saw…it was very good” (Genesis 1, 1-31). Based on the way the text moves methodically without privileging any particular day or type of creation, I would argue that the focus is on two things: (1) establishing the significance of sacred time in the world and (2) emphasizing a non-hierarchical goodness of all creation.
Once again, it only takes a few sentences that incorporate a few quotations or specific references to make your initial analysis. This will be a springboard for our discussions because we will try to use these cursory reflections to tease out the more intricate ways that texts provide us with the tools for interpreting them.

The analysis is your opportunity to focus your reading and begin to interpret the ideas we will engage in class discussion. If there is more than one reading for a given week, identify a theme that the readings share in common and articulate how the readings demonstrate that theme and/or support your assessment. Be sure to provide one or two quotations and/or excerpts from the readings that support your reflection.

Journal entries must be typed and properly formatted in either APA, MLA, or Chicago/Turabian style, using 12-point font (Times New Roman or similar)


EVIDENCED-BASED ANALYSIS: After class weeks 1-7, students will complete an analytical reflection in which they identify one idea for further exploration or research. The reflections should be approximately 500 words, written in complete sentences and properly formatted. Students must complete 4 analyses. If a student chooses to complete more than four, the instructor will choose the four highest grades among the submissions.
Each reflection should do the following:
(1) identify a common element or theme in two or more of the readings for the week
(2) explain where this element/theme occurs in each of the readings
(3) cite one passage or quotation from one of the readings that clearly provides evidence to support your claim that this element/theme is held in common. Use in-text citations with page numbers to document evidence.
(4) in your own words, reconnect the quotation cited to your main idea, making it clear why this quote or passage is good evidence to justify your claim
(5) repeat steps 3 and 4 for each reading you are examining
(6) despite the above commonality, briefly identify one fundamental difference in the way this element or theme emerges in the readings (such as the way a different historical or cultural context engenders a different emphasis on the theme)

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Final Answer

Find attached: the Answer and Similarity Report.

Running head: JOURNAL ENTRY

Journal Entry
Author
Institutional Affiliation

JOURNAL ENTRY

2
Journal Entry
Introduction

Journal entries and reflections play an integral role in analyzing and organizing one's
thoughts. Developing a journal creates a blueprint for analysis and exploration of single ideas.
The statements and information recorded in the paper make it easy to analyze expected
outcomes. Writing a journal before and after a class helps in creating a comparison between the
thought prior and post-lesson engagement.
Pre-Class Journal
Popal Vuj presents a novel way of learning about different cultures that exist. The
reading creates a unique experience in trying to understand the culture and practices that Native
Americans practiced. I was excited when I learned that the next class would major on Popul Vuh.
I had not read a reading that was similar or followed similar development techniques. The
surprising fact about the text was that it was created by the native Mayans and translated by a
Spanish writer that understood the Ki'iche language.
The deep history between Mayans and the Spanish conquest makes one wonder about the
originality of the text. Was the version affected by the current activities taking place in the land?
Was the Spanish transcriber entirely truthful in the process, or did he manipulate some of the
words to fit Spanish ideology and beliefs? Nonetheless, the uniqueness of the text appreciates the
transcribed text as an essential aspect of Mayan Culture.
I am eager to hear the teacher’s interpretation of some of the texts and phrases used in the
reading. I also anticipate what the teacher is going to say about the original language that is
included in the passage. Is there something meaningful, or did the teacher merely want us to see
the difference that existed between the original speech and the English language? Did the

JOURNAL ENTRY

3

English language leave out words or add words to the reading? I also wonder whether a rhyme
scheme was utilized in the development of the poem since I am not familiar with the ki’che
language. Perhaps some of the words had similar sounds and rhymed despite the poem looking
as if it had an irregular rhyme scheme. I hope the teacher will talk in-depth about the process that
led to the transcription of the reading for us to understand the setting and importance of the poem
to the Mayan culture or Spanish culture. Was the process entirely social, scholarly, or political?
Reading Summary
The reading contains an edition of the Popol Vuh/Popol Wuj that includes the translation
of the original K’iche. The transcription represents an original oral text that taught the Ki'iche the
roots of their ancestry and existence. The verbal text was use...

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