Today I was woken up by my cruel alarm clock at 7:00 A.M. and was both excited and apprehensive to attend the first college course of my life. I dragged myself out of bed and walked in a daze towards food, at the Robert Purcell Community Center. I met up with some of the ever increasing connections at Cornell, and we headed over to the Freedom and Justice course.
The class was supposed to start at 9, but to make sure we were extra early; we headed in at 8:45. When we got in there were already about 20 or so kids, out of the 60 that Professor Kramnick had said were attending, all of whom were already chatting away. Little by little the remaining students filed groggily in, and Professor Kramnick was on his way. From 9 to 10:30 he gave us a lecture covering the basics of the class, and he really stressed the importance of having fun and getting a feel for what college is like. He discussed the overarching questions in the class, such as, “Who deserves to rule?” He ended his lecture talking about all the freedom (a topic we will be covering often) of college, and to try to enjoy it. Before I knew it, the hour and a half had gone by, and we broke off into groups with our TAs.
The 60 students were all broken into groups of 15, and I headed over to a separate room with my group and TA, named Vijay. I am very glad that I have Vijay as my TA, since he obviously knows quite a bit about political thought (he’s a graduate student studying political theory). Since there was nothing to discuss about the professor’s lecture, we did a whole bunch of icebreakers, and I look forward to getting to know my section even better. This discussion section has also kept my streak of meeting people from the Middle East alive, since both a student from Israel and a student from Turkey are in my class, increasing my total to three (including my Jordanian roommate).
After a lunch break at the Trillium Dining hall, which was far and away better than the Robert Purcell Community Center’s food, we headed back to our breakout sections for our first writing workshop. We discussed the concept of freedom and what it meant to us, in a variety of situations, such as if one was free from oneself if say they were a pyromaniac and had to keep themselves in check throughout life, along with many other interesting political philosophy questions. All in all it was a great experience, and I can’t wait to hear Professor Kramnick’s next lecture.