Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rule #1: Politics are Not Food

The day started out pretty sluggish with my roommate Greg waking my tired body at 8:00 AM in the morning so he can go out and venture into the city. The night was not as bad I had expected, despite all the humidity and stale air that lingered in the room with a fan gutting out watts of electricity. I laid in my bed and talked to Greg about why he came to Cornell, and apparently he has been extremely interested in joining the Hotel Operations and Management since last year. It was nice to know he is trying to have a fun time with new people and pursue this course with a discipline similar to my own. When I woke up in the morning, I could not budge myself and let myself drift back to slip for another hour before leaving with the other ILC members and Andrew Gonzalez’s roommate Jordan for breakfast at Appel Commons. I did not know Jordan very well but it was nice knowing that we began interacting with other people.

We all sat on the balcony of the Appel Commons, eating our breakfast which I limited myself to a nice, small batch of salad and stir fry vegetables. One student that would be unnamed came over to join us for breakfast and from there things got a little tense. I am a person that loves to interact with other people and try to establish a good friendly relationship. Everything was pretty much fine for a while until I mistakenly began discussing politics within the table. There was no intent for aggressiveness or anything of the sort seeking pride. All I wanted was to learn more about the new students and try to learn more about the different geographics affecting our culture. The unnamed student seemed to take the offensive and began “debating” about certain issues in politics especially that of universal healthcare and the recently passed policy under the Obama Administration. Between me and that student, we seemed to initially start out as not a debate but discussion purely for understanding of opinions and food for thought. But the student begins to commit a manner of delivery less than polite, pointing his finger at me and asking “not to be interrupted.” Unlike other discussions with friends, it seems that this discussion was becoming more like a vicious debate that represented two polarizing views. I myself moderated myself; keeping everything cool, trying to show our points of agreeance, and allowed him to speak his thoughts as long as he could. There was definitely no point in trying to prove points and reveal the erroneous arguments that construed certain facts. I wanted there to be peace. One thing that surprised me was the new student that I met, who was Jordan. Jordan intervened and sort of defended my position against the other who began assaulting everyone with words. If there is something I respect in a person, I respect a person’s knowledge and his ability to conduct a polite discussion that keeps in mind of others. Jordan had this and despite having no debate experience did a good job of defending his view and trying to keep everything cool. After a debate that took up maybe an hour, I sought to leave the balcony and avoid ruining a relationship. The moral that remains is that never bring up religion or politics at the dinner table. Even though things with the unnamed student started out less than favorable, I made amends with him by shaking his afterward and hanging around with him throughout the day.

The members left breakfast to do the crashcourse, which I can frankly admit was boring for the most part. There was very little organization and content that kept a group of hundreds of kids in a confined auditorium for nearly three hours. Most of the information was not nearly new and I should have spent time going around the campus or even possibly asking the others to travel around the city of Ithaca. But the three hours was yet another test of patience and I sat through it.

After the crashcourse, there was really little else to do but relax for the next few hours walking around the campus, taking pictures of the beautiful buildings and even getting lost. The members of our dormitory floor met up for another house rules meeting, which was definitely more entertaining yesterday as the residential advisors performed skits of possible scenarios in which students can get in trouble for. One residential advisor was attempting to pretend hitting a beach ball with a foam noodle like playing baseball. He ended up excessively putting force into his swing and ended up hitting a kid named Rafael, which to my bad side found a little but humorous.

Looking back on today, I basically had an intense debate today which was very exciting for me because it got my juices flowing, but I also had time to relax to be ready for the beginning of Kramnick’s course tomorrow. I am definitely pumped for discussion after the events of today

1 comment:

  1. Hi Andrew
    A friendly discussion with a new friend is good any day.
    The unnamed student may be your best friend in the future.Try to stay focused and learn from each other. Good luck in class tomorrow.