Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pip Pip Cheerio!

Day 13/ A Look at Locke

I know we've all had our share when it comes to complaints about the food at Appel, but this is getting ridiculous. I've never never NEVER considered myself a picky eater, but I'm afraid Cornell has changed that for me. Every single morning and dinner, I see the same types of food, over and over. I lose my appetite as soon as I see the food. For the past two days, I've been eating one bowl of cheerios every meal. It's delicious and all but it's a wonder just how long that will last....

Thanks to the lack of sleep I got last night, class today was a bit tougher to sit through. Today was also a double lecture due to a whole day off on Monday, so that didn't help me too much at all. Prof. Kramnick however, never fails to draw in my attention with his lectures. Today we talked about the work of the "original American philosopher", John Locke.

John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, was a bit of a tough read for me. He writes with a lot of run on sentences that, if you're not paying close enough attention, you will lose what he's trying to say very quickly. Prior to class and discussion, I didn't understand completely, everything that Locke was talking about, but after classes, I had a much better grasp of it. Discussions helped out a lot today. Simon G., my TA, was able to further explain better the various key points of Locke's essay, such as his ides on the state of nature and natural law.

But my favorite part of the day was the guest speaker session we had directly after the lunch. Prof. Kramnick invited a renowned New York Defense Attorney by the name of Nelson Roth. As of now, Mr. Roth works as a defense attorney for Cornell University whenever the school gets sued. (Did you know that in the past year, Cornell had 75 lawsuits filed against them?)

The topic that Mr. Roth talked about today was about a controversial case he had about 10 or so years go. He started his presentation, asking us how we felt about giving our fingerprint information away to be stored and kept as records. From the general response of the class, the students didn't seem to mind. But in the situation such as Mr. Roth's past case, it put our opinions on our personal information in a different light.

Perhaps you've heard of a young New York attorney named David Harding. He was one of the prime figures in the the New York State Police Troop C Scandal back in the early 1990s. In this infamous case, Harding and some other troopers, fabricated evidence in several cases. In one of the cases, the quadruple homicide of the Harris Family on Christmas in Ithaca, New York, the false evidence was used. Because of it, a suspect was incorrectly sent to prison. This kind of case really made me realized how much trust we put into our police force. Under Locke, we look up to the police to protect our rights and keep us safe. But what happens when these protectors actually take advantage of the information they have of you, like fingerprints data, and frame you for a crime you didn't do? If you'd like to read more about this controversial and intriguing case, here's a good link to read at:

Mr. Roth also rekindled an old flame I had. I remembered just a couple of years ago, I had a strong interest in the field of law. But after entering high school and being exposed to so many other career options, I tucked law away and looked out for other possible options. It was watching Mr. Roth's presentation that made me remember what I like about law so much - the satisfaction of discovering the truth and helping the innocent. Although I'm still uncertain as to whether I will become a lawyer in my future or not, I'm glad Mr. Roth made me go back to the idea.

Currently, I'm studying for the preliminary/ mid term test coming up for tomorrow. I'm really nervous but I know shouldn't be too much because I know the material. However, that's not to say I will not study my butt off tonight. So I guess I'll see you all after the test!

PS: I think I enjoy studying in Balch Hall better than Donlon Hall. The six-weekers are lucky that they get to stay in such a nice building. They all have a single room with their very own sink! I am very jealous.

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