Monday, June 25, 2012

The Inception

Cornellian Statue
Our first day of classes began very well. I woke up before the first ring of my alarm ended (which is a monumental occasion for me) feeling refreshed and alert. After a quick shower I said goodbye to my roommate, who was actually on his way to the infirmary because of a splitting headache, and headed off to breakfast to meet with my cohort. We left breakfast at 8:30 at the suggestion of our new architecture friend, Andrew.

We got to class a few minutes early and settled in, preparing for our first lesson. Professors Kramnick's first lecture was only a sample lecture which covered three main topics. We talked about what the course is about, how the course is organized, and who the teachers are. It was a good chance to practice note taking, and get used to the class dynamic and Professor Kramnick's teaching style. Note taking is slightly more difficult for me, as a lefty, because all the chairs have a desk on the right hand side. Oh well, it is an unjust world.

After almost two hours of lecturing we split into 4 smaller groups for discussion time with our TA. My group's TA was a Turkish man named Ulas who is in his last year for a PHD in political theory. We spent the discussion period getting to know one another and preparing to future sessions. Then we went as a group to a different dining hall, where we will eat lunch from now on. This dining hall was not a buffet, instead we have a choice of many restaurants and a $9 limit on food. We got to see Mrs. Kronenburg one last time before she departed from Ithaca.

A View of the Cornell Gorges
When we finished lunch, we went back to our discussion groups for a writing workshop. The topic of this workshop was an essay on what we think freedom is. The first hour we spent discussing our ideas of freedom. Then, during the last 30 minutes we wrote a first draft which Ulas is going to comment on by Wednesday.

The writing workshop ended at 3, then we had the rest of the day free. I spent it blogging, eating, and reading the works of various philosophers. We also took a brief trip to Collegetown so I could restock on shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste. My roommate was back in our room by the end of the night feeling much better.

The Freedom and Justice class seems too good to be true. My TA and the professor are both very supportive, interesting, and engaging which really pushes me to think expansively about the topic at hand. My discussion group is a well rounded group of individuals who all think very differently.Professor Kramnick really treats us like college students which inspires me to maintain a high level of maturity which a student in college would have. I can already tell this will be an even more enriching experience than originally expected.

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