Monday, June 25, 2012

Madison Blue Skies

Today was the first day of classes. We all had to be out the door by 7:00 AM, for breakfast and orientation. Normally, we only have to be out in time for our class, at 10:00, but they had to make time for the assembly.

I want to make it clear that I love it here. My class is great. My suite-mates are cool. The campus is beautiful. I'm having the time of my life. I just wanted to address that before I make any complaints. The first, is that the breakfast in the cafeteria is terrible. Some of the things, like the fruit and drinks were fine, but the eggs, pancakes and sausage patties were all awful.

The assembly took forever to get going, but it at least left me time to converse with some people from my dorm. When it started, the head of the high school program and the dean of Columbia spoke about life on campus. It turns out that 40% of the students here commute (the other 60%, like me, are residential). Also, 40% of the students are international. That means that 2/3 of the people in dorm life are studying abroad.

After the gathering, we took off for our classes. As would be expected, most of the people in Constitutional Law are U.S. citizens. The two professors, Jeffrey and Luke are PhD candidates. They'll alternate between teaching in the morning and afternoon, but there's no set schedule. Today was all taught by Jeffrey, so I don't know what how Luke teaches, but they both seem pretty charismatic. Jeffrey's very funny.

At lunch, Lucas and I went with a group from our class to get the textbook from a local book store. The reader was supplied by the teachers. The store had a limited supply, so I couldn't get one today. The staff told me that they would have more either Thursday or Friday (they'll call me). We don't need them until Monday, so that's fine.

I hung out with some students from our class at lunch. The food in the afternoon was better.

Class, today, focused on the Bill of Rights and law terminology. We were given some reading assignments, but that was our only home work.

After class I hung out in my dorm and got started on the reading. I've read some difficult philosophy before, but our first piece was down right incomprehensible. I had to read some sentences four or five times. It wasn't uninteresting, it's just that the language could be equivocal at times, and I had to look up new words, often. The work was Federalist No. 10 and No. 51, by James Madison. My RA is a political science major, so he took a look at our syllabus. It turns out that this standard Constitutional Law literature.

That was basically all I did today, besides talk to people. I took a ton of photos, but I only wanted to post a few. An RA is running a NYC photography contest; I plan on submitting a few things. If I win, I'll post the picture.

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