Monday, June 25, 2012

"There is No Freedom Without Justice"

Our first day of class. To be honest, I was not at all nervous for the course; sheer excitement flowed through me as we made our walk down to Goldwin-Smith Hall. We arrived early and took a seat in the lecture hall as Professor Kramnick introduced himself and gave an in-depth outline of the class and what we can expect to learn during the three-week course.  The class will involve a lot of reading and writing, which will hopefully be good as I am stronger at conveying my thoughts on paper rather than verbally. After the introductory lecture, we peeked into the views of various philosophers throughout history, and, something I found particularly interesting, what made them successful leaders and how they gathered such a large following.

Next, we split up into discussion groups, where we met out T.A. Ulas, who is originally from Turkey and is pursuing his Ph. D. in Political Philosophy at Cornell. I enjoy his teaching style, encouraging participation but sets a casual and comfortable tone in the discussion room. We dove into further depth about the theory of famous philosophers for most of the time before getting a lunch break, this time in Trillium Hall, which is closer to or classroom. 

Before explaining our dining experience away from the Robert Purcell Community Center, I want to describe the walk to Trillium. Today the weather has been suitable for jeans and a jacket, and in my opinion was reinforced by the heavy rain and occasional hail that we experienced on the way there, we soon found refuge in the dining hall, which was a pay-as-you-go style, a zoo swarming with students and professors alike. 

After lunch we returned to our discussion groups for our writing workshop. Our topic: “What does freedom mean to you?” We began by brainstorming ideas and later sharing them with our group. It was interesting to hear other people from different backgrounds and cultures; I do wish we had one of the international in our group to potentially hear a completely different point of view.  To conclude the day we wrote an ungraded essay to introduce is to the feel o the Freedom and Justice essays.

We later walked to the Cornell Store and then into College Town, right off the Ithaca campus, before meeting up with Mr. Chan-Law and the hotel group. We heard about the hotelies’ day, which was completely different than ours, them jumping straight into the tactics of profitability and beginning their hotel simulation. We soon returned to Donlon Hall, where we began our homework together, reading selections from the New Testament.

I cannot wait for tomorrow. This course demands that you think critically above the high school level, and I love the way our conversations escalate during the philosophical discussion session. 

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