Friday, June 26, 2015

More Running? More Running.

Just when I thought I couldn't have a more exhausting day than yesterday, I managed to out do myself  with yet another spectacle of class, frisbee, and basketball!  Let's start off in the classroom.  Today, being the final day of the week, I assumed Dr. Sharkey planned a special debate that would showcase everything we learned.  I was right, but only half-right.  Similar to Wednesday, another student started the class by lecturing the book.  Today, we went over the criteria for valid evidence and the seven parts that make evidence adequate.  The class, as well as Dr. Sharkey and Austin the TA, was very engaged in the student's lecture and everyone threw in their two cents in regards to the lesson.  I wasn't caught off guard by the student teaching the class, but it made me realize that I shouldn't have any assumptions going into the class because the class structure always seemed to change.  

Austin and Dr. Sharkey in their debate
After about thirty minutes, Dr. Sharkey announced that everyone was to go outside and follow him.  I was, again, caught off guard.  In my three years of high school, I never had a class outside of the classroom.  The only time one of my classes ever left the classroom was when there was a fire drill or a rally.  Now, in the first week of Debate and Rhetoric, we were already breaking the boundaries of the classroom and exploring Cornell's campus.  I didn't know where we were going, so I, along with the rest of the class, followed Dr. Sharkey.  We were passing Cornell's library when Dr. Sharkey and Austin stood up on a bench and announced that they were hosting a one-minute mini-debate.  The debate went by so fast that I didn't know it had occurred.  The topic had something to do with "Eco-terrorism."  Dr. Sharkey and Austin were very engaged in argumentation, so it resulted in an entertaining couple of minutes.  They stepped down and the class proceeded to walk until we hit another bench, only twenty feet away.  This time, two students, Emmanuel and Matthew, stood up on the bench and argued for or against the motion that "Cornell should allow its students to eat food outside of the RPCC."  Emmanuel, on the proposition, argued that the food at the RPCC wasn't good, unhealthy, and there were different and better locations to eat in and around the campus.  Matthew, on the opposition, rebutted against Emmanuel's arguments by stating student's are granted a free bus pass their entire freshman year to go into College Town, meaning students could eat outside of the RPCC.  There were lots of laughs with this debate, especially when Emmanuel cynically derided the food served at RPCC's cafeteria.  

"Down Home Taste" by Barkely L. Hendricks
The class then proceeded to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, an art museum located on Cornell's campus.  We parked ourselves under a tree for a brief second and we were handed a paper that had our first assignment.  The assignment was pretty simple; students in the class were to explore the museum and find a piece of art that, as Dr. Sharkey said, "You identify with.  No, actually, a piece of art that identifies you."  I explored all the levels of the museum, but the piece of art that stuck out to me was Down Home Taste by Barkely L. Hendricks.  The piece stuck out to me because the man shown in the picture (located to the left) looked a little bit like Jamie Foxx from Django: Unchained, one of my favorite movies.  I inspected the piece a little future and tried to figure out what the artist was trying to argue within his work.  I will reveal my initial conclusions and my final conclusions in Tuesday's blog when I present my argument to the class (stay tuned!).

The sad result of frisbee and basketball 
After I picked out my piece, I went back to my door to get some much needed relaxation.  I took a nap for about an hour before being woken up by a phone call from Stephen.  He said he and his friend, Joe, were going to play basketball at Cornell's gym.  I didn't want to hole up in my room for the rest of the day so I accepted.  I was pretty excited because I used to play basketball religiously during my sophomore year, until school and other athletics got in the way.  Stephen, Joe, and I entered the gym around six and looked for an open court.  We couldn't find one, so we went to a court where they were conveniently playing three on three.  The three of us waited for the current game to end and when the current game ended, when stepped on.  We played two solid games against the same opponents, then left the gym.  The game's were competitive and physical.  I was the smallest of the bunch so I had to utilize quickness and basketball I.Q. to be productive.  I acted as my team's playmaker while hitting my mid-range jump shot and getting a couple of tough rebounds.  I didn't choose the best pre-game meal, consisting of three slices of pizza, pasta, breadsticks, and ice cream, and I felt like throwing up on the court a couple of times, but I was able to survive.  Immediately following the game on the court, I jumped into a game of ultimate frisbee in the grass area located right outside of the gym.  It was similar to yesterday except this time, I didn't get a chance to know my teammates before jumping in, so I had to remember their faces.  I exchanged a bit of friendly trash-talk with the opposing team and they fired right back at me.  It was all in the spirit of friendly competition.  I felt like I was going to straight up collapse on the field due to exhaustion and the lack of nutrition in my meal, but I powered through the game and had a fantastic time.

I somehow made it back to my dorm where I collapsed in my bed, exhausted from my first week of class and five straight days of frisbee, running, and more frisbee.  They hosted a Toga party downstairs, but considering I had no energy and everyone said it wasn't any good, I decided to call it a day and retire to my dorm.  I iced both my knees for about fifteen minutes each.  I might force myself to relax Saturday, but I plan to check out College Town, so that might interfere with those plans.  Here's to the first full weekend at Cornell. 

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