Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When the Saints Go Marching In

After performing our normal breakfast routine, we took a new a new route to class, which appeared to be a five minutes shorter, and was a lot more scenic, crossing the East Avenue bridge across the gorge.  Today we talked about the philosophy of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, analyzing their conflicting thoughts and recognizing the religious influence in their theory. Last night the readings of St. Augustine were particularly lengthy and difficult, but this morning Professor Kramnick went into greater depth, dissecting the text until all of my previous questions were answered.

In the discussion section today with Ulas we discussed the differences between the views of St. Augustine and St. Aquinas.  About 900 years separated the lives of these two philosophers, and we observed the cultural and social changes that occurred that separated the ideas these two theorists, Augustine more pessimistic and disciplinary, and Aquinas more rational and accepting to the societal evolution.  We noticed in particular that the role of Jesus Christ in Augustine’s time period has a larger role than in Aquinas, where God as the dominant leader, with representatives on Earth, influenced the people.  I have realized in class, as we are becoming more comfortable with each other in our discussion group, more people have been participating and the conversations have become more intricate.  

After lunch we returned to McGraw Hall to begin our second day of writer’s workshop, where we received our essays about freedom back with revisions.  We buddied up to exchange essays and ideas and tried to help each other enhance our writing.  We spent the rest of the class rewriting our essay. 

Near McGraw Hall, our discussion building
Tomorrow we will start learning about Plato, so after class we went to the Uris Library to review Plato's The Republic.  I feel like it helped that we had read the book prior to our trip, so we all feel well-prepared for tomorrow’s class.  Personally, I like the teachings of Plato the most because of the organization of the text and the logic he uses in his simulation of an ideal community explained in the given selections.  I cannot wait for Professor Kramnick as well as Ulas to further analyze the literature so as for me to gain a full understanding of the teachings of Plato. 

After gathering at Bailey Hall for a meeting with Mr. Chan-Law, we planned out a day trip a day trip to Cooperstown and then a college tour at Colgate University for next Friday, where the Freedom and Justice students do not have school (to make up for having class on July 4th, where we will have of Preliminary Exam.)  Later we walked down to the Cornell Store to choose our sweatshirts; Eric Wilson, Calvin, and Mr. Chan-Law all bought the same sweatshirt. 

We ate an early dinner with Frank and Eric as usual before they ran down to office hours. Matt broke out the bagpipes when we got back to the Mary Donlon before settling down to study, and later going to bed.   

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