Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Letter to the Cornellians

Lunch at Trillium.
Yesterday I thought I wasn’t going to be able to go to sleep because of my roommate. Apparently, he couldn’t sleep the night before because the fan wasn’t on. I don’t like keeping the fan on at night because it’s extremely noisy and I’m afraid my cell phone alarm won’t wake me up. I let him keep it on due to the fact that he couldn’t stop sweating the day before, even though he sleeps with a blanket with little humidity outside. Either way I woke up on time because I put my phone next to my pillow (except I don’t like the idea of doing this because of radiation) and the alarm sure enough went off. After doing what I regularly do each morning like shower and get ready, I headed off to RPCC (Robert Purcell Community Center) to get breakfast and found myself with Natalie in the cafeteria and then Sue and Carla. You see today is Carla’s birthday and we all got her a very amusing birthday card, along with a cake. She doesn’t know these two things exist at all and the only person left to sign Carla’s card was Sue, and I was trying to find the right moment to give Sue the card to sign. Well I didn’t find the correct time to secretly hand it to Sue, so I kept it until later on that day.

It was raining when walking back to class.
We all walked what is now our regular routine and once again made it to class early. I nearly forgot the class tradition (until someone reminded me) dealing with the moment that Professor Kramnick takes off his watch, we all say in unison “Good morning Professor Kramnick” and then he begins his lecture as soon as he’s done having a recap on world news. Today we were discussing the world cup and Kramnick was undermining the U.S. soccer team fan base during class. Today our lecture was based upon the New Testament readings and basically a thorough comparative analysis between the concept of “love and justice” in the New Testament as opposed to the Old Testamnt. Kramnick made it pretty clear and concise with how there were of course different authors between these two time periods and even pointed out the various forms of love in the texts. For example there is universal love (meaning equal love for everyone) and particular love (love for certain people like family members). He also talked about communal love which basically means caring for the community in terms of not caring about materialistic possessions and handing them over to everyone. He also explained how in the Old Testament a just man, was a man who obeyed the law and followed God’s commands, whereas in the New Testament a just man was considered as someone who was full of love for everyone including strangers and enemies. In the New Testament the actions that one commits on Earth will be rewarded in the afterlife and if there are bad deeds then yes this person will be punished.
Our practitioner of the law for Tuesday: Richard Stumbar
If there was one thing I was thinking about prior and during class, it was the inconsistencies all throughout these selected passages as well as throughout the entire Bible. I remember doing the summer assignment for English last year and it had to do with some of the same passages and I remember discussing inconsistencies within the Bible. Then again it was obvious with the inconsistencies it adds for flexibility for the interpreter, thus you will have not only one group of people reading your text, rather various people—making the text well read and eventually great. 

By the time we got to our study group, I participated much more than yesterday and had little  trouble understanding some of the verses. Although once our discussion finished I understood the parts I did not understand. Today’s discussion was rather short because we had a guest practitioner that happened to be a local lawyer from Ithaca who’s famous for two cases he has participated in. One of which was a case against Cornell University itself because they were underpaying female coaches and at the same time were far far overpaying male coaches. He explained how they “slaughtered” Cornell in the courtroom since they had overwhelming evidence on their side. I forgot to mention he graduated from Cornell too. The other interesting case he participated in was that of a same-sex marriage case in New York where they wouldn’t marry gay couples and so he teamed up with many other brilliant lawyers but unfortunately lost. Luckily the New York legislature has approved of  same-sex marriage now. 

Another funny/interesting story today. When I came back to my dorm, my roommate and I began talking about class today and we went from one topic to another until we got to Ronald Reagan where he argued that he was very liberal when I argued that he was far more conservative than liberal. We argued for around 20 minutes and talked about governments, ideologies, countries, etc. and we ended up with talking about how Luxembourg has the highest GDP per capita in the world. After that I just knocked out on my bed until dinner. I think its fun to be able to have these type of conversations with people, back in Hercules High School most people don't find history, politics or world economies all that interesting--let alone want to talk about it. 

Just as dinner time approached, Mr. Chan-Law ordered an ice-cream cake for Carla’s birthday. When it was time for dinner, we made sure to keep it all secret from Carla so that it would remain a surprise until Mr. Chan-Law came with the cake (he forgot the candles but it really didn’t really affect our master plan). Furthermore I managed to slip Sue the birthday card during the discussion period; she signed it and handed it to Carla at the dinner table. Carla was content and we all ate a ton of Ithaca ice cream—there were two giant slices of leftover but I had plenty with my giant slice.

Compared to the last few days, today seemed pretty relaxing even with more readings assigned. I guess I'll get to attacking the St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas readings now. 

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