Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Rise of Independence

While many other summer college students spent their morning leisurely sleeping in this Fourth of July holiday, several other courses like Freedom and Justice and Hotel Management were in session. However, I am glad that we have tomorrow off so we can enjoy a long three-day weekend.

Today's lecture was a continuation of yesterday's feminism lecture, which introduced the liberal ideals of John Stuart Mill. In his work On Liberty, Mill asserts that the democratic majority is a threat to people's personal freedom, particularly in man's right to free speech. During discussion section, we expanded on Mill's promotion of limited government participation in the 'market place of ideas'- a metaphor for the abundant exchange of ideas ranging from conservative to radical.
White Hall
Before we were dismissed for the day, Nolan returned the drafts of our Plato essays with peer edits and comments from him. Class ended by 12 PM, so I decided to return to my dorm room to relax and cool off from the humidity before heading to RPCC for lunch. Afterwards, I went to the air-conditioned basement of White Hall for Nolan's office hours to discuss ways I could improve my essay for the second draft. He was gracious enough to hold office hours on a holiday so I did not want to miss the opportunity to gain assistance from him.

The Ithaca Commons (front view)
The Ithaca Commons (back view)

By 5 PM, Jenna, a fellow classmate named Gloria, and I met up to venture to the Ithaca Commons for dinner and a movie. Because the buses were not running today, we decided to call a taxi cab to take us there. While he drove us to the four-block pedestrian square, the kind cab driver briefly described the nearby fraternities, recommended several restaurants we can go to, and dropped us off in the center of the Commons. Filled with colorful murals, a wide variety of eateries, and many shopping establishments, it definitely out shined College Town. 

My delicious dinner
We decided to dine at a Thai restaurant; I was a little hesitant because I never had Thai food before, but I pushed myself to try something new. This decision was very wise because I was able to enjoy a delicious Pad See Ew dish, which consisted of wide rice noodles, grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. 

We finished eating at 7 PM and left for Cinnemapolis, the old-fashioned movie theater. After taking a wrong turn, we retraced our steps and found the entrance towards the building.
Inside of American Crafts
But before we went there, we entered American Crafts, a fascinating crafts store that contained various trinkets like kaleidoscopes, animated clocks, and beautiful jewelries. From the moment I entered the store, my eyes were immediately captivated by the magnificent craftsmanship of each piece of artwork. Unfortunately, we did not get to stay long enough to explore the establishment entirely, but I will definitely return to get a trinket.

Earlier in class, Professor Kramnick recommended that we go see Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring for the weekend, primarily because it reflected our current discussions of socialization and was about our age group; it seemed interesting and therefore that is what we watched.
A mural of various film stars that was within Cinemapolis
The quaint, clean, and air-conditioned theater room made this movie experience more enjoyable. The film was based on the true exploits of several Los Angeles high school students-four females and one male- who repeatedly broke into A-list celebrity homes and committed multiple acts of robbery. Due to their obsession with the glamorous lifestyles of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Megan Fox, and Lindsey Lohan, the students were engrossed in the world of materialism, partying, and drug abuse. While there were several instances of comedic relief, there was an interestingly ironic aspect of the film. The ring leader of this group of thieves was not the male member, as it would normally be assumed when there is one guy and several girls. However, it was one of the women who in fact kept the male in a subordinate position throughout the movie. Despite the constant profanity used by the actors, I did find the cinematography satisfactory and the film's references to adolescent societal themes interesting.

For the first time, I felt rather independent today. Whenever I go out, I am usually with my parents who planned the entire day. Instead, I made my own plans, and took care of myself while enjoying the company of  others. This was definitely a great start to a three day weekend and I cannot wait to visit Niagara Falls tomorrow with my cohort. 

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