Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Least Likely to Tell Her Roommate to Shut Up"

As luck would have it, my daily routine did change this morning--I slept past me alarm this morning! Luckily, I woke up at 9:15, which was till plenty of time to get ready and get to class; the only thing that I had to skip out on was my morning study session.  

In class, Luke went over Griswold v. Connecticut, Roe v. Wade, and Planned Parenthood of Southern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Each of these cases one's right to privacy, specifically one's right to privacy when they are considering an abortion. The topic of abortion  resulted in a really intense class debate about whether or not a zygote or a fetus deserves the same rights as a born baby.  

Lunch was the same as usual; I ate with the others and later returned to my dorm, as per usual. 

During the afternoon class, Jeffery gave an lecture on how hypocritical it was for the government  to base a good amount of it's decisions on societal norms and majority opinion despite the fact that their main purpose is to prevent the formation a majority factions. It's a paradoxical thing indeed; the government is essentially being controlled by the very thing that it is meant to suppress. 

After Jeffery's lecture, two of my classmates, Lizzy and Caroline, decided to hold an award ceremony. Everyone received an prize, which resulted in a lot of the awards "unique"  award were given out. I won the award for "Least Likely to Tell Her Roommate to Shut Up (Even When She Really Deserves It)". My award only makes sense when you know that one of the announcers, Lizzy, is also my roommate. Due to her talkative tendencies, Lizzy tends to end her sentences with "You know that can tell me to shut up anytime, right?" 

With the end of the award ceremony came the beginning of our final debate. This time, I'm paired with Mac, Alec, and Joy. Our topic is the following:

 Abdul Hisham v. United States

Abdul Hisham, a US resident alien, was arrested in his home in Texas by the FBI and is being detained in Guatanamo for being an enemy combatant. The US detained him based on conversations he had on the phone from Texas to Afghanistan. In those conversations, Hisham was critical of the US invasion of Iraq and of US policies in the Middle East. Moreover, he had recently purchased magazines and books that are very critical of the IS, and he also legally purchased a hunting rifle.  Hisham had also recently registered to take chemistry lessons in a community college. During a secret search of his home, the FBI found manuals written in Arabic about the dangers of chemical weapons. The FBI obtained all of this evidence by wiretapping his phone, monitoring his credit card purchases and later doing a secret search of his home. The FBI got permission under the Patriot Act to investigate Arab Americans who had recently traveled to the Middle East, as Hisham had the previous summer. Hisham is petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus arguing the US is illegally detaining him and also arguing that the evidence the US gathered violates his 4th Amendment rights.

You are defending Abdul Hisham. 

Personally, I'm really happy with our stance and topic--not only is it more straightforward than my last debate topic, but it's also a lot more interesting; I've been tasked with preparing my team's opening statement, and I'm really enjoying researching and writing this assignment!

When my team had finished preparing everything, I went to meet the others for our last meeting with Mrs. L. Today, we finalized our plans for both tomorrow and Friday. After class, we'll be going to both Highline Park and the Brooklyn Bridge, then we'll come back to campus in time for the High School Program's final dance. As for Saturday, we'll be leaving campus at 10:00 AM and then going out for brunch in Central Park. I'm really excited for tomorrow and Saturday, I think that these are really great ways to end the trip. 

After the meeting, Mrs. L had a surprise for us; she had bought a batch of Magnolia cupcakes for us! In case you didn't know, Magnolia is a very famous bakery--here in New York, it's sweets are practically legendary ! Since there was six of us and exactly six cupcakes, we picked a number between 1 and 100 in order to be  able to fairly settle which order we should go in. As it turns out, Mrs. L had picked the number six, for the six of us. As sentimental as it may sound, I was really disappointed when I heard her answer. I had picked 84, and since my number was the farthest from 6, I ended up going last. Once everyone else had picked, I was left with the peanut butter cupcake. While the cupcake was delicious, I'm not a big fan of peanut butter, so I wasn't able to enjoy my cupcake as my as the others had. 

We then had dinner in the dining hall for what may be the last time, and went back to our rooms to finish our respective assignments. 

Later on in the evening, Adrianne came to my dorm room, which resulted in Adrianne, Lizzy, Caroline, and I having a mini pizza party in my dorm room. The night was filled with girl talk, laughter, and general craziness--it was certainly a great way to end the day.

I honestly can't believe that it's almost been four weeks since I left home for New York. I also can't believe that I'll be going back home in less than two days. I guess that all things, no matter how great, really must come to an end. 

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