Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great Expectations

Today is the day we left the Sheraton Hotel in Syracuse to finally drive out to Cornell University to begin our three week program that would surely test us. After we ate a breakfast at the hotel, we left in our vehicles to complete a short drive to Ithaca, NY. I must be frank in saying that I was extremely excited to finally get to settle myself in Ithaca and especially the campus so I can relax but challenge myself with the Freedom and Justice course. When we first saw the Cornell campus, it seemed that it looked like an ordinary college on the outskirts but in reality once driving deeper in there is a diverse arrangement of buildings both echoing a modern, city feel and also a more classic, red-brick fashion that are unique from most schools on the west coast. It definitely stood out to me the larger portions of the campus being empty patches of green grass that definitely allows for students to play sports or lay in comfort while studying intensely.

Mr.Ramsey dropped all of us off the Mary Donlon dormitory which is sort of shaped like the letter “Y” and is seven stories up. We dragged all of our luggage and laptops to registration, which for the most part when pretty smooth with obtaining our room keys, netids, and processing information for the program. The staff which probably comprised of mainly students at the university were sincere and offered help for the entire transition process into our rooms. I went up in the elevator to our room 642, and at first hesitated in expectation of my roommate. I saw on the front door our names posted on the front as Pac-Man, which was certainly inviting. As I entered the room, I unpacked everything and saw my roommate Gregory had already dropped off all of his stuff. One thing I especially noticed with Greg was that he had two lacrosse sticks and a pair of gloves. I eventually met him later to see that he is one cool guy from Atlantic City, New Jersey. He is doing the Hotel Operations and Management and told me that he had applied last year but declined to do the class given it was his first choice. We got along because both of us are sports enthusiasts and enjoy hanging out in the peaceful grass portions that are surrounded by the series of trees and buildings. He told me he can possibly teach me a few lacrosse moves with his extra lacrosse stick during the next few weeks. It will definitely being a delight to hang out with someone from New Jersey who has something unfamiliar to share with me.

We took a bus to the Greek auditorium so we can attend the orientation from the entire Cornell staff. We heard a professor who had been teaching here for 30 years speak out about the Cornell experience and kept the humor level higher as both parents and students were beginning to wither. We were then immediately led by an teacher assistant to a building in proximity where it was jam packed with people in attendance for Professor Isaac Kramnick’s introduction to his Freedom and Justice course. This was the first time I ever met Kramnick in person and heard his voice. He was very upbeat and did not fail to acknowledge his current surroundings including the USA vs. Ghana soccer game that was going on. He joked to us about the game and updated us on the score. Aside from that, Professor Kramnick gave a brief personal summary of his 40 years at Cornell University and his different published works such as “The Godless Constitution;” even referencing to a recent interview he did for the The Washington Post. He was not mundane in his oratory skills but actually kept everything flowing both in substance and in engaging delivery. The description of Professor Kramnick would be a teacher who cares about teaching his students and encourage us to pursue seeing this philosophy class as something that goes beyond the class walls. I’m definitely looking forward to working with him the next three weeks and add more fuel to my interests in the study of government and politics.

We have prepared for this course earlier, so many of the details of the course did not catch us off guard such as the amount of reading required. I heard a few students were simply flabbergasted by the number of pages they have to read. I am glad that all of us members in the Freedom and Justice committed ourselves to studying the course earlier and avoid troubling ourselves with hitting the material without any previous knowledge. From this day forth, I hope to learn new things from the campus and Professor Kramnick so I can share it with everyone.


  1. nice observations, Andrew- Ms. K.

  2. grad to hear you have a roommate who has same interest in sport. The room looks cozy with blue carpet.