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The Journey of One Buddhist Nun (even against the wind)

In the Appendix to The Journey of One Buddhist Nun, Sid Brown explains that she used Māechī Wabi’s life as a “prism.” Brown explains: “The reader is welcomed to Wabi’s life and learns along the way about Thailand, gender in Thailand, Buddhism, meditation, māechī and monasticism” (144). As an ethnographic account, The Journey of One Buddhist Nun is rich with nuance and detail worthy of further consideration. This assignment provides you an opportunity to choose TWO incidents/passages/events in the text to reflect upon and analyze in more detail.

Choose two text excerpts to focus your analysis on ONE of the following topics:

1. Brown writes, “The stories of Maechi Wabi parallel those of Siddhattha Gotama’s; they reflect a disgust with the world and an attraction to the holy life such as that of Gotama Buddha, but they also, of course, reflect many differences, notably related to gender and socioeconomic class.” Choose two passages from Brown to analyze how gender and socioeconomic class shape Maechi Wabi’s spiritual quest. In what ways do they shape the possibilities and challenges of her journey? What do these two passages add to our understanding of Buddhism?

2. One could argue that meditation constitutes the central practice of Maechi Wabi’s spirituality. Choose two passages from Brown to discuss the role of meditation in Maechi Wabi’s religious life. In what ways is it relevant to her spiritual journey? What do these two passages add to our understanding of Buddhism?

Grading criteria. Your paper is worth 50 points. I will consider the following dimensions in evaluating your work.

Strength of Argument: Author makes a good argument in defense of his/her position; author makes an argument that engages the key issues; author uses appropriate evidence to support the conclusion.

“Flow” Considerations: Thesis is underlined and presented in an engaging and informative introduction that contains the author’s main conclusion; essay is organized logically, on both sentence and paragraph level; conclusion highlights significance of response.

Use of Supporting Material: Author provides a plausible analysis of course readings; author correctly and effectively incorporates quotations and paraphrasing.

Clarity of Expression: Title indicates content; appropriate word choice and variety in sentence structure make paper a pleasure to read; paper is free from spelling and grammar errors.

Your paper should be 3-4 pages, typed double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt with 1-inch margins. Your paper is due by 11:59 a.m. on May 23 via Safe Assignment on Blackboard. The rubric I will use to evaluate your essay is below. Print out the rubric and staple it to the front of your essay, which I will collect at the beginning of class on Thursday May 23.

Name ________________________________________________

Grading rubric for A Journey of One Buddhist Nun Essay

Strength of Argument:

Did the author give a fair and accurate representation of the topic?

F: Inaccurate, unpersuasive (ideas misrepresented; missed context) Completely accurate :A

Flow Considerations:

Did the author underline thesis that appears in an engaging and informative introduction?
Did the author logically organize his/her ideas on both sentence and paragraph level?
Did the author discuss the significance of the argument and analysis for his/her own decision-making in the conclusion?

F: Paper organization hinders comprehension of argument Logical and easy to follow : A

Use of Supporting Material:

Did the author give reasons for his/her position?
Did the author use TWO effective examples?
Did the author paraphrase and quote correctly?

F: No support; merely re-stated opinion; dumped text into paper Marshaled credible evidence :A

Clarity of Expression:

Did the author write effectively?
Interesting title indicates content.
Clear thesis appears in an engaging and informative introduction.
Well-organized paragraphs with clear transitions are easy to follow.
Appropriate word choice and variety in sentence structure make paper flow.
Conclusion highlights significance of response.
Response paper is free from spelling and grammar errors.

F: Mechanics prevent comprehension A pleasure to read! :A

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