Friday, July 2, 2010

Spare Me Another Bowling Game

Day 10/First Friday

Today's Friday and the "Freedom and Justice" students knew exactly what that meant. It meant we were getting out of class earlier; there was no more class after lunch.

This morning started off a bit later than usual for me. Usually, I'd get up as quickly to shut off the alarm on my phone so as to not disturb my roommate and that I can get my day started as quickly as possible, but I took my time instead. I also had a bad case of bed head this morning so more time was needed to tame those disobedient locks of mine.

Fifteen minutes later than my usual, I enter my favorite dining place at Cornell, Appel. Andrew Gonzales and his roommate, Jordan were already there because Jordan had wanted to print his essay that very morning. And speaking of essays, mine did take a while to finish last night. Unlike most people who really did a second draft -in which they actually based their new draft on their first draft, I wrote a second draft that was completely different from my previous paper.

I was in no way happy with the first draft I turned in on Monday. I wrote everything in a rush; some of the things I wrote didn't even make sense to me. I love to write and it kills me that I had to turn in work that clearly did not represented what I can really do. Yet, my TA still thought it was a good start. He did not criticize how I wrote, but he did want me to expand on certain ideas I had since he found them interesting but lacking. And so, I spent about 3 or so hours in my dorm, writing up a new essay on the topic of: "What does freedom mean to you?"

What I love about this essay prompt was how frustrating I knew it was for certain people. For one, there were those who despise writing with a burning passion. And there were also those math/science-oriented fellows that simply can't stand such generic questions with such a broad range of answers. As for me though, this is my kind of prompt. I cannot be wrong with my answer since it is my opinion, and it's a good way to reflect, what does freedom mean to me? Typed up, this essay is 2 pages long with single spacings. Even though it took a while to finish, I was very happy with the outcome- more satisfied than the first draft for sure.

Class started off with, as Prof. Kramnick said: "a greeting not as enthusiastic for a Friday." Since it was the start of our first weekend at Cornell Summer College, he gave us a list of things to do and places to see, just before lecture. Itfit weren't for previously arranged plans of the ILC in the next couple of weekends, I surely wouldn't have mind going to some of the places he suggested.

Lecture today was a continuation of Plato and his book, Republic. The best part of the lecture was the second half, when Kramnick talked about the famous allegories of Plato known as the cave and the ship, as well as Plato's concept of the realm of reality and appearances. Back in our study groups at school, I always found the allegory of the cave very interesting but complicated. Prof. Kramnick was able to explain this very well so everything has been cleared up now. I was also very impressed with Plato's concept of how philosopher kings were able to see a realm of reality as opposed to the masses, who could only be capable of the realm of appearances and belief. I am very inspired when I learn about Plato because I find him to be so intelligent and modern for his time. I may not agree with all his beliefs, but he does create some impressive ideas and arguments. We have a first draft due on the following Tuesday that is about Plato and democracy.

By the time lecture finished, it was time for our Discussion Sections. Due to various reasons, we abandoned our original room for a different room in another building. This new room is much newer but smaller. Instead of looking like a classroom, it looked more like a conference hall with chalkboards on the walls. All 19 of us sat on desks that surrounds the entire classroom. Simon G. stayed stationed at the front. I believe this new setting is a lot better environment for everyone in our group to become closer together and share discussions in a more comfortable and informal way.

After class, the Kramnick Kids had arranged to meet with Ms. Kaplan for a shopping trip to a nearby Target. Just before that, the boys went and had lunch. I bought a waffle cone with triple scoops at a Cornell Food Cart after I returned from my dorm, instead. (I strongly advise everyone to avoid any ice cream flavors that contain any remnants of artificial cherries!)

Going to Target was a great way to take a break from life at Cornell. As much as I like it here, it was getting a bit boring seeing the same college buildings over and over again. I'd like to spend more time around the various places around the campus, but there just isn't a lot of time when one is trying to balance class work, a blog, and many more aspects every single day.

After Target, Ms. Kaplan took us to the Cornell Store and bought each of us a Cornell-type clothing of our choice. I chose this really nice red crew-neck sweater that has "Cornell" written in a nice big, black font in the middle. I'm planning on giving this to my father, who's been wanting one ever since he knew I was going to Cornell this summer. So here you go dad; I didn't forget! :-)

Ms. Kaplan dropped us a walk away from our dorms at Donlon. The boys retreated back to their rooms, but I immediately got my laundry duties out of the way. If I didn't do it anytime tonight, I would have no more clean clothes to wear. Now, thanks to my wonderful roommate, Phoebe, who helped me with the washing machine, all my dirty clothes are sitting nice and clean in my drawers.

While waiting for the clothes in the washer to finish, I skedaddled on over to the Donlon lobby downstairs for a Cornell Summer Times Meeting. Only six students, all girls, showed up. It was a quick, informal meeting with one of the college students, Natasha, who was in charge. As it stands now, I am one of three main photographers for this newspaper. I plan on submitting one written piece (be it an article or a work of prose/poetry) and an artwork piece. I am looking forward to taking part in this activity and cannot wait until the day when I see my name copied hundreds of times and read by a variety of different people throughout Cornell.

After the meeting with Natasha, I hurried over to the little field in the front of the Donlon Dorms. I signed up for the intramural sport of the day, flag football, but as it turned out, I was the only one to show up. I ended up throwing the old pig skin around with two of the RCAs (Residential Community Advisors) from our dorm. It was fun because I was able to improve on my spiral a little bit and do something fun and active for awhile. The boys eventually came down to join me after I called them.

After another typical dinner at Appel, it was time to finish my laundry. As I folded all my clothes in the basement of the dorm room, I couldn't help but feel so "grown-up", as if I was already living on my own in college and taking care of myself. Well Mom, aren't you proud of me? :-)

As soon as my laundry finished, I invited two of my friends for bowling at the activities center just across the large field in front of Appel. My two friends were Linh (Vietnamese) and Rebeccas (Korean). Surprisingly, we all came from California. We also met up with the rest of the Kramnick Kids, plus Beilul and Chris, when we got down there.

It was a really simple bowling alley, with a manuel score-keeping system. Rebecca was the only one among us that had nay memory of how bowling scores worked so she became the scorekeeper. We played a total of 2 games. I'm used to getting about 75 points on my bowling games and these two games were definitely not my best. Now there are more than enough reasons for me to return there on another time to win some bowling games!

Tomorrow, a lot is in store for us. Ms. Kaplan wants to take us to Cayuga Lake via cruise ship! We're going to be having brunch across the beautiful currents of Ithaca's beautiful lake! I can't wait!

Take a gander at these snapshots from the past three days:

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