Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Different kinds of justice

Building for Freedom and Justice- McGraw Hall
After copying down today's outline/objective from the chalkboard, we immediately turned our attention to Professor Kramnick. Because I've never taken a lecture-styled course before, I was afraid I wouldn't be fully concentrated during each day's interesting but lengthy lecture.  Therefore, this morning, I decided to take a spot in the front row so I could stay as focused as possible.  

Today's lecture involved a background of the Old Testament, a comparison of that to the New Testament, and the overall connection of all of that to political theory and justice. For example, we learned how in the Old Testament, God played more as a political figure than he did in the New Testament. We also analyzed the different tone and language used in both testaments. The New Testament rejected many of the justice related ideals found in the Old Testament, so it was interesting to see how these beliefs changed overtime and how it shaped politics today. Because our homework last night was texts from the New Testament, we also broke down passages from it during our discussion session today with our TA. We did a bit of group work and learned to categorize each passage into a particular form of justice. 

After our discussion, we had a lunch break and a group of us went over to a mini secluded garden to eat after getting food at the Trillion (the food court type dining hall we were to eat at during lunch). I swear, you discover beautiful places at Cornell every single day. Today was also the first non-humid day I've  experienced at Cornell so far, so eating outside in the sun was really nice. I got to meet two new people taking the Nature course here, and we bonded instantly. Everyone here is very open and friendly!

It did drizzle a bit at the end of our lunch period, but I always look forward to rain here because it always manages to get cooler afterwards. We went back to class at around 1:15 PM for a guest speaker. Today's speaker was Ray Schlather, a trial lawyer from Ithaca. During his lecture, he talked to us about some of the court cases he was a lawyer for, and tied each of those into his clients' fourth and fifth amendment rights. I immediately related this to my school back home because our school newspaper always run into censorship issues regarding what we are allowed to publish as a high school paper. I extremely enjoyed our guest speaker and I can't wait for the three others we'll having throughout the 3 weeks time.

Today's homework is to study texts from St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, and try to relate these readings to the different kinds of justices we learned about today. This class is pretty fast paced, so there is absolutely no time to procrastinate. I really am glad to experience a college- based course before actually attending college because this, in a way, serves as an intro to what to expect in college.

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