Enthigraphic Report On Loma Linda University Report Sample
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Loma Linda University is a center for Seventh Day Adventist Church practice because the institution is built on the fundamental beliefs and principles of the church. It is the place I chose to carry out my fieldwork. It is very interesting because it presented to me an opportunity to study and know more about the Seventh Day Adventist lifestyle, cultural and religious beliefs, customs, traditions as well as dietary habits. That is because the institution presents a different subculture from what I have grown up knowing and practicing, especially when it comes to its strong routines on lifestyle and dietary habits.
The experience I got when I came to Loma Linda was different from what I have always done and practiced in my life. That is why the experience can be termed as cross- cultural. For instance, I was faced with a scenario where the institution does not only value education as a tool that propels an individual into prosperity and success, but religion and spirituality too. all my life I had grown up going to school just for the education part of it but an institution that gives religion an equal opportunity as education surprised me a lot more. Not to mention the Adventist dietary habits that restricted foods that I had known to be good for me. For instance, I have grown up drinking coffee and tea and indulging in a lot of meaty foods. But at Loma Linda, I realized that most of these foods are not permissible.
The subcultures that I chose to examine are social organization and religion. Loma Linda University is a Christian institution that upholds Seventh Day Adventists teachings and practices. I have been a Christian all my life but had not been to an Adventist church or institution. Religious practices here are different from what I have grown up knowing and that makes it a different subculture. For instance, going to church on Saturdays and not engaging in any other activities from Friday surprised me a lot. All my life I grew up knowing that Sunday was the day of worship for all Christians. But at Loma Linda I learned that, Saturday is the Sabbath and the day of worship. Social organization at the university can be described in terms of the rules and regulations that have been set, that are meant to help mould student and staff behavior in the institution. For instance, there are rules that prohibit drinking and use of tobacco within the university, and this is one rule that applies to all Adventist communities across the globe (Bull & Lockhart 86). Anyone could have expected to find it in a high school setting but university.
Description of the Fieldwork Site
I attended a couple of events and witnessed some activities that normally take place within the university. They include the cafeteria, chapel as well as my daily interactions with both students and staff.
Just like every other student is expected, I attended the Wednesday 11:00 am to 11:50 am, but this one time I was to have a critical study of all that went on during the service. At the chapel and specifically during this service, there is a regimen that is strictly followed by the team that leads in worship as well as the congregants. Some few members go to the front/ pulpit and lead the rest of the congregants in service. There was worship at the very beginning, and then a few songs were sung. After the song service, a sermon was given by the chaplain. That was followed by a closing prayer. This is so much like what is done on Sabbath but just that a few programs were omitted
At the campus cafeteria located behind the Student Services Center, students afford a relaxing opportunity. I observed that the meals were strictly vegan and everyone present seemed to enjoy them. Students get a share of sumptuous meals and sit in pairs or groups and have a meal as they chat in low tones. A few could say a prayer before indulging. Students spend a few minutes having their meals and then leave to attend to their afternoon classes
All members present in these two locations come from different ethnicities and belong to both genders. There were both men and women, African Americans, Hispanics and Indians. The good thing about the institution is that accommodates anyone who is willing to abide by the rules and regulations of operation. Loma Linda is home to people from all walks of life regardless of their gender and ethnicity
Going by the places I visited and the events that I witnessed, Loma Linda is a high cultured institution that follows a given set or rules and values that cannot be found in many institutions of higher learning in the United States. As an Adventist institution, one will be forgiven to expect alcohol and caffeinated beverages served in the cafeteria. Adventists keep and follow a serious regimen when it comes to health and lifestyle (Andress 36). It is for that reason that everyone who comes in has to agree to the terms and conditions set by the institution especially when it comes to healthy living. Worship programs are also strictly adhered to and no one is left any choice to do otherwise because it is clearly stated in the rules and regulations that govern the institution. But again, church is fun and interesting
I must admit that the Loma Linda University community is very friendly and warm. As experienced in the chapel and even outside, the students and staff mingle freely and are easy to talk to at any time. It is through coming to this institution that I had my first hand experience with Adventists. But the truth is that they are lovable and they return that love in equal measure and even more. I have grown up believing in the ideology of people minding their business and should never be questioned but let them live as they wish. But Loma Linda and my experience at the cafeteria has made me know that there is no such thing as minding one’s business. One could have expected students to just pass by and settle on their meals, eat and then leave. But it is different because even those I have never met or seen in campus have the time to greet me and smile at me. I was seated alone at my table but surprisingly enough, anyone who joined me greeted me and inquired if I was okay because clearly, one needs company especially at the cafeteria
Religious practice plays a key role in much of the activities that take place at the cafeteria as well as the chapel. Just through observation, I note that all those that come into the cafeteria are enjoying their meal and looks like they are having the time of their lives. Class work is taxing but the air and surroundings seem to have lifted the spirits of even those coming out of an exam. There is no luxury of having a beer or a cigarette, but the freshness and beauty of the cafeteria seems to be good enough. The chapel too is home to worship and everyone seems to be in a spiritual mood. It is midweek and almost midday and the air is laden with joy as people exchange grins and greetings here and there. And the beauty of it all is culminated in the singing. Armed with the Seventh Day Adventist Church Hymnal, congregants sing together to a chorus that seems to be in harmony with the angels. There may have been no other serenity comparable to beautiful voices singing harmoniously (Galgut 111)
Adventists insist on leading a lifestyle that depicts holiness and respecting the body as the temple of God (Price 55). That is why they would not want to put into that body anything that may cause it any harm. Research indicates that Loma Linda as a community is the healthiest community in the United States. Perhaps their lifestyle and dietary habits are the reason this is the case. But it is true that one’s body reflects what they eat (Fraser 13). Life in Loma Linda University follows a strict regimen that reflects spirituality and that is a different level of spirituality that I have encountered in my life. There are very many people out there who profess to be born again Christians but who smoke and use alcohol. But Loma Linda has taught me that there is more to Christianity than just professing the faith. The social organization and religious foundations upon which life here is structured forms the basis for responsible living.
Andress, William C. Adventist Heritage on Health, Hope and Healing. Ringgold: TEACH Services, 2013. Print
Bull, Malcolm & Lockhart, Keith. Seeking a Sanctuary: Seventh Day Adventism and the American Dream. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. Print
Fraser, Gary E. Diet, Life Expectancy and Chronic Disease: Studies of Seventh Day Adventists and Other Vegetarians. New York: OUP, 2003. Print
Galgut, Peter. Humming Your Way to Happiness: An Introduction to Tuva and Overtone Singing from Around the World. Amsterdam: O Books Publisher, 2005
Price, Joseph L. Rounding the Bases: Baseball and Religion in America. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2006. Print
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