Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Concept or Conception

Today began like most days will now begin, and at 9:15 AM I went down to breakfast, where I would find Adriane, Aurea and Morvarid. I'm electing to go with cereal and fruit most of the time, because eating bacon, sausage, hash browns, and other unhealthy things is not a habit you would want to keep up every day. That's not to say I don't indulge at lunch and dinner, though; it's hard to stop yourself when there is literally unlimited food at your disposal.The weather today warmed up again; it's been much cloudier and cooler the past few days than you would expect for summer, but I don't mind it as long as there is variation. I love the heat as long as there's a break sometimes, and, as long as they don't come frequently, I love cool summer days as well. In the Bay Area, unfortunately, the cooler summer days are much more frequent than I'd like, so I much prefer East Coast summers.
Anyway, after breakfast I went to my class, where we spent a lot of time discussing the interpretation of the Constitution in relation to terms such as vague and abstract. We talked about how vagueness can be bad, for example, what is "reasonable?" (in relation to punishment, see 8th Amendment) Reasonable punishment, say, for a drug offense, can mean to different people anything from murder ( to only rehabilitation and assistance (many believe that drug users need help, not punishment, such as jail time). A certain degree of vagueness is necessary, I feel, though, because, as times change, interpretations of the Constitution will evolve as well. This led into the next thing we discussed: whether we should the Constitution was to rule by intended concept or by intended conception. When I say rule by intended concept, I mean rule by the general idea, whereas, if the Constitution were to be ruled by intended conception, it would be ruled strictly by the intentions of our Founding Fathers, with zero flexibility for an evolving society. We also spent time going over some of the Supreme Court cases we had read the night before,
After class, I came to my room and just took a nap, because our homework has been interesting and cool but very time-consuming and tedious work. If I were ever a Supreme Court judge, I would make my opinions on cases at lot more to-the-point, and less repetitive, just for the sake of people trying to interpret my writing. That's not to say I am enjoying my work, though, I find it fascinating, especially in how these decisions began to shape, in certain ways, how our society functions.
After waking up and going to lunch, I went to my second class. In my second class, our teacher told us the class would be one of the more boring classes we'd have over these three weeks, as it was really just an interactive lecture. I found it to be fascinating, though, I had a general idea of the United States' court system and separation of powers worked, but I had never really gotten so in-depth about it, and I came out feeling much more knowledgable about the entire governing system of our nation. Learning all of this, although the teacher has not mentioned it, has also come on the heels of a very significant Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, set to be released to the public tomorrow. I love to talk about these kinds of these in my blogs, but unfortunately, I can't say I am informed enough on the wording to say whether or not it is constitutional. I can say, though, that it is undoubtedly good for the well-being of society (in my opinion).
The sun setting in the East between Lerner (left) and Furnald (right)
After my second class, our cohort met for our meeting again, and after the meeting I stayed in the dining hall with most of the members of the cohort, where we we ate dinner (ice cream for me; 5:30 is too early for dinner, I think) and made tons of noise so that everyone in the room turned their heads. I spent the rest of the day on campus talking to some friends, blogging and doing the heavy load of homework we received today. I'm finally starting to settle into my routine here, though, so I think I feel more comfortable to go off campus now on some trips and some community service or simple group discussions (there is one tomorrow about economic inequality).

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