Monday, June 22, 2015

Classes at Cornell: Day One

The day dawned bright and clear. My roommate and I leave our window open day and night, so we hear birds every morning and evening. My roommate left first, she is taking a veterinarian course, and she has to be at the bus stop by 8:30 AM. I avoid getting up until after she leaves just so I can use the sink and get dressed without encroaching on someone else's space. Once she leaves I can also sing in the mirror without being self-conscious. Just kidding I don't sing in the mirror.

After my roommate left, I got ready and went to breakfast around 8:00 AM. A lot of the students were leaving for classes as I walked into the dining hall, as many classes start between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. Since mine doesn't start until 12:30 PM, I have the whole morning to run, sleep, eat, blog, or do any other activities. I saw another student who was wearing Germany's national soccer team jersey, of Bastian Schweinsteiger, and I was really excited but unfortunately he left before I could tell him how awesome his jersey was. Next time.

After breakfast I went back to my dorm and read and started to blog. I organized all of my items in my room and just generally waited for time to pass. At 11:00 I went back to the dining hall to grab a few snacks before returning to my room. I met up with Justice and Manuel, who is also taking our same class, and we walked to Ives Hall at 12:00 PM. It took us a couple extra minutes to navigate through Ives Hall because we couldn't find our classroom at first and we went in the wrong part of the building. Fortunately, we saw our class TA and he directed us upstairs to a lecture hall.

The lecture hall, Room 305, was large considering we only have 24 students in the class, but it was really nice. The chairs are the classic college chairs where there is a teeny tiny little desk that folds down next to the chair on the right side. I'm left-handed and it was a bit of a struggle to write. Tomorrow I'm going to grab an aisle seat on the left side so I can have a left-handed desk. The class starts at 12:30 PM, but a few people had problems finding the class as well so we started a few minutes late. Our teacher, Rodney Sharkney, first went over our syllabus and what we would be doing over the next three weeks. We are going to have three debates, one per week, which I am excited for.

Rodney also handed out a paper about Socrates and his last day before he drank hemlock, and we talked about and analyzed his separation from reality, and the patriarchal evidence in the passage as well. We also went over binary opposition, which is a pair of related ideas or concepts that are opposites, like love and hate, or pleasure and pain. Our discussion on gender roles however, rapidly escalated a bit, and after Rodney gave us a break during class we had our first mock debate.
Thao works on her blogs outside.

We were split up into two groups randomly, arguing whether it was more productive to binarize gender in the world. I was in the group arguing that it was more productive, and our points centered around  scientific evidence that males are stronger physically than females so dividing up work based on strength would be more productive overall.

The debate was okay, although there were a lot of irrelevant arguments and questionable theses, but that's to be expected for the first debate that we didn't prepare for in advance. The opposition's main argument was centered around transgenders and World War II (when females took over male jobs while they were fighting), but everyone seemed to get a bit off track and confused when arguing about transgenders and whether it was more productive or less productive.

The first day of class went by quickly, and we even ended a bit late at 3:15 PM. Tonight I have three chapters to read in my book for class, and I have to summarize and talk a bit about our debate from today. I am really enjoying the class so far, and later this week we have our first debate which I am excited about. It sounds like we are going to be in teams of two  that will be assigned randomly.
Thao, Kristine, and Frank

Since it was the first day of school and a lot of the people I had met and the ILC cohort were still coming back from their classes, I went to dinner alone and ended up meeting a girl named Donna. She's also in South Balch, but on a different floor so I don't see her. She's taking a psychology class and is interested in applying to Cornell for college. She plays tennis and she's a rising senior who wants to study psychology as well as something else (she's not sure yet) in college. I actually enjoy going to the dining hall alone, because if I'm sitting along someone will usually come by and say hi and it's a cool way to meet people. If no one comes by I'm not heartbroken either, because then I can eat as many grapes as I want and not get judged. But honestly I would still eat a lot of grapes it doesn't matter if people are judging me because grapes are great.

At 7:15 PM Alfredo Chan-Law met with all of the ILC cohort briefly just to check-in with all of us. We met at the RPCC building, which is also where the dining hall is located.

1 comment:

  1. Who would ever judge you for eating too many grapes?? ;-)