Monday, July 8, 2013

The Big Picture

Today marks the beginning of the last week of summer college and the final days I will be in the East Coast. It did not really sink in that this journey is soon ending until talk of final exams, check-outs, and graduations were discussed throughout the day.

The day began as usual: I woke up at 7 AM, got dressed, had breakfast with Jenna, and walked to class. Before beginning today's lecture, Professor Kramnick briefly discussed what will happen for this week. Today, tomorrow, and Wednesday will be normal days of lecture, discussion section, our final guest speaker and, writing workshop. Thursday, however, will be more focused on the final lecture and section, and submitting our final essays. Finally, Friday will be the final exam. This week will prove to be the busiest of all three but I will try my best while studying and completing the last of my readings.

Professor Kramnick introduced the conservative ideals of Edmund Burke. Unlike the liberal ideals of thinkers like Locke and the feminists asserted, Burke repudiates these ideas in favor of maintaining the 'status quo' of political institutions (i.e. aristocracy) and a rigid hierarchical society. During discussion, we elaborated on Burke's criticism of liberalism, which is mainly concerned about the potential tyranny that could arise within the public majority. After lunch, we returned to have a peer review of the second draft of our essays.

The long anticipation I felt over the weekend regarding my prelim ceased once Nolan returned our exams; I got a B+. While for most, this grade would be deemed excellent, I could not help but view this grade negatively especially since I felt that the studying I put into preparation reflected more of an A instead. To understand where I went wrong, I went to Nolan's office hours after class. He first reassured me that a B+ reflects that I demonstrated a clear understanding of the readings and provided a lot of detail. However, the reason why my writings were not in the 'A range' was because I needed to compare the philosophers not only by describing their ideals, but also relating them to one of the course's larger concepts (i.e freedom, justice, or equality). After talking with Nolan, I believe that I have a better understanding of how I should go about studying for the final exam. I am so thankful that the TAs are there for the students whenever they need assistance with the course. Now I am motivated to working even harder and studiously preparing for the final so I could end this course on a good note.

By 6:45 PM, the cohort met with Mr. Chan-Law to discuss the itinerary for Saturday's departure. Later on, I had my last floor meeting with my RCA Angela and my floormates. Angela briefly discussed check-out information and graduations times. I could not help but feel a little saddened by the fact that I will not be seeing these familiar faces across the hall anymore. At least there is still some spend together before we depart. But for now, I shall continue with tonight's more extensive reading of Karl Marx. 

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