Through WCCUSD’s Ivy League Connection program, Hercules High School Students Justine Betschart, Stacy Chan, Ramiah Davis-Shephard, Louisa Man, Julia Maniquiz, and Yueming Wang will be attending Cornell University to either study Freedom and Justice or Hotel Operations Management during the summer of 2009.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Fruits of my Labor
Lecture today started with the life and times of Edmond Burke. Professor Kramnick talked about the French Revolution and how it shaped Burke’s ideas. The main points covered in the lecture were human rights, government as authority, history, tradition, custom, hierarchy, and inequality. Reading Burke amongst the philosophers who argue for equality was very helpful; especially since we have already covered Plato and his hierarchical beliefs. Burke is one who believes equality among all people is absurd, and that we practice inequality every day. In discussion we further analyzed his arguments and went into political nakedness. This concept speaks to how without certain rights people are left vulnerable. Burke claims that racism is practiced in this aspect - one example being through citizenship which makes rights national rather than natural. (I do hope that I am not confusing anyone, I know that our discussion can get very abstract. Nonetheless I love following the arguments we all make.)
At the end of our discussion session our preliminary exams were returned to us. I was quite pleased with my grade. I received an A- on the essay portion, and three A’s and two B’s on the quotes; giving me an overall grade of a B+. I was so happy; Julia, Justine and I all did very well. Our TA was also rather pleased with the class as a whole. The grade I received definitely provided a boost to my confidence – but do not worry, there is still a healthy amount of fearful caution.
After lunch we had our writing workshop. The second draft of our Plato essays were due and we did another peer edit. I actually got to read Julia’s essay, and I must admit, I can clearly see why our TA always picks hers as his favorite. (I am not just saying that; Mr. Desmond chose only Julia’s Freedom essay to read to the class as a good example. Also,today when he was reading our introduction paragraphs out loud, he said he would have used hers.)
I did not have the heart to spend too much time interviewing my roommate today because she had an extreme amount of reading to do. I have, however, learned that Cornell is definitely on her list of schools she is applying to; but she has not decided which is her first choice.
The rain also returned today. Julia, Justine, and I actually got caught in it when we met Mr. Crossley at the Balch dorm for check-in. I guess two days without rain was all Ithaca is going to give us.