Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence! (for the Country and the 19th Century Women...)

Today was the day.  I had spent the entire night anticipating today’s preliminary exam.  I woke up a little earlier than usual and got to breakfast with the guys to review exam material.  We arrived to class early and soon began the test.

Robert E. Treman State Park, feeding into the lake
Earlier in the week we had received a sample exam to familiarize ourselves with the format of the test.  As promised, the layout was the same, however, I found that the questions were harder.  Overall I felt satisfied with my performance on the test, and that the hard work and studying paid off.  We moved into our lecture about feminist progressivism and three major characters in this revolutionary idea of the time: Marie-Olympe de Gouges, Mary Wollstonecraft, and John Stuart Mill.  Each was considered a liberal feminist of their respective era in the 18th and 19th centuries, and had somewhat similar views.  They pushed for women’s rights and suffrage, validating their arguments around the unjust treatment of women as inhumane and intellectually inferior.  In the past, the philosophers we have studied have wrestled issues that were controversial to the point where more than one acceptable solution was valid.  It was interesting studying the feminist movement and the philosophy behind it as we had already found an answer to this problem; the perspective of the issue was just different during the time.  Our discussion focused on the different views of each promoter of feminism, but instead found many similarities through their quest for such a common cause. 

After school the three Freedom and Justice students joined Mr. Chan-Law for a trip to Robert E. Treman State Park, neighboring Buttermilk Falls.  It was a pleasant retreat after our vigorous studies, the scenery was just wonderful outside by the lake.  We swam and relaxed before a 5-minite spurt of rain interrupted us.  This East Coast weather has been strange: one minute the sky is blue and the sun is exposed, and in a few minutes the clouds come in and it pours for a short amount of time before the weather resumes back to normal.  It was nice going off campus, and riding in a private vehicle, a refreshing experience after being acclimated to campus life. 

The evening was spent touching up on the feminist idealists before heading up to Donlon lounge to relax with friends after a long day. Tomorrow we will study the feminist leaders in greater depth, and then it’s the weekend!  I cannot wait, Colgate University and Cooperstown, the Baseball Hall of Fame, are waiting for us.  I am also looking forward to traveling once again with our original cohort like the good old days.

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