"Elements of Religion"

Team Activities

Writing Assignments

> Activities

> Observation Reports

> Source Analysis

Extra Credit


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Observation Report --> Food Culture

During the second half of the course, the Food Culture Report describes your observations and the stories of those who sell you food from a local farm, and your experience of sharing that food with others or eating it in solitude. As with the Worship Report, you will again relate your observations to those documented in related course readings. You write for a peer (vs. a specialist) who is unfamiliar with the topic, since half a dozen student observation reports will be assigned as readings for application exercises in Units 2 & 4 and for the final TRA.

IMPORTANT: There is more flexibility in your choice of farmer's market or farm stand for the Food Culture report, although you should *choose a location that is within 100 miles of your home.* If you choose to eat by yourself, you must eat a full day of meals (a minimum of 2, ideally 3) in solitude.

Step 1: Food Culture Worksheet (FCW)

Once you have selected a farmer market or stand to visit and started planning your local meal(s) with ingredients from it--either a full day of meals by yourself, or a single meal prepared for a group--look at the Food Culture Worksheet (FCW --> PDF/MS Word). You may want to start generating the questions that you will attempt to answer about the food, its growers, and your meal(s); or you can wait until after the interview &/or meal. There are ten different topics to address in coming up with your questions, which will help you focus on

A. the way the meal(s) you will engage in, including remembering or telling stories of how some of the food was grown, spontaneously inspires your own and other participants' thoughts & feelings about food & the sacred;

B. the way you and other participants intentionally cultivated certain thoughts & feelings about food & the sacred to heighten engagement in your meal(s); and

C. how your perceptions of this local meal practice & reflection associated with it compares with the related descriptions of practice & reflection found in one assigned primary source from Units 3-4.

IMPORTANT: If you choose to eat by yourself, you must eat a full day of meals (a minimum of 2, ideally 3) in solitude.

As with the WVW, the questions you generate need not be perfect, since you can revise your questions and/or come up with new ones as you conduct your interview with a grower (see "Farm Produce Shopping & Interview") and then plan & carry out your meal(s) (see "Planning & Observering Your Local Meal").. But it's important to start coming up with questions beforehand to put yourself in the right frame of mind as you shop and plan your meal(s). When you finish, the last part of the worksheet will guide you in thinking about what to focus on for the final report (step 3).

IMPORTANT: as with the WVW, the thinking process required for responding and responding to questions on the FCW is the most challenging task you will undertake for this course, requiring you to integrate many of the skills honed through team assignments. For this reason, as before you will need some dedicated time to focus on completing the FCW, above and beyond completing the final report

Your WVW must be posted under the Assignments tab in SacCT by Monday, November 12 AND a *printed copy* must be brought to class on Wednesday, November 14. A completed FCW will receive 25 out of the total number of points for the assignment. No partial credit will be given; incomplete forms will be returned for completion. Note that thoughtful responses on the worksheet will positively influence scoring of the final product (see step 3 below).

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