Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greek Tyranny Everywhere!

I can't believe how fast time is flying. It feels as if I just said goodbye to my parents and now it's almost going to be a week since I landed in Ithaca.

Out of all the lectures we had so far, today's had to be the most interesting. Our topic of interest today was Plato and since I had background knowledge on Plato thanks to my AP Language and Composition teacher, Mr. Litvin, it made Professor Kramnick's talk all the more engaging. Every time I read Plato, I always discover something new, and Plato is starting to become one of my favorite philosophers -- partly because many of his ideas are so impractical in today's world. Just to offer a snippet of the ideal world according to him, Plato suggests that there should be no ownership at all in a community. All children will belong to everyone so that there would be no personal family ties and there would be a joint sense of family within a community. Like many of you, I also irked at this idea, but it's so interesting to find out how Plato can think so unconventionally in a rather traditional country, Greece. 

Greek Salad, Veggies, Zucchini Fritters, and Flat Bread. Yum!
When I went to the Trillium I couldn't believe that today's cuisine in the "Seasonal 365" section of the cafeteria was Mediterranean, more specifically, Greek. What a coincidence?! We just read about Plato, who is a citizen of Greece and now Greek food?! Greek influence -- or as Professor Kramnick says, "Greek Tyranny" -- is everywhere and I'm not complaining.

Soon enough, it was time to go back to the lecture room for the guest presentation by an Ithaca attorney, Ray Schathler. Because US and Germany were playing in the World Cup during this presentation, Mr. Schathler would let us check the scores periodically to check on the fate of the US soccer team. Now, shifting the focus back to the lecture. Honestly, this was one of the most moving and greatest presentations that I have ever heard. He started off by handing us all pocket constitutions and made us read aloud the fifth amendment, otherwise known as the right to privacy.

Soon, he went through many court cases he was involved in, but the most moving one was Ithaca School District v. Kearney. Epiphany Kearney was an African American girl who took the bus to middle school every day. On this journey to get an education, she was constantly harassed -- both physically, verbally, and mentally -- by other kids riding this bus. When her mother brought up this issue of racism to the school board, they practically did nothing. Later, Ray Schathler took up this case and brought this case to the newly-appointed superintendent of Ithaca School District who himself paid all the money that should've been paid by court. During the telling of this story, Mr. Schathler often teared up and the details of the story gave me goosebumps along the way too.

But the most important thing I was able to take away from this discussion was  an answer that Mr. Schathler  said to a question by a student in  my class. The student's question went aomething like this: "Our TA said that a lawyer isn't a good profession to have. What do you feel about this?"  To this question Mr. Schathler responded, "You have to follow your passion. If you're not true to yourself or your passion, you've already lost the first step to your future."  This was so influential to me. I know that whatever I choose to do with my life, the main reason should be because I love it. Right now, I'm still on the look out for this passion and I'm hoping for it to strike sometime very soon.

A rather healthy snack as opposed to the junky dorm food.
Along with Kevin and Natalie, I went to the computer lab to finish typing up my essay which is due tomorrow. The prompt basically is, "What is freedom according to you?" As simple as it seems, it's quite complicated as there are multiple ways to take on this argument. For me, I took on the stance that freedom needs an underlying morality for it to be a success. Even though it will not be graded, I still tried my best. So we'll see how that goes. :)
The computer lab surrounding us.
I can't wait for tomorrow because the discussions about Plato will continue. :) See you guys tomorrow and take care!

No comments:

Post a Comment