Monday, March 15, 2010

And the Two Became One

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, March 14, 2010, the seven Cornellians, Don, Mr. Ramsey, Ms. Kronenberg and Mrs. Kaplan had all agreed to meet at the Hercules Public Library at 3:00. We decided that the two individual groups, the “Hotelies” and the F&J group, would work separately for an hour and later convene to discuss the Cornell blog site. So here is what happened…

Upon entering the conference room that Ms. Kronenberg reserved for us, I realized that Don was the only one who had arrived thus far. It was not long before the room was bustling with Cornellians, including the students from Hercules. We did not get much of a chance to meet and chat with the Hercules Cornellians because at that point, we had decided that Mrs. Kaplan and the F&J group would adjourn to the adjacent room so we could begin our discussion on Plato.

We had a very meaningful discussion about what Socrates thought would make the ideal community. We raised several questions about why Socrates went about arranging his hypothetical community the way he did and if we also tried applying his thoughts to today. As we delved deeper into the discussion, we began asking a lot more questions and answering them with new questions. Occasionally we would come to a somewhat concrete answer, but most of our questions just led us deeper into a forest of questions without answers. I have found that our political theory discussions feel a lot like an algebra problem; we work backwards from what we know in order to achieve a resolution… or more likely, just more questions. I think that analyzing these problems, situations and questions like I would an algebra equation makes it much easier for me. It also makes it a lot more fun. It kind of blends two of my favorite aspects of school: my math class and forensics.

After we concluded our discussion, we returned to the first conference room to discuss the blog.

We began by observing the Columbia and Brown blog sites, just to get an idea of how we should customize ours. Just as we began doing this, Mr. Ramsey arrived. This was our chance to step up and put our ideas out there. The ideas that we brought forth and agreed upon were to change text and background colors. We also briefly touched on what information we wanted in the sidebar and how certain pictures would be displayed. Before we knew it, our conference room time was at an end.

Overall, we had a productive meeting. The seven Cornellians got a chance to meet face to face and we took a step forward with our blog page. I know that this is going to turn out to be a great group and that we will churn out one of the best blog sites that the ILC has ever seen.

Until next time, this is Alex Elms signing off.

1 comment:

  1. Alex,

    As you know, I was in one room with the Hotelies while you were in the other room with the F&Jers. I had a sleepless night wondering what went on in that room and now, thanks to your posting, I can lay my head down tonight knowing what you all did while we weren’t looking. And for that I give you thanks.

    I love the way you all are coming together on your blog site. You see what’s there, you have visions about what can be and you’re determined to put together a better site than the Columbians and the Brownies. You have to love what competition can bring out in us.

    Here’s a little story for you about what competition can do when you’re committed:

    Back at the beginning of WWII Henry J. Kaiser operated shipyards up and down the coast building Liberty Ships for the war effort.

    Henry J’s son ran his shipyard in Bellingham, Washington and tasked his workers to set a new record for the shortest time from laying the keel to putting it in the water. Henry J’s son then shocked the world when he was able to build a Liberty Ship in just a little over three weeks.

    Of course, Henry J was proud of his son’s accomplishment but he challenged his other shipyards to best that record.

    The good people of Richmond (many of whom were relatives of mine) laid the keel of the Robert E. Peary on November 8, 1942 and 4 days 15 hours and 29 minutes later the Peary was launched into the water 92% complete.

    Competition was the key and produced the kind of results that shook the world. [Try to imagine being in Berlin or Tokyo right about then and hearing that in just one of the four yards in just one of the six shipyards here in the Bay Area we were able to launch a new ship every 4 days.]